Motivation is a key stipulation to becoming an athlete. Where does the motivation come from? How do you acquire the extreme drive and dedication required? To this there is no simple answer; no detailed, outlined step by step guide. You first have to have a goal or a vision. Then you have to somehow muster up the necessary energy to get your bum off the lounge and into action.
For the majority, the initial motivation usually comes from hitting your version of rock bottom. Maybe you can’t really play with your kids anymore because you are too winded after 2 minutes of a game of tag, or your favorite pair of jeans won’t go past your hips anymore, or you saw yourself on a home video and were shocked at your own image. Take that initial frustration, disgust or negativity and turn it into positive energy and get started. Rather than falling into depression, do something about it.
Write down a plan of action that coincides with your goals and do it day by day, week by week, month by month. If you are already in pretty decent shape and just want to be in the best shape you can, think of a sport or event you used to excel in. Pick something that you maybe once competed in and still have the medals or trophies in the cupboard to prove it. Apply that energy to propel your mind, soul and body into action and achieving your goals.
Even if your immediate goal is to lose a few kilo’s or get back into your “skinny clothes” or to look good for your special occasion coming up, set that goal on the back burner and use your primary goal as being the best athlete you can. Find a local contest, competition or a charity event as your motivation. If you can’t find one, challenge your workout partner or a friend to a serious, yet fun competition. Don’t make it “who can lose or gain the most weight in 3 months”.
Better yet, make it “who can improve their bench press the most”, a body weight squat challenge, a race, fun obstacle course, or some other form of a strength or endurance competition. Each one of our Club Managers at Taringa, Ashgrove & Lutwyche do challenge each other every week. So if you have a mental block, ask them!
Don’t allow negativity or excuses to set up mental or physical roadblocks. Athletes understand the importance of visualization and the power of positive thinking. This is absolutely essential and one aspect of training that many are hindered by. Even by training hard and consistently and eating properly, progress will be greatly hindered if negativity is involved in the equation.
Focus on your strengths and let them overcome your weaknesses. Start out every day thinking about what you can and will do and you will mentally set the stage for the rest of the day. Do this everyday and positive thinking will become an old habit.
Rest. Would an athlete stay out until 2:00 in the morning, then get up and train? Or worse yet, would they stay out until 2:00 in the morning, then not get up and train because they are too tired or hung over? A serious athlete would not, and neither should you.
Training. Training does not have to be difficult. Yes, physically it will not be a walk in the park, but it does not have to be technical. The simpler a training or workout program is, the more effective and the more likely one is to stick with it. Make sure you complete a proper warm up by first preparing the body for activity. The will increase the body’s temperature and adequately stretch the muscles before, during and/or after.
Go back to the roots of athleticism, sport and physical activity. Reprogram your brain and rid yourself of the current brainwashed stereotypes and beliefs about “working out” and attaining the perfect body.
Just do something!