The wrong attitude can take away your enthusiasm for training. So, how do you stay motivated to train without distractions when your mood is getting in the way?
Here are 10 proven techniques, in no specific order, to keep in mind every day to achieve positive long term results from training:
1. Overcome Distracting Thoughts. You have chores to be completed at home, maybe pending homework from school, and other things that may be sources of distracting thoughts during your workouts. Remind yourself of your conviction to become a better athlete and how precious training time is to reach that goal. You will have plenty of time to return to distractions when training is over. It will be really helpful to organize your daily activities, and when the training hour comes, just put your mind and body fully into it. You’ll see that there is time for everything, if disciplined.
2. Pay Attention To Your Body. Are you feeling fatigued, stiff, tense, lethargic or restless? Perhaps you are training too hard and need to cut back a little. Or perhaps you need to increase your stretching time, (see the importance of Stretching). Also, your body may be sending signals about other lifestyle concerns that need attention, in example: poor nutrition or not enough rest. Listen carefully and adjust accordingly, but don’t give up on your commitment to stay on track with your training program.
3. Visualize Your Success. Imagine how you will feel after fulfilling your training commitment for the day, for the month, or the entire season. Envision yourself handling the ball without turnovers and doubling your point production. Dream that you are in your optimal physical condition, playing in the NBA or at the Olympic Games. Even envision yourself playing against, or along the best players in the world, say Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, etc.
4. Combat Laziness. You can become what you want if you get up and do it. Stop listening to the little voices in your head telling you that you are slow, that you are not good enough, that you have tried everything without improvement, that training is hard and boring, that you will enjoy the time better if you stay at home in front of the TV. Do not follow, they’re all lies. You’ll be amazed of how much you can achieve just by beating laziness.
5. Do it and enjoy it. There is a way to train with exhausting effort and still enjoy it. You are there because you like the sport in the first place, so you might as well decide to enjoy it. It takes a positive attitude to do what you like and like what you do. Also, you can speak up to your coach and let her or him know about how you think the practice could become more enjoyable and fun.
6. Examine Your Plateau. Ask yourself: “What is stopping me to continue growing as an athlete?” “What needs to change for me to feel good about my progress?” Clarify the gap between what you are experiencing and what you want to experience, set goals and then make the changes. Sometimes something as simple as getting a crisp new uniform boosts your enthusiasm. A good idea is to buy a book or piece of training equipment that you have been interested in; it will surely motivate you.
7. Shake Up Your Routine. I am pretty sure your coach will organize the training course to make it as diverse, complete and fun as possible. Try not to miss a class, but if you have to, get back on track as soon as possible. If you have the opportunity, enter a summer camp in your community where you will make new friends and learn new techniques. Allan Stein of Stronger team runs an excellent training program during the whole year. He also promotes great training products in his stronger team website.
8. Integrate with your team. You’ll learn that making good relationships in life is vital to any successful enterprise. The same applies to a basketball team. The team will be successful when all of its players come together. Getting to know your teammates on the court and off the court could be really motivating, especially when you celebrate victories together. Stay in touch with your teammates and schedule practice games with them whenever possible. Always get along with everyone!
9. Know the benefits. The practice of a sport greatly impacts your physical ability, reduces the risk of diseases, relieves stress, increases your energy level, improves your appearance, builds your character, and reinforces your mind. Remind yourself that positive habits are created one choice at a time. Chose to train and make it a habit. Even if you choose not to, or could not train today, make a commitment to get back on track tomorrow, no matter what.
10. Reinforce Your Training Values. Spend 20 minutes writing down the reasons why staying on track with your training program is important to you and why you cannot quit now. Read your notes frequently. Choose to stay committed, to stay dedicated, not because you have to, but because you want to! If your goal is to become the best player, commit to it. Let your coach know. Sometimes making the commitment to someone else is a strong motivator because you don’t want to let the other person think that you are a quitter. Remember to make it to starting lineup you have to make a decision. A wish changes nothing. But a decision changes everything!
“The body achieves what the mind believes.”