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Most football clubs pay team members according to their performance. In other words, incentives are given to team members if they achieve a particular goal set by the board. But is this the best way to influence the behaviour of members of the team to perform better? Let’s examine an experiment conducted by Steven Levitt, an economist and his colleagues.

In 2012, some students were sampled by the group mentioned above. The experiment aims to determine if students would perform better when given cash rewards. The results of the research revealed that students who were given cash rewards for performing better than they did previously made more significant improvements than those who were not given cash rewards.

The researchers further divided the students into two groups. Students in the first group were given cash rewards if they attained a specific score after the test, while students in the second group were given money before the test with the condition that it will be taken from them if they failed to attain a particular score after the test. The results revealed that students in the second group had significantly more significant improvements than students in the first group.

It is evident that football players are treated like students in the first group. That is, they are rewarded after meeting the target. But could it be possible that they will perform better if they were paid upfront with the condition that the money will be withdrawn should they fail to meet the set target?

This is a strategic approach that you can experiment in your club. It may be difficult to implement such a strategy, but there is no harm in challenging the status quo.