Cricket is a fun game to play. Especially when you are doing well, but sometimes it's not quite as easy to get up in the middle of winter to go for a run or make it down to nets twice a week.
We all have times where we don't want to do it (even me).
Whenever I get a little low in the motivation stakes I try these tricks to get me back into the swing of things.
- Don't make assumptions. Don't assume you are too old, you don't have the time or you are not fit enough. Those factors make no difference. With the right work EVERYONE will improve, even you.
- Train with a buddy. If you have someone to train with then you are not going to leave them standing at the gym or net on their own.
- Know the difference between a reason and an excuse. Going on a work trip may stop you training, but not going because you 'don't have the time' could be an excuse in disguise.
- Learn more. I find that when I get stuck in a rut getting online and finding out some new training technique or theory gets me wanting to head back. So learn more about your training. You could subscribe to harrowdrive for a daily dose of motivation?
- Do something new. Just as finding out something new is great, so is actually doing it. I always recommend changing your training every few weeks. That includes your gym workout and what you do in the nets or practice field.
- Reward yourself. Psychologists call this 'extrinsic motivation'. It means rewarding yourself for training hard, for example; promising yourself a new DVD if you train without fail for a month. Itdoes work but it can be counter productive in some cases so handle with care (i.e. great workout, lets go to McDonalds!)
- Remember the positives. Playing and training will make you fitter, healthier and give you a better outlook on life. Skipping your commitments to improve will do the opposite. So just remember the reasons why you are trying.
- Involve your family, friends and work. Letting your friends and family know what you are doing is better than keeping your plans to yourself. Why? Because if you slack they will be the first to pass comment. Workmates, I find, are even more brutal in this respect. It also helps when your work know you have an external commitment as they are more likely to accommodate you (hint: make your training a charity fundraiser if your boss is really tough to get around).
- Train closer to home. A big reason for people dropping out is the distance to travel to get to training. So, find a gym close by and find a club near your home. You could even train at home with a few key bits of equipment.
- Get a coach. Personal trainers and coaches are expensive, but good ones will motivate you in the way you need.
- Slow down. Heavy training causes soreness, which can lead to reluctance to try again. After my first game of last season I literally couldnot walk the next day through soreness. The answer is to slow your training down to a more comfortable level. Body builders may like the pain of training, but you don't have to put up with it to become a better cricketer.
And the most important motivational tool of all: Goal setting. Without goals you are training or playing for nothing. Set goals for everything: How much weight you can lift, how many runs you plan to get, how much body fat you have, how fast you are and anything else you can think of.
Once you have those goals in mind record and review them obsessively.
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