The life and sports performance of an athlete is much like that of a business cycle, with its highs and lows. during a high, you’re fit and in form, everyone loves you and you feel as if you could conquer the world. That’s where everyone wants to be. In order to achieve your goals, being fit, maintaining your form, and perseverance are absolutely vital. The desire and motivation to improve your performances can be seen as the driving force in becoming a successful sportsman. Motivation is everything.
When you’re ‘in a low’ it can feel as if your entire world is caving in, like nothing is going your way. Whether it’s a lack of form or fatigue setting in, it destroys your morale , which can have a huge effect on your success. When you feel this way, it can, at times, prove impossible to think that there’s a dawn on the horizon.
One of the most important factors here is having the self-awareness to catch yourself dipping early. Do you know the first sign of you dipping in mood or performance or interpersonal relationships? Maybe you don’t show up in work or on the pitch as you normally do and you avoid people or situations? In order to stay motivated the key thing is to catch yourself early when you are dipping and be pro-active with coping strategies to pull yourself back up to a good performance level.
So, how do you stay motivated when it feels like you’re underperforming? How does one dig deep in moments of uncertainty and disdain? How do you pick yourself up out of a rut when there are mountains of external pressure surrounding you?
There are several suggestions to help you get through these moments, and we’re going to touch on a few below:
Power of thought is crucial. There are many ways to maintain a positive mindset, especially when the going gets tough:
These can be close friends, family, your trainer, teammates, etc. Just make sure to separate yourself from people that dwell on the negatives, whether it be in their life or yours. You can surround yourself with one of two people:
What’s more, it’s about being able to experience other things apart from the one thing that gains most of your focus. For example, an elite sports professional who volunteers at his local charity.
It’s about being grateful for where you are and practicing some gratitude work every morning – a suggestion is to become aware of or write down the things in your life that you feel grateful for. The small things.
Whether it’s reading motivational books, blogs and articles or watching positive documentaries – or even watching footage of your positive performances in the past.
Focus your energy on things that uplift you. It’s all in the mind. If you continuously see yourself succeeding, coupled with hard work and determination, it will come.
It’s also key to know your strengths. If you don’t, we recommend you do some work reflecting on what your top 3 strengths in your role are and what your top 3 strengths as a human being are. It’s key to know these and be able to recall them when needed to boost confidence and motivation.
As Roy T. Bennet said: “Keep Going. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.”
Think back to a time or a moment when the sport you do made you feel alive. It could be months since you felt that feeling, or it could have been just the other day. Visualise and dwell on exactly what those feelings were. What were they? As a suggestion, write them down, put them up on a board, your wall, your cupboard to keep reminding yourself of how great it felt to be in that position.
Remind yourself of why you do what you do in the first place. What makes you get up in the morning? You may have been born with desire built into your DNA or you have set yourself a goal that too desirable not to achieve.
You need to think about what your life would be like if you hadn’t been so set on your goals? Possibly in an unmotivated and lazy state? The goals you set will become your purpose, giving you the will to keep striving.
It’s so important to know your ‘why’. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What’s the ultimate outcome of you doing what you do? Have a look at Simon Sinek’s YouTube video on ‘Start with why – short TED talk version’.
Your determination has brought this far, whether it be where you want to be at this current moment or not, you are where you are. . No one knows your journey better than you do, so don’t lie to yourself. Let the place you’re in be the inspiration to motivate you to be better and edge you closer and closer to your goals.
When striving for success, remember one thing; don’t pay attention to the doubters, because that’s all they are. Doubters, nothing more.
Whether you’ve picked up a slight knock or you’re feeling a little burnt out, the key is to keep your head in the game, whether you can keep going or not. Don’t allow negative thoughts to cloud your mind.
Just because you might not be yourself lately, it doesn’t mean you should change your thought process. The timeline might shift, but the end goal is the same.
A key concept here is around adopting an ‘accepting’ and ‘non-judgemental’ attitude to yourself. We all have doubts and fears. They are completely normal The top performers have an ability to accept their doubts, to not dwell on them, and to move forward to a more positive outlook coupled with a positive action.
A really key point is to keep doing small things that will add up to get you closer to your goal. We love the saying that ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions!’ – turn positive thoughts into actions.
During a slump, experimenting could potentially cause major problems. Stick to the basics and maintain your training programme. Stick to the things you know, the better you get at them, the more confident you’ll become.
Your coach will most likely tell you the same thing. Carry on with the same exercise and training routines. The form will come, just stay fit and remain focused on your process – the outcome will take care of itself. Stay in the present and focus on things you do day to day that are crucial to keep edging to your goal. .
Whatever you do, don’t change the way you eat. Nutrition is paramount when it comes to keeping healthy. When we change our diet, our bodies take time to adapt and this can have a negative effect on our overall performance and energy levels. Additionally, keep the same sleeping patterns and get between 7-9 hours a day.
If you’re looking for someone to help motivate you to stay mentally strong and confident, visit our website. We’re here to help.