Motivation is one of the most important and most frequently discussed topics in athletics. Coaches and parents wonder why athletes aren’t as motivated as they’d like, and athletes see their own motivation fall and wonder why. In this chapter, we explore the ins and outs of motivation.
We start by debunking some common myths about motivation — sometimes you get a better sense of what something is by finding out what it isn’t. Then we introduce you to the two types of motivation: internal and external. We help you assess your current level of motivation. (Motivation levels aren’t static — they rise and fall over time.) Then we give you some specific strategies for increasing your motivation, and warn you about some situations that can wreak havoc on your motivation.
Throughout your athletic career, your motivation will change. But one thing can remain constant: your ability to measure your motivation, increase it when you need to, and respond to the situations that make your motivation wane. Motivation has been studied and discussed for decades, but myths about motivation persist. In this section, we fill you in on some of the most common of these myths and explain why they’re just not true. When you know what motivation is and isn’t, you’ll be better able to reach your full potential as an athlete, using motivation as a tool.