Practices are canceled. The season has been ended. There are almost no competitions in the near future to look forward to. So what is there to keep athletes motivated?
In these strange times, athletes must learn to keep up their fitness and motivation for their sport without actually participating in it.
As a lifelong athlete myself, I can attribute to how strange this feeling is. My whole life, I have had a set practice schedule to stick to and a coach to tell me what I need to do. Now, sitting at home all day, I have had to figure out how I can still keep up this vital part of my life, without leaving the house.
I believe this feeling of uncertainty is something many athletes can relate to, so I have come up with some ways that have helped me stay motivated.
Set a goal for yourself
Think about what you would do in a typical practice. If you usually have a conditioning set, then try to do as much of that as you can in your own house. Or, use this opportunity to try something new and lookup a new style of workouts. Either way, have a physical list of what you want to accomplish (even if it is just one thing) so that you have some direction and know what you will do to reach your goal.
No matter what sport you play, there is usually some reward for your actions. Whether it be the feeling of relief you achieve after you have finished a difficult practice, or finally perfecting a new skill you have been working on, there are always things to keep you motivated. Working out at home will likely not give you that same feeling, so you have to make the workout more enjoyable. Listening to upbeat music or watching a show while you workout can help take your mind off the actual exercise and make it a more enjoyable experience.
Collaborate with your teammates
Your teammates are likely to experience the same feelings you are making them great people to talk to for ideas. You can share ideas for workouts or FaceTime each other to simulate being at practice. Also, you can communicate with your coach and teammates to see how you can best workout at home to maintain fitness for when practices resume.
Use it as a break from homework
There are a million tasks to do on Canvas and endless assignments from teachers. Sitting at your workspace all-day is boring and gets old fast. So, use that boredom to motivate yourself to workout and help break up your workday. Also, working out can help to clear your head and give you some energy to resume your work when you finish.
Reward yourself for working out
Instead of doing the easy thing and sitting down all day, you got up and did something! That is a reason to celebrate. So after your workout, reward yourself with something that you enjoy doing so, you can use that expectation of a reward to motivate yourself to workout next time.