“Kids don’t shoot free throws and expect to make it to the NBA the next year.”
– Four-time CrossFit Games champion, Rich Froning, when asked about athletes rushing the training process
Basically, what he’s getting at, is that training takes time. One common mistake athletes make is that they try to rush the process and end up doing too much too soon.
We all have those periods of time when training motivation is low. When it’s really low you might even question why you do what you do.
If you’re a competitor, this lack of motivation usually occurs during your off-season.
Below are some tips to keeping the fire lit and staying motivated with your training:
Revisit Your “Why”
This is a huge factor when athletes lose motivation. The void that is felt when a long training cycle ends is very real and is certainly something that have felt before. One thing that re-sparked my joy for training was practicing daily acts of gratitude and telling myself that I get to train.. and not that I have to. Learning to enjoy the journey that is training rather than the destination will aid you in centering your focus and bringing more fulfilment to your life.
Don’t Forget the Fundamentals
Frustration can also lead to burnout. For example, if you have been trying to get that elusive ring muscle-up for months (maybe years) and still haven’t achieved this skill, this can lead to feeling deflated and eventually a loss of motivation. If this sounds like you, I would suggest that you take a step back to focus on the basics. Ask yourself these questions: Are you strong enough to achieve the positions required? Can you successfully perform strict chest-to-bar pull-ups? Do you have adequate scapular stability to control yourself on top of the rings? If not, then focus on these for a bit. Once you have achieved these prerequisites, then you can try that muscle-up again. This is just one general example. But you get the idea. Training is fluid and there is always something to get better at!
Trust the Process
Fitness takes time. It may seem like Mat Fraser went from a newcomer on the scene to practically unbeatable overnight. But that is far from the truth. He has said in many interviews that his extensive weightlifting background helped him tremendously during his transition to competitive fitness. If you are like me, as well as the majority of the population, you were probably not a specialist growing up and have more areas in your fitness that need improvement. This will take time. The methods that lead you to your first 225# back squat are not the same ones that will lead you to 450#. Patience is key when sticking to a program and working towards a specific goal.
Ask For Help
One book you must read this year is Mastery by Robert Greene. A key point he emphasizes is that you will make progress much faster if you ask a mentor or coach to guide you.
If you are struggling with a movement or have any general questions in regards to training…ask a coach! That is literally their job! Asking for help will not only strengthen your relationship with your coach, but it will also make you much more efficient with your time in the gym. Do you really enjoy doing random exercises you found on the internet? Or would you rather have an experienced coach prescribe you the exact exercises you should be doing based on their in-person assessment of you as an athlete?
Put It Out to the Universe
One easy way to stay motivated is to tell your friends and family what your goals are. It may seem super simple, but it is something that is often overlooked. When telling them, be sure to mention how you plan to achieve that goal and give yourself a timeline. The SMART goal outline is a solid place to start. Sharing your goals with others will keep you accountable and strengthen your support system.
I hope this information serves of some value to your and/or your clients.
Now go out there and crush it!