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Mental Training for Athletes and Motivation

I think you all understand the importance of motivation and its role within the mental training of athletes. However, often the problem is not in understanding the importance but how to sustain it. How to keep the motivation going. This can definitely be tough, and not always straight forward. In one sense no one can instill motivation in someone else, so it ultimately does have to come from them. However, you can help guide someone to create the framework to help them pull it out of themselves and understand what they need for their own motivation.

There are three aspects we can look at when helping someone to sustain their motivation. The first is having a strong purpose. This is very important. To have meaning and purpose in your life helps direct us, and give us move through the rough moments that are going to happen. You can look at some of the most difficult selection processes, such as the Navy Seals, and see that those with a strong purpose have a better chance of getting through it. When we look at purpose, yes it is good to reflect on why you are doing something in the big picture, but it doesn’t have to be that big in order to help us with our motivation. Sometimes it is our inability to see the point or meaning in a singular task that hinders our motivation to do it. You have a choice as to the attitude you bring to each thing you do. If you find a purpose behind it, it is more likely going to give you the motivation to do it.

The next part of the equation is energy. This is simply the energy has a human being you have. This comes from sleep, the food we eat, managing our mental energy and physical energy. Are you recovering in the manner in which you need to in order to recharge the battery so you can go out again tomorrow and do it all over again and give everything you have. We need energy in order to do the things we need to do. You all know how much more difficult it is to do something when you are tired.

The third part is taking small simple steps. Often we try and take steps that are too big, and either we fail or it looks to overwhelming and we feel what we are trying to do is too big. Forward progress, is forward progress, it doesn’t matter how big that progress is. If something moves you towards what you are trying to do, then it is important. Each day find something small you can do that moves you towards what you are looking to accomplish. The small simple steps are key and often overlooked.

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Kate Allgood
Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction)
Masters General Psychology (with distinction)
Sports Hypnosis Certification
Muscle Activation Techniques Certification

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