Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining motivation. That’s a topic a reader emailed me about. Maybe I’ll talk about it now, or maybe I’ll wait for my motivation to show up so I can do it. Or, maybe I’ll wait for someone to walk in to hype me up.

If we waited, this video could take a long time.

We often take this approach with motivation. Somehow, we believe it’s something that just shows up. I had an athlete tell me once he prays to the Gods of his sport to deliver motivation. Or, we believe that we have to be hyped up for every practice or game to perform well. 

That’s an unrealistic expectation. There are going to be days when sleeping in, staying home and binging Netflix seem more appealing. It’s part of being a human athlete.

If you believe it’s a sign you are not committed, or that you don’t care, it will drive you bananas.  Training, eating right — all the habits can be a grind.  Life happens and sometimes we need to devote energy to our lives outside of sports. There will be tension.

Can you prepare for those days? Absolutely.  

Have a process in place. Create an environment that promotes motivation. Have your goals, your “why,” and the results you want in a place you can see them every day. Write the words “just start” on your goals sheet. Maybe make a separate sign and put it on the background on your phone. 

Have three or four key self-talk statements that anchor you. I know that’s a heavy concept.                                                                                                

The key is to just start. Have faith in your “why.”  Just starting will help you progress for the day.  Remember that progress can feel like the end of a bad basketball game with fouls, free throws, replays and timeouts.

If you’d like to learn a little more about motivation, check out this Ted Talk with Daniel Pink. It’s a classic. He also has several books you should check out.

Remember that starting leads to motivation – not the other way around.