By Julia Sparco
Elm Staff Writer
Staying motivated is a key factor for student-athletes to maintain their goals in their sports. But sometimes it can be hard to manage practices, lifting, and class over the several months of a season.
“As student-athletes, we have to stay focused on our goals, it could be the difference between a winning and losing season,” senior Captain of the Washington College women’s volleyball team Isabella Sansanelli said.
It is always good to lean on teammates when not feeling as motivated for a workout or practice. Teammates can talk you through it and excite you for what you are about to do.
“One thing that motivates me for lacrosse is being in Chestertown and being around my teammates everyday,” senior WC men’s lacrosse player Keen Griffin said.
Student-athletes have the access to a great support system, including their teammates, coaches, and other athletic figures like trainers. Being surrounded by people that want to see eachother do their best can be extremely helpful.
“The way I keep motivated is knowing I’m not just doing this for myself, but also my teammates,” senior WC women’s volleyball player Laura Cochrane said. “I don’t want to let them down, so I need to play my best every game.”
Although training and workouts can be mentally and physically draining, there are always ways to improve your routines to make sure you are excited for every practice, workout, or game.
Music can be extremely helpful in motivation. It is a common known fact that listening to pump-up music before, during, and/or after playing can motivate athletes.
“I like listening to really upbeat music before playing,” said junior WC women’s basketball player Jessica Giblin. “For games, we blast music in our locker room before going on the court to get the whole team amped.”
It is also important to remember that the season is a marathon not a race. Athletes have to keep the feeling of a finished, successful season in mind to motivate them to push through until the end of the season.
“Honestly, what keeps me motivated is my future. Whenever I get tired and I still have a lot to do or I just want to give up, I think about why I’m doing all this in the first place,” junior WC women’s tennis Alisha White said. “I’m a futuristic thinker, I even made a vision board to help me stay on track and motivate me to keep going and push through.”
Pushing through negative feelings of your own can inspire other teammates to do the same thing. One single teammate can change the energy of the entire team by always working hard and encouraging others to do the same.
Student-athletes’ free time is mostly spent playing their sport, so it can be tempting to call in sick to a practice when tired or not mentally checked in.
According to Mental Training Expert and author of “The Confident Athlete,” Dr. Patrick Cohn, athletes must continuously be increasing their motivation. This can be done by creating long and short term goals, collaborating with teammates, and setting one particular goal before each practice or workout.
“For me, it’s all about staying focused on the goals you set out to accomplish. They can range from being team goals to personal goals” junior WC men’s baseball player Michael Roseman said. “Long seasons can begin to dwell on you if you lose focus on what you set out to accomplish.”
This allows players to hold themselves accountable for how they carry themselves through practices and workouts as well as having their teammates hold them accountable. Being determined to achieve your goals can make you a better player.
“The athlete who succeeds is often the one who works the hardest, who persists despite adversity and who pushes when training becomes tough, doesn’t give up, and who performs their best when it counts, ” Dr. Cohn said.
Athletes must put a heavy focus on themselves and their teammates to make it through hard seasons that feel like they have lasted forever.
Photo by Rebecca Kanaskie.