Four Strategies that Increase Motivation in the Off-Season
Now that summer is here, it's time to plan your off-season training! Off-season training is where the good and great athletes differ. It's a sheer numbers game - the more hours you practice your technical skills, do conditioning, and weight lifting - the greater chance that you'll be a starter and beat your competition next season.
This is also true for mental training! Confidence is the number one factor in top performers. The more accountable you are to yourself and track progress towards your goals the greater confidence you will have in yourself.
In fact, working on your mental game during the off-season, will condition your mindset for when you are back at practice. It's time to build those good mental habits and make them automatic, now.
Recently, I worked with a mountain biker who really needed a plan to get through his off-season training. He was struggling to get excited about his 3-hour long rides to keep up with his national team competitors. He felt unproductive and wished he was doing anything else other than training. He signed up for our three-session package to get him back on track.
I wanted to share the top four things any athlete can do to stay motivated during the off-season.
Establish a schedule that you can commit to each week. Plan your week out and know when is the best time for you to workout. If it's really hot, wake up early and knock out your training before the rest of you day. Or make time before dinner to get in a good workout then savor your meal.
Workout your accountability muscle. Find a workout buddy to stay on track. Send a message to a friend after completing a workout. Keep track of your progress after each training. All of these things will naturally build your confidence in yourself!
Get psyched before your workout. There is nothing worse than saying to yourself, "I don't want to be here, it's too hot outside." That mentality is setting yourself up for failure. Create a music play list you love and rock it out before and during your workout. Tell yourself how fast you'll become with each training! Imagine yourself realizing your goals before each training.
Reframe your mindset about training. Notice if your thoughts are a barrier to your progress. Is there something you complain about before or during your workout? Are you making excuses to not show up? If so, ask yourself, what can I say to myself or do differently that will motivate me?" One of my Div. I athletes would say, "I know it's hard when I'm doing the work, but it's worth every minute - after I'm done, I feel amazing!"
Committing to your goals, being accountable and becoming more aware of your mindset towards training seems obvious and simple. It is so simple, people easily overlook these skills. If you do the simple things now, off-season training will become easier over time. Get out there and enjoy it!