How To Motivate Yourself To Train Harder And Achieve More
Are you an athlete that struggles with motivation? Does your lack of motivation hold you back from achieving your full potential? The truth is that athletes in all sports and all levels struggle with motivation. If you're working towards a long term goal, It can be difficult to stay motivated for a long period of time.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to stay motivated. I work with athletes from grassroots through to elite to help them understand how they can harness motivation, even at the most difficult times.
WHAT IS MOTIVATION?
Motivation can be described as the internal or external forces that drives behaviour. What do I mean by that? Well internal forces might be things like our thought processes or emotions. A simple example is thinking 'I need to go to the gym'. This might result in packing your kit bag and leaving the house.
If you compete in a club and your team mates decide to do extra fitness at the end of a session, you might join in. This is an example of an external force where the actions of other people drive your behaviour. Unfortunately, it's not always as simple as that!
Staying motivated in sport can be tough. Do you feel like you're just going through the motions at training? Have you lost enjoyment for your sport? Are you wishing the time away so you can reach your goal ASAP? If you've answered yes to any of these, you're definitely struggling with motivation. Don't worry though, it's easier than you think to get back on track.
WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY MOTIVATION?
The number one strategy for improving motivation is goal setting. No matter what sport you're competing in, or what you're training for, goals are essential. If you haven't got a robust plan for what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, this can lead to a lack of motivation.
GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE
Let's think about an athlete who is striving to make the 1st team in a sports club next season. They're doing everything right; going to training, competing in matches, giving 100%. Despite this effort, they've lost motivation, lost enjoyment and lost sight of the end goal.
Selection to the 1st team is what we call the Outcome Goal. How you get there and stay focussed is down to Process and Performance Goals. Process Goals = things that the athlete is doing / going to do on a daily / weekly / monthly basis e.g. club training, fitness training, adequate nutrition. Performance Goals = measurable improvements e.g. fitness statistics (better speed, improved strength), improved techniques.
When you fully commit to your Process Goals and see the improvements in your Performance Goals, that's motivational! Get the Process and Performance right and the Outcome should look after itself.
INK IT DON'T THINK IT
Write your goals down and keep them visible is my number one piece of advice on this topic. This is a sure fire way to stay on track with what you want to achieve and stay motivated on a daily basis. Research suggests that writing your goals down can improve your chances of achieving them by as much as 33% so what are you waiting for?
If you feel that you want more help with getting motivation back on track, get in touch. I run a One to One workshop on 'Managing Motivation in Sport'. This session takes a deep dive into the topic and gives more practical solutions to your specific situation. I also run a One to One workshop on 'Effective Goal Setting in Sport' if you need support with this.