Finding Motivation During Quarantine
The pandemic has kept us within the confines of our homes and unable to go to school, work or practice. With our teachers, coaches and friends not (physically) around, it's easy to fall short of the high levels of ambition we had during the sports season, especially when it comes to working out. You're not alone in having these feelings, and they are completely valid in times like these. There have been many times over the past couple of months where I've felt burned out, but using these following tips I have been able to retain my drive.
Create a schedule. Having a daily plan (yes, even during summer!) helps keep you accountable for your workouts and tasks. Make sure to dedicate blocks of time to get outside, pursue an interest of yours and catch up with friends in addition to your workouts and other activities. I recommend planning your workouts at the same time every day, so they’re built into your schedule.
Work out with a teammate! Plan a time with a friend or teammate to virtually work out together. Make sure to push each other and have fun in the process!
Make a workout playlist. You can either look on a music platform for pre-made workout playlists (keywords: hype, workout, sprints, etc.), or you can create your own playlist of feel-good songs. Find upbeat songs that keep you pumped up and ready to tackle any challenge. Podcasts are also fun to listen to during runs or long workouts. I recommend 30 for 30 podcasts on Spotify; they have lots of inspirational sports stories.
Make S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goals. First, write a list of your strengths and weaknesses in your game. From there, you can make S.M.A.R.T goals with regards to your areas for improvement.
For example, if you want to get faster and improve your speed, a SMART goal and the plan of action might look like this:
By the end of June, I want to shave five seconds off my 300-yd dash time. (This is your goal.)
My current time is 1:05, and I want to get down to 1:00 (Quantitative part of your goal).
To achieve this, I will do shuttle sprint training every other day at my local football field and two 300-yd trials every Saturday to track my progress. (The steps you will follow in order to achieve your goal).
It's useful to write your goals down in a journal and/or in a place where you can see them during your workouts because the list will remind you what ambitions you're working toward. Sharing your goals with a family member, teammate or coach can also help hold you responsible for fulfilling your goal.
Find your WHY. Take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture. Your future. What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? With sports, why do you show up to practice every day? Why did you get started in the first place? Whether it's to make the next level sports team or play college sports, always keep your WHY in the back of your head. Also, think about how hard you've worked to get yourself to where you are now. You should be extremely proud of yourself for how far you've come, no matter where you are in your journey right now.
Reward yourself for completing a task or reaching your goal(s)! Examples of healthy and sustainable rewards could be buying that pair of sweatpants you've been eyeing or something more low-key like Netflix in bed after dinner the day of a hard workout.