Motivation in Sport & Exercise
Motivation is a massive factor in sporting and athletic accomplishment. Without any desire or motivation to succeed in your sport, all other factors such as intensity, focus, confidence and your emotions, mean absolutely nothing.
The reason motivation is so important is due to the fact it is the only component of your sports performance that you have complete control over. The other deciding factors determining how you will perform are your ability, including physical and technical attributes, and also your mental capabilities. Because an ability is mostly something you are born with, the majority of the time it is out of your control.
Another factor is the difficulty of the competition which can influence performance. Contributing to this are the ability of the opponent and also external factors such as the opposing fans and the weather. These can all contribute to motivation in differing ways.
Motivation definitely impacts your performance. If you are highly motivated to improve your performance, then you are more likely to put in the time and effort to practice your skills and improve your game. If you’re competing against someone who has a similar level of ability to you, motivation will play a key deciding factor as to who come out victorious.
Pushing the barriers
There comes a certain point in an athletes life, when training for a competition or event for example, where they do not enjoy their training as much. This is commonly known as ‘the grind’. This is where your training really counts. Your mind is telling your body that you can’t carry on, but those with high motivation will push through, and ultimately yield great results from it. The best and most successful athletes accept the grind for what it is on their path to greatness.
Goal setting is a great motivational tool that gives you a target to achieve in a certain period of time. It is common place for athletes and sports men to set goals to increase motivation, and aid their motivation levels if they drop during ‘the grind’ as I mentioned in the above paragraph. If you are truly motivated to be successful, you need to make sure you are doing everything required to reach your goal/s.
A decrease in motivation is also quite common for people who have been training and working hard towards their goal. Signs of low motivation include:
- Shortening or even skipping a training session
- A lack of desire to practice and train
- Not putting in 100% effort into practice
Prime motivation means putting 100% effort into your training, practices and performance. You need to ensure you are fully focused, put all your energy and effort into your training for prime motivation. This is when the best results are archived and success is forthcoming.
How to develop Prime Motivation
To start developing prime motivation, you first need to set long term goals, and focus on them sharply. Whilst aiming to achieve your goals, there will be times when the grind gets tough. When this occurs, really streamline in and focus on your long term goals, and visualise how great it will feel when you finally achieve it. Remind yourself why you are doing this, and that will spur you onto the next level. Think about inspirational feelings of achieving your goal, and this will help you forget about the grind and push through that barrier.
Gain a training partner
If you train on your own all the time, motivation can become difficult after a period of time. There will be days where you feel like you cant do it, and as you are on your own, there is nobody to help you through it. By having a training partner not only can you enjoy their company while training, but you can also push each other, and importantly there is another person to be held accountable for. If you feel like skipping a training session, it is a lot more difficult to do so if there is somebody you are going to be letting down. This is a great way of preventing skipping a workout.
Like I mentioned above, goal setting is crucial to motivation. Without goals you are just training for the sake of it, and your progression will stall. Make sure you set a long term goal, but also weekly goals to help you through your training schedule. Every time you reach a weekly goal, you know you are 1 step closer to your ultimate goal, and this provides a great motivational boost.
In summary, to motivate yourself correctly there are a number of factors. By using the information above and believing you are capable of achieving your long term goal, I guarantee you will stay highly motivated throughout your workout schedule, and even throughout your lifetime. So lets get to it. Stay Strong guys!!