No matter how bad you want to accomplish your goals, you are likely to have days where you just don’t want to do the right things to work towards them. Everyone has those days when they feel lazy, tired, or just downright unmotivated. The best soccer players find a way to overcome these feelings and put a solid day of work when they don’t feel like it.

Knowing what motivates you will be critical for those days where you’re struggling to do the right things – whether it’s getting an extra workout in that you know you benefit from, your unfocused and don’t feel like giving you’re all at practice, or you’re tempted to enter into a social situation that you know isn’t good for you, knowing and pressing you’re motivation buttons in those moments will be critical. If you can master your motivation and harness it in the right moments, success will come more easily.

I remember one of my college coaches telling us to write down our goals in the moments of temptation on the weekends when many people, even athletes would go out to parties. This was great advice, but only one example of a “motivation button” or trigger.

By creating motivation buttons or triggers you will have a concrete strategy to help you do what is best for yourself in the difficult moments.

  •         Start by identifying the things that motivate you – songs, movies, Bible verses, quotes, role models, failure, success, your goals, etc. Make a list of these things on paper so you don’t forget them.
  •         Now think about the times when you feel the least motivated and can benefit from the feeling of motivation inside you. This can be when you are tired, bored, tempted, before practice, during conditioning or a drill you don’t like, when you’re with certain people, etc.
  •         The third step is to actually push your motivation buttons when you need them, or else the first two steps were pointless (knowledge without action is worth nothing).

Like anything else, this will require practice. It may sound weird but take a few days a week at home, when you are alone, to practice feeling motivated. Build the habit of pushing your motivation buttons by setting aside consistent blocks of time each week at home to stimulate the feelings of motivation inside you. This will help you to motivate yourself more naturally in the difficult moments when motivation will be most beneficial. Master your motivation and you’re one step closer to maximizing your potential in soccer, school and life!