As a coach, we often see athletes who go through the motions of a workout. They might be resting too long between sets or not adequately warming up prior to a workout. Is it laziness? Maybe. A more likely answer is that an athlete is lacking motivation or purpose. Whether you’re preparing for another season at the professional level or starting a new sport at a young age, the training you do off the field or court should be done with purpose and with a goal in mind.
Whether your goal is to get faster, stronger, more powerful, build muscle or lose weight, you must start to mentally “bridge the gap” between your current state and your desired state. The clearer that path is, the more internal motivation an athlete can generate. If your path is not clear, ask how to clarify it. Coaches are as much a part of the mental process as they are about the X’s and O’s. When performing a prescribed exercise, ask why. Knowledge is a great tool to achieving a goal.
Of course, there are days where that path seems a bit muddier and this is where external motivators become important. Surrounding yourself with others who may have similar goals can be a powerful motivator, especially on a day where you might feel tired or stressed. Other helpful motivators could be a coach or trainer, or even something as simple as changing up the music you play while you’re exercising.
As an athlete, you should always be hungry for anything and everything that will help you achieve your goal. If you find yourself struggling to stay on task and push yourself through your workout, take a second and create a goal or two for yourself. The more specific the goal, the clearer the path will be. Remind yourself of that goal while you’re working out. Ask your coach or trainer questions. Be a student. Educate yourself on why you’re doing what you’re doing and how it relates to the achievement of your goal. If the path isn’t so clear, draw energy from those around you, allow yourself to be pushed and know that you’re not alone in the everyday grind that is required to achieve goals.