Whether your athletic goal is to make the team, be the MVP, become more dominant in the paint, or own the arm that leads your team to a title, natural talent won’t get you there. Determination and being goal-oriented will. That being said, even the most dedicated athlete can suffer from motivation depletion. When that happens, the tips below can help you bounce back and crush your WOD, practice, or training session …
#1. Don’t Wait For Inspiration
Finding the oomph to get up and moving can also jump start motivation. Research published in Psychological Inquiry found that passive people who wait for an action or a cue to “ feel good” — in our case, in the mindset to train — might continue to wait for something that never arrives. The takeaway: don’t wait. Because once you overcome the initial inertia and stress, odds are high that you’ll start to settle into a groove.
#2. Don’t Be So Tough On Yourself
Use it or lose it right? Not in this case. Studies show that the more you rely on willpower, the less of it you’ll have. Think of it like a fuel tank — once you’ve used what’s in the cache, you have to replenish it. So it pays not to use what’s in the tank on frivolous things. While the research, which was published by Psychology Today, claims you’re likely to be more motivated just after waking because you’ve spent all night replenishing your willpower, make a determination for yourself as to when you’re most likely to stick to a plan. It could be midday, after lunch, at night, etc. Once you decide on that time, only divert from that schedule when absolutely necessary.
#3. Reward Yourself
Set small rewards for yourself as you get closer to your end game. According to a study from USC Marshall School of Business, doing so motivates people to work harder and remain dedicated to completing a goal.
#4. Do What You Do Well
If it’s a day you’re slated to train legs and your workout is filled with exercises you don’t perform well with — Romanian deadlifts or sumo squats, for example — find replacement exercises that hit the same muscle groups but you do feel as though you perform well. Researchers have found that if you feel like you’re good at something most of the time, you’ll be more motivated to do it. Granted, you can’t do this all of the time or it becomes a crutch and potentially limits your growth (both physically as well as mentally), so keep it reserved for days when you’re motivation is in the gutter.
#5. Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
If you’re a professional athlete, this one’s a given (plus, you’re going to be held accountable to show up to practice and strength and conditioning sessions, so you’ve got no choice). For the rest of us, feeling like we’re part of something more, or a piece to a larger puzzle, can keep us connected to achieving a goal. A study out of Stanford University found that people who feel like they’re part of something bigger are more motivated than when they’re individually striving to achieve something. Consider a group fitness class, competitive rec. sports league, or start your own group via Meetup.org.
#6. Energize Your Body
The body follows the mind. So when your mind wants to train but your body’s lagging, mix up P4’s workout supplements Pre Game or Energy. Both products are NSF Certified for Sport and banned-substance-free, but each potent supplement has been uniquely formulated to provide maximum energy in different ways. Pre Game features caffeine, beta-alanine and creatine — three amazing ingredients that combine for a mega perk as well as aids to endurance and power. Energy features caffeine, green and white tea extract, taurine, and a carb loader to support lasting energy and focus; though it lacks beta-alanine, which is an extremely helpful supplement for avoiding fatigue, it is also what’s responsible for the “ tingle” some people experience. Either way, it’s preference; both supplements are high-quality and effective full-body energizers.