One key ingredient to success in any field is being prepared. Setting goals and working to reach them is a discipline that assures a measure of success regardless of the task at hand.
Taking young people step-by-step through a goal-setting process is very helpful.
To start the process, ask young people to identify one learning goal they have for the week — like turning in a report on time, reading two chapters, or memorizing a certain number of vocabulary words.
Have them write the goal down and keep it where they can see it every day.
Show them how to break the goal into smaller steps. Using a written report as an example, they could read two chapters every day, and spend one day writing the report.
Help them identify obstacles to achieving their goal, like sports practices, music rehearsal, other homework, or even fatigue. Help them devise ways to overcome those obstacles.
Show them how to use self-motivation. Ask them to think about how they will benefit directly when they reach their goal.
Make sure they check in with you as the week progresses. Identify problems that arise and talk about solutions.
At the end of the week, have them evaluate how they did, and use that information to set a new goal for the next week.
After a few weeks of using this technique, most students can continue the cycle on their own, setting goals and working to reach them. It is a very valuable discipline to master.