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Tips to boost your motivation

Martijn Veltkamp explores the deeper thought processes around improving your sports performance
Maybe you recognize it: You need to train, but don’t feel like it. Because it’s raining, or it was a heavy day at the office. Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to go training. Motivation is however the cornerstone of performance. So here 4 tips to boost your motivation.

1. What’s your drive? Athletes perform better when intrinsically motivated. This means you’re exercising because it fulfills your needs and makes you happy. So take a moment and consider this: Why are passionate about your sport? What is it that drives you? What is it that really gives you energy? This is your intrinsic motivation, and you should always keep it in mind.

2. Change your mindset: Your mindset has quite an impact on your motivation. Many athletes tend to think they ‘must’ do many things, like ‘I must train now’ or ‘I must improve my PR’. Be aware of such thoughts for yourself; they’re not helping. Rather think of what you want instead of must do. Probably the thing you keep telling you ‘must’ do is actually something you also want to do! But when you exercise with a ‘want’ mindset, you will be more motivated.
3. Share your goals: By sharing your training and competition goals you will lift your motivation. In doing so, you give a public commitment, and you will feel very uncomfortable to not live up to such a commitment! If your colleagues know you planned a training this evening, you probably like to avoid having to confess you didn’t do anything at all.

4. Monitor and compare progress: It is very stimulating to see that you are actually making progress as a consequence of your training regime! Make sure you measure your exercise activities, just for yourself or also in comparison to friends. Sports apps like Strava or Runkeeper are free and are convenient tools to do this.