3 Ways ELITE Athletes STAY Motivated

5th January 2024
Read time: 2 mins 20 secs

Did you know only 9% of people keep their new years resolutions?

I couldn’t figure out whether I was surprised or not, but I figured it’s probably about right.

Why is it that people struggle so badly?

I can take a guess that it’s old habits creeping in, they hit a setback, lack discipline or don’t see the progress they wanted.

Yet most of the time I’m hearing it’s to do with motivation – a lack of it.

While discipline is what you need to maintain your behaviours, motivation will get you started.

And so here are 3 ways the very top athletes will stay motivated this year and stay on track with their goals.

1. Dedication

This might seem obvious that you need to be dedicated to your goals and behaviour, but this type of dedication I’m talk about is dedicating to something bigger than yourself.

This could be a person, lost loved one, a community, a cause, a religion.

Kevin Sinfield recently completed yet another endurance feat in aid of his former Leeds teammate Rob Burrows, who has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Kevins motivation to do the training and events themselves comes from a purpose greater than himself, his good mate Rob and the charity he raises funds for.

Former guest on the podcast Dan Jansen (with one of the most incredible stories in sport), won olympic gold after many failed attempts dedicating his race to his late sister.

The recent back-to-back world cup winning Springboks, dedicate their wins to the people of South Africa, a cause greater than just the men on the field.

Dedication helps us stay motivated in pursuit of a goal or dream because we are making it about more than just us.

We get to ask questions like: What would they do in this situation? What would they want me to do?

Think who, or what, you can dedicate achieving your goals towards.

2. Intrinsic Motivators

Winning is great, but it’s not guaranteed.
Praise is great, but we don’t always receive it.
Progress is great, but we don’t always see it every day.

So how do we stay motivated when these aren’t happening?

We look for intrinsic motivators.

If we places our motivation on the extrinsic (recognition from others, results, outcomes, awards, status, money) we open up the possibility of disappointment as they aren’t guaranteed, nor in our control.

But intrinsic motivators are, intrinsic motivators are the reasons we do what we do because we love doing it. This could be motivators such as, enjoying the process of getting better, building relationships, living by your values to name a few.

Look for reasons to stay motivated away from the extrinsic, look intrinsically, because when things aren’t going how you would like and you can’t control it.

Your intrinsic motivators are fully in your control.

Onto our final and perhaps surprising one…

3. Harness others success

Comparison to others robs us of our motivation.

While many people will look towards others success and feel inadequate, the truly elite look at others success and become motivated by what they’re doing.

They study how they are doing it and see if there’s anything they can do.

For me this is how I work. When I see someone doing well, I think “Wow, how are they doing that and can I do that?” – the answer is usually yes.

Look at those you see having success and instead of seeing your inadequacy, resentment, jealousy – see motivation.

Whenever you're ready, there is a couple of ways I can help you:

MindStrong Sport App – Mental Skills Training for Athletes

Personal Mindset Coaching - Contact for more

About the Newsletter

Join and get at least one actionable idea for developing mindset, wellbeing and more.

    Connect with me

    Recent Posts