Motivation From Within.

Over and over you hear the same words being spoken about the lack of motivation being displayed in our young athletes today. Learn why and how to get your players motivated!
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Over and over you hear the same words being spoken about the lack of motivation being displayed in our young athletes today. Hard for me to understand when there are college scholarships out there in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine being able to go to a great school, get an education, play the sport you love, and it costs you or your parents nothing. Better yet, maybe you are one of the select few who are talented enough to move on to the next level. That's right, make it to the pros. Hey, you know how it is: get your ass kissed by everyone and get paid millions to play the sport that you love. What a great time we are living in. So now explain to me why most of the athletes out there don't take advantage of what is available to them.

Are they lazy or is it a lack of motivation? Give me a break and wake up and realize that mommy and daddy aren't going to do it for you. You have to be able to push yourself. You must have a burning desire that cannot be extinguished no matter what. There will be plenty of bumps along the way, maybe some damn big ones, but you must never lose your motivation to push yourself to be the very best. Prepare yourself to the max and chances are you will win that fight nine out of ten times. Too many personal battles are lost through lack of motivation.

How To Get Your Players Motivated

The football program that I am involved with is the only program in the county that has a strength coach. Sure, the other programs have coaches in the weight room, but basically all they are doing is babysitting. I work solely with the Renegade programs, utilizing the "Wheel of Conditioning" so when our players step foot on the field, no one is better prepared. Yet, motivation is still missing. Oh yeah, there are a select few that I can count on to show up. I know some guys that will chew the lock off the door to the weight room if I'm late opening the room.

But then there are those others, the ones with all the excuses: "I have to catch the bus," or "I have to go to the mall," and countless other stories. All they want to do is wear the jersey and not put any effort into wearing it with pride.

Nor does it stop at the high school level. I have a kid who I am getting ready for the combines in Atlanta in June. He tells me that he can't do his speed or agility work without me at the track with him! This is the deal: you're going for the biggest tryout of your life, a chance at pro football. If that isn't enough motivation, I don't know what is. My God, if that can't motivate you, how the hell am I supposed to?

It's just like the society we live in today. Obesity is running wild. You're 50 pounds overweight, can't walk up the stairs without stopping for a rest and gasping for air. But yet your only motivation is for that next Big Mac. Corporations spend thousands of dollars a year to motivate their employees by bringing in motivational speakers to stimulate growth in the individual. My feeling is that being the best at what you do should be all the motivation you need. Who wants to fail and feel like an idiot in front of their peers? The problem is, I think too many people don't really care. Just getting by is good enough; wanting to be the best is too much work.

What Is Motivation?

Motivation, according to the dictionary: to provide with or affect as, a motive or motives. While that may be the dictionary's version, I find mine through humiliation. That's right. Whenever I compete either in football, powerlifting, miniature golf or anything competitive, I feel that my competition is out to humiliate me, not just beat me! There is no way on earth that I'm going to let that happen! This is the attitude that I carry with me throughout my whole training regimen. I have no reason to like my opponent because they are there to beat and humiliate me. This is not acceptable. About 15 years ago I thought I was a runner. Not a jogger who thinks he's a runner but a real runner.

When I went to the track to run I had to beat everyone on the track. It did not matter the age or the sex. I was going to show them who the best one out there was even if it meant spitting up blood. This is the code that I live by every day, motivated to be the best at whatever I do. Whether it is as an athlete or in my professional career, I strive to be the best. Throughout all of my training, even to this day, I don't believe anyone is better than I am. I push myself for long and hard hours of training so no one can keep me from my goal without putting up a great fight. This is the mind game I play to motivate myself.

You must be able to motivate yourself. You must feel that no one wants it more than you do and you are willing to work harder than anyone. Just when you think you did enough work, do more. Someone is out there to humiliate you. When you can't motivate yourself, you are heading down the path of self-destruction. It must come from within. There are many new tools out there today: better training methods, better nutritional information, and qualified coaches to advise you, but you must be the one to dig down real deep to see how much you want and how hard you are willing to work to achieve you goals.

Never be afraid to set the bar too high and make your competition rise to your level. Self-motivation is your greatest training tool.

Jim Massaro