When I first started coaching, I would go and chat with one of the veteran coaches in the office…just to soak up whatever knowledge he was willing to share with me. He’d been coaching for over thirty years and I was in year two. Quite honestly, I wondered how he stayed so fired up about the profession. But he was…there was a glint in his eye that I’m sure hadn’t lost its luster in the entire thirty years he’d been on the sideline.
Of course, whenever I asked that very question, he would brush me off with a (not altogether untrue) joke. “If you’re not scared to death of losing”, he’d say with a smirk, “then you’re in the wrong profession.”
While I’m sure some measure of his motivation came from fear of failure, I’d guess the bulk of it came from tried and true ways to stay motivated. Inc.com had a great article about this, 14 Easy Ways to Get Insanely Motivated, it’s a quick read…check it out.
14 ways to stay motivated
Condition your mind. Staying positive is huge. We’ve got plenty of opponents who are trying to defeat us…let’s not defeat ourselves too!
Condition your body. Staying healthy, eating right, working out…those are hard to do when we’re in season. But we’ve got to try our best to take care of ourselves so that we can be available and energetic for our teams.
Avoid negative people. If our heart sinks a little when we see someone coming, perhaps they’re negative. Or if during lunch, we spend the entire time trying to pick someone else up (and they’re still grumpy), we might have to cut our losses and limit our time with those Negative Nellies.
Seek out the similarly motivated. These are the people we can bounce ideas off of and they keep us fired up about what we do.
Have plans, but remain flexible. We may think we know how we’re going to accomplish our goals, but staying flexible will keep us from getting down when things don’t work out how we thought they would.
Act with a higher purpose. What’s your coaching philosophy? If we do things that go against our philosophy, it will be pretty hard to be motivated.
Take responsibility for your own results. How can we stay motivated if our success (or failure) is outside of our control? When things are within our control, we feel that we have power over the situation. And when we feel we have power, we can stay motivated.
Stretch past your limits on a daily basis. For me, it’s been committing to reading and writing about my profession every day. What will it be for you?
Don’t wait for perfection, do it now! Perfection is unattainable, so if that’s what we’re waiting for…we’re going to be waiting for a long time.
Celebrate your failures. When we see failure as a necessary step to success, we’re more willing to own our failures…and hopefully learn from them.
Don’t take success too seriously. Sport is fickle. We can beat the best team in conference one night and be feeling on top of the world…only to lose to a bottom dweller the next time out.
Avoid weak goals. Weak goals start with “I’ll try to” or “I hope to”. Strong goals begin with “I will”. They are specific and have a deadline to them.
Treat inaction as the only real failure. My motto: less talk, more do.
Think before you speak. Don’t become the Negative Nelson that everyone else is avoiding in the office. Stay positive, stay upbeat, stay motivated.
Not many professions have to live out their successes and failures in the public eye like athletics, which can make it hard to stay motivated sometimes. Use these tips to get and stay motivated to guide your team to success.