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How To Increase the Motivation of The Athlete in Strength Training

How To Increase the Motivation of The Athlete in Strength Training

7 February, 2022

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In the world of training, the nutritional field and the training itself are fundamental if we want to progress and improve our performance, but the psychological aspect, often forgotten, is fundamental for anyone who wants to achieve success.

Motivation is what makes the athlete act and behave in a certain way, that is, the way to channel and direct energy and human behavior.  This way of acting that each person has in certain situations can be based on different whys and can be both internal and external factors.

How To Increase the Motivation of The Athlete in Strength Training

Figure 1. Rope Battle

Within the scientific field, most authors usually distinguish motivation into two types:

  • Intrinsic: refers to the personal factors of the athlete himself, that is, the behavior is motivated by his own personal interest in carrying it out. Its motive for action is based on a series of psychological needs such as curiosity or effectiveness without the need for an external reward.
  • Extrinsic: this is related to those causes of the behavior that come from the outside, being these positive, as a reward or negative, as threats of punishment.

Entering more in the field of sports, the coach is the main motivator and therefore, the philosophy of this, will make the difference in its athletes. From their way of communicating with group conversations or internal dialogues with each athlete, to their own personality with the athletes, everything will have an impact on the team or the athlete.

Strategies to increase the motivation of our athletes

Make it simple and set smart goals

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it and that’s why it’s essential to set clear and concise goals for our athletes. You can follow the SMART methodology: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely. It starts in a simple and progressive way by controlling the parameters that are important to improve our performance (volume, intensity, frequency, density).  You will have time to think about which portion of the quadriceps works the most if you place your foot in one way or another.

How To Increase the Motivation of The Athlete in Strength Training

Figure 2. SMART Goal

Be a good example to follow

Being enthusiastically involved in the sport being trained creates a greater sense of relationship with the athlete.  Whether you have athletes under you or you are your own coach, you must behave like the best coach in the world.  A good model coach constantly strives to show compassion, moral courage, humility, honor, respect, and integrity.

Improve communication

Each person is a world and the coach must have enough tools to know how to communicate with each of his athletes. The athlete must feel unique and special in a certain way, that he understands and knows what his role is at all times and where he is at the level of performance to clearly accept the goals of the different competitions. This is only achieved by improving communication and knowing how to convey what you want the athlete to take into account at that time.

If you are your own trainer, you must know yourself and know how to talk to yourself to improve your own motivation.  What moves you in your day to day? Why are you going to train at the gym instead of staying on the sofa?…

Train with people

Many times the commitment or the fact of having met with someone to train can change the way you see the training and even the day. If you go with a friend, you can talk, socialize, motivate each other and demand more in training than if you were alone and it was not a good day. If you train in a group, you can create that “tribe” bond that many disciplines like Crossfit develop in their training rooms and for which they are so successful.

Get out of the routine, try new things  

Many times we lose that motivation that moves us to act because we feel stuck or do not feel that emotion as when we started with training. We have made it part of the routine and it has lost that special moment. Change and try a new routine, try to learn some new movement such as the start, instead of doing a back squat, try one of its variants, with another type of bar, etc.  Monotony can kill even the most optimistic.

Rest from time to time

Very much in line with getting out of the routine and trying new things, resting can also help you come back with more energy, strength and desire to train. It is preferable that you listen to your body and rest when it asks you to overexert the machinery and end up leaving it at 2 months because you can not continue at that level with which you started.

How To Increase the Motivation of The Athlete in Strength Training

Figure 3. Olympic Snatch Movement

Final thoughts

Even so, it should be noted that motivation is not everything and when there is less motivation is when we have to try harder and find that reason to get ahead. Motivation is the easy way, but when we go through a time where it is scarce, we must manage to get ahead either by our own internal values or our external objectives.

In short, find your goal or objective and structure it in such a way that you can measure progress, both a large and more important goal in the long term and smaller ones in the short term but that will help you maintain that motivation in your day to day.  Be consistent, communicate in an appropriate way according to the context you are in and treat yourself from time to time, either resting or trying new things to break the monotony.

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Entrenador personal apasionado del mundo del entrenamiento de la fuerza, acondicionamiento físico y la nutrición. Aprendizaje constante.
Graduado en Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid); ISAK 1; Certificado Elements.

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