It's time to look at Force Number 2 of our 5 Forces of Mental Mastery
Motivation and Commitment.
A huge amount of hard work is required to reach the top of your sport and be the best you can be. There is no way around that. It takes an incredible amount of effort, coaching and the proper focus to achieve your goals in sports.
Motivation and commitment towards your sport and those goals, is what will drive you closer and keep you moving forward as you face the ups and downs during the process.
Your drive and motivation is what gets you going. Its that energy you feel when you are ready to get started, rolling forward with your goals in sports. Getting started is often times the hardest thing to do and that is where the drive and motivation component are absolutely essential.
Commitment is the single item that keeps you going. It means you have the fortitude and focus to keep moving forward in the direction of your goals. Even when it gets hard, even when you don’t want to go through the push, commitment is what steps up and take you through the task. Remember your why, that is the reason you commit and that is the reason you will find your how you will accomplish you goal.
Why is it so important to have the proper motivation and commitment? There are some days you just don’t feel like pushing through. You may be having a bad day, something may have come up, you may feel like you have other things to do. Those days come, it does to everyone in sports. It is part of human behavior and this is where athletes suffer most to being conquered. Remember our focus is to be UNCONQUERABLE.
It is motivation and commitment that get you past these hurdles. Despite the setback, or things getting in the way that particular day, or just not feeling it, it is motivation, drive and commitment that will make you step up to the plate and get the work done needed to get one step closer to your goal.
I want to take a look at some costly Myths and Mistakes about motivation and commitment that are common with athletes
MYTH 1. Motivation begins before you even get started.
One of the most surprising things about commitment and motivation is that it does not appear magically prior to you starting something. It actually comes after you begin. It is common to think otherwise. Athletes love to read a motivation quote, or watch a inspiring video on YouTube, but that is not where motivation begins, it begins after the task has been started.
Now that’s not saying it cant be motivating to watch a video, or pull inspiration from a quote at the right time. However, the “moment” that is active is far more powerful of a motivator.
Action is what leads to motivation. Remember, objects tend to travel much further once they have started their motion and that’s no different than being an athlete. Once you have begun a task, it is much easier and motivating to keep moving forward and keep doing the action that is leading you to your goals.
You don’t really need a ton of motivation to begin something. Motivation is something you need to keep pushing, to keep in the gym, to get you up when your down and to keep the end goal in mind. These things start when you are deep into the process. It is much easier to often times finish a task then it is to begin it.
MYTH 2. If I write my goals down, they will come true.
Although writing down your goals is a powerful tool, it is not just that simple.
I have worked with athletes and clients that have mapped out and planned their entire goal strategy on paper, yet never accomplish it, yet alone get it off the ground.
Again, writing down your goals is important, but there is far more action required after that. Writing them down doesn’t mean you will succeed and get to your goals, if only it was that simple. Writing down your goals is a great way to start to travel down the path and map out what may need to be done, however there is a ways to go still.
MYTH 3. If you visualize your goal, it will come.
Not quite. I believe visualization to be an incredible tool, but for the purpose of accomplishing your goals, it is not going to get you there alone.
You have to be very careful with visualization. I see lots of people visualize success and that’s all they do. They think about it, visualize what life will be like with their success and accomplishments but never get around to really practicing what it takes to reach their goals.
It is unreal thinking to imagine success and that visualizing success will make it happen. It will actually do the opposite and make it harder to reach your goals if that is all you do.
I see a lot of people spend way to much time fantasizing about success and goals. This is part of the journey, but this is not the only part, not by far, you have to go through struggle, pain and effort through your journey, simply visualizing it will not make it happen.
Assessing Your Motivation and Commitment
Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself regarding your Motivation and Commitment. I want you to answer the following questions to help you get a clearer picture of why your in your sport and moreover keep these answers close to you as it often helps the most when you may struggle at times with the Motivation and Commitment aspect of your sport.
Each athlete is different when it comes to Motivation and Commitment. Some have no issues at all with it, some struggle everyday with it. It is important to look at your answers above and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. That will make it easier especially on the days that you just don't feel like it!