5 Tips for Athletes to Stay Motivated a Year into the Pandemic
Over the past year, one of the most challenging parts of dealing with the pandemic has been staying motivated, especially when our seasons have been cancelled. It is understandable and normal to feel this way and our team at MyHuddle wants to help you find and keep your motivation. Here are 5 tips backed by research on how student-athletes can stay motivated as we hit a year into the COVID pandemic.
Tip 1: Reconnect to Your Why
Reconnecting to your why means remembering why you want to do what you do, why you play your sport, and why you want to improve. Once you reconnect to your why, you become more willing to actually set goals and work towards reaching them. Your “why” might be because you enjoy your sport, you want to play in college, or even that you want to get a starting position. It is personal to you and the most important thing is being able to articulate it for yourself. For extra motivation, you can write the “whys” down and put them somewhere that you can be reminded daily about them (Schmidt).
Tip 2: Set a Goal
Whether it is a big or small goal, setting a goal will give you something to work towards and a path to follow. Goal-setting is a process! You need to first figure out what goal you are trying to reach. Then, think of the steps you need to reach that goal, so you can make a tangible plan. Also, it is important to think of possible obstacles to your goal and prepare for how you’ll overcome them. If you would like a more structured way to goal-set, read our blog post about how to create a goal ladder.
Tip 3: Find an Accountability Partner
A third tip for staying motivated is to find an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone you can talk to about your progress and if you are struggling, they can help support you to overcome the obstacles. Your accountability partner can be anyone: a friend, family member, a teammate, or even one of our MyHuddle coaches. During this pandemic, it has been difficult for athletes to stay connected to teammates and coaches who often serve as our built-in accountability partners. See if you can use this time to build additional accountability partners in your daily life such as a friend or family member (Finkelstein).
Tip 4: Take Care of Yourself
This tip is one of the most important. Taking care of yourself will allow you to focus on other things, like your goals, school, work, and life in general. Taking care of yourself involves: getting enough sleep; exercising regularly; minimizing your electronic use when possible; drinking plenty of water; and eating a balanced, moderated, variety diet. It is important to check-in with yourself at least once a day to make sure you are okay. If you check-in with yourself and something feels off, make sure to take a break and do what you have to so you feel better. If you’re still not feeling better, talk to a family member or a friend or seek additional counsel.
Tip 5: Remember - Perfection is Just an Ideal
You do not have to be perfect and you especially do not need to be perfect at every moment of every day. Just being okay is okay and just trying is okay. This pandemic has challenged so many of us so do not be too hard on yourself. Any improvement is important to honor and staying motivated to get better is what will set you apart.
We have gone over 5 tips on staying motivated as we hit a year into the pandemic. Reconnecting with your why, setting goals, finding an accountability partner, taking care of yourself, and remembering that perfection is just an ideal. If you’d like to learn more about how to stay motivated during the pandemic and after, MyHuddle coaches are standing by and excited to work with you. Click here to get started or text 424-352-0003.
AASP Blog. (March 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic: Tips for athletes, coaches, parents, and the sport community. https://appliedsportpsych.org/blog/2020/03/the-covid-19-pandemic-tips-for-athletes-coaches-parents-and-the-sport-community/
Finkelstein, D. (June 2020). Why should you have an accountability partner? Linkedin. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-should-you-have-accountability-partner-darren-finkelstein/
McKnight, J. (November 2020). Sports confessional: What keeps athletes motivated during COVID-19? The Fulcrum. https://thefulcrum.ca/sports/sports-confessional-what-keeps-athletes-motivated-during-covid-19/
Samuel, R.D., Tenenbaum, G., & Galily, Y. (September 2020). The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic as a change-event in sport performers’ careers: Conceptual and applied practice considerations. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.
Schmidt, K. (February 2020). Why this is the time to create (or reconnect) with your personal vision statement. Forbes Coaches Council. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/02/05/why-this-is-the-time-to-create-or-reconnect-with-your-personal-vision-statement/?sh=119c09d55e5e