In previous article, we looked at the Little Motivation From Xavier Thérien, and why its not as big of a problem as it might first seem. Now, lets look at how to increase our sources of stable motivation.
Every player who lacks motivation has a problem with their goals. Some of the most common problems with goals are solved by:
#1 Adding goals that are process-based, not only results-based
It’s OK to have a few results-based goals, such as beating a certain player, making a team, advancing to the next division or winning a tournament but they should not dominate your list of goals. The reason is that those goals depend of the performances of others. For example, you could improve a lot and still not advance to the next division because other players trained hard and improved as well, meaning you miss out and lose motivation by feeling your efforts have been for nothing.
Instead, it’s better to mostly set goals that can’t be interfered with by others, such as achieving a certain number of training hours per week or doing other supplementary work like stretching or gym sessions a certain number of times.
#2 Adding short term goals
If you only have a far off, long term goal, such as an annual tournament which could be as much as 12 months away, it can be easy to lose motivation when things go poorly, and can cause you to lose hope. Break such goals down into smaller, more manageable chunks so that setbacks, such as a tough loss, don’t affect you as much, and achieving each smaller goal can give you the motivation and confidence you need to continue to the next milestone.
#3 Removing high expectations
Players with high expectations often mistake something that should be a goal for them as something they should already be able to do, and lose motivation when they realize they can’t. High expectations can also lead to laziness because if you expect to be able to do something and you can’t, you often feel hopeless, and that no amount of training can improve the situation.
If this is the case for you, turn your ‘expectations’ that you haven’t actually achieved into goals, and remind yourself that goals require striving, not instant achievement with no effort.
Once you have stable motivation, there’s just one more hazard you need to look out for:
#4 Avoiding burnout
Burnout is actually caused by intense motivation, rather than too little, but the danger of burnout is that it can often be mistaken for low motivation. Highly motivated individuals are often more critical of themselves, thinking they’re lazy when in fact what they really need is time to rest their fatigued body and mind. Serious players should take at least one day off per week, and players who are planning a significant increase in their training time per week should do so gradually, rather than all at once.