motivation to workout

Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by Andrew Pirie

Mental motivation to workout for Athletics Training

Article by Jane Sandwood motivation to workout 

Being a competitive athlete involves every area of your life, in other words, from your diet to your daily routines.

Also, finding the inner motivation to workout to keep at it is fundamental to success.

At the same time, Olympic athletes will train for up to 6 hours a day in the run-up to significant events.

And motivated by something other than external encouragement is key. So it can be all too easy for athletes to burn themselves out. Or eventually, give up when things get tough.

Suppose motivation for sports is only coming from coaches, friends, and family. Honing your mental triggers for your training is key to maintaining a personal interest in athletics. And this is essential in building a successful sports career.

The Power of Embracing Responsibility motivation to workout 

motivation to workout

The internal motivation to workout for athletics must begin with accepting personal responsibility for your training, progress, and overall performance. Recognizing that the success of each of these is solely up to you will help you pursue your goals by giving them meaning beyond your own happiness.

By its variable and competitive nature. Athletics is not always going to be enjoyable, and you will find yourself at the crucial point where it is tiring and painful rather than fun. Ultimately, you should be participating in athletics for yourself. And yourself alone to be able to push through this. Embracing responsibility begins by taking stock of your day-to-day duties. And examining their individual importance to you before prioritizing them to establish what means the most to you.

Developing Self-Discipline and Determination: motivation to workout 

motivation to workout
motivation to workout

Even after embracing responsibility, having excellent self-discipline skills is imperative to maintaining motivation. Essentially, self-discipline involves continuously taking small, consistent actions toward achieving clear objectives. Having self-discipline means more than doing the bare minimum.

It means doing the exercises set by your coach to the best of your physical abilities. After that, It means schooling your actions outside of training sessions to support and protect your athletic progress. As Olympian gymnast Arthur Nory puts it, “Have a big goal and train hard, go for it!”. You can begin developing self-discipline by setting small goals to lead to larger goals within a time frame, helping keep you accountable. You could also keep a training diary and a system of effort ratings to track both whether you’re sticking to your regime and whether you’re putting enough work in.

Importance of a Positive Mindset

motivation to workout
motivation to workout

Aside from physical injury or losing personal interest in the sport. And perhaps the biggest threat to building a successful athletic career is experiencing mental burnout. Hence burnout is most likely to occur if you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. And not allowing for inevitable shortcomings and losses.

Maintaining healthy motivation – and good mental health in general. It depends on being able to forgive yourself when you don’t meet goals. And keeping a positive attitude towards yourself at all times. One of the keys to success for world-renowned boxer Manny Pacquiao is maintaining a positive attitude, whether he wins or loses. Rather than becoming disillusioned or angry when failures occur. A positive mindset will allow you to use it as a learning experience and grow stronger from it.

To become the best possible athlete, you can obviously involve intense physical training. And commitment in every area of your life. Yet ultimately, your success will only go as far as your own inner motivation will allow it. Developing a strong sense of internal, mental stimulation through embracing personal responsibility, honing self-discipline skills, and maintaining a positive mindset. It Will put you in the best possible position to fulfill your potential as a successful athlete.

A montage of Olympic athletes training accompanied by a talk given by Owen Cook with music by

Clint Mansell “Together We Will Live Forever.”

(Oct 17) The talk does not represent the thoughts, feelings, or attitudes of any of the athletes pictured in the video clip. However, the idea of making such a video is to offer motivation to athletes everywhere. This video is a little rawer than most of the videos you’ll find on youtube with that mission in mind. 

This video really entails the motivation for discipline ‘over and over and over,’ sacrifice, self-belief consistency, and how several small tasks lead to a dream of becoming a goal. You have to enjoy the journey towards the goal, not just the plan itself, which means understanding how your training leads to your destination.




Sports psychology: the role of emotion regulation, music, and the coach-athlete relationship

How and can utilize 10 years of sports psychology research in your training program

Sports psychology is a relatively young science, but, as Andy Lane and Tracey Devonport explain, the years since the turn of the century have seen some major advances in understanding the mind’s role in sport.

And can read the full article here.

Motivation and Feedback in Coaching

Dawn Hunter explains why motivation is a key aspect for most athletes in enabling them to achieve their goals.


(July 29) Motivation and Feedback in Coaching The definition of cause is divided into two main camps.


1) That of enthusiasm for something; when athletes are highly motivated, they are often really enjoying their training and are really keen to do their sessions.

2) The other camp is that of the need or reason for doing something, i.e., the motivation behind what is being done. So, an athlete may not be enthusiastic about getting up at 6 am to do a long bike ride in preparation for an Ironman triathlon. Still, they are motivated as they know that they will be more likely to do better in the race if they do the training.

When planning a season, define SMARTER goals and assess the coach’s motivation to achieve those goals. It will directly impact the amount and intensity of any training set and any training program’s success.

Knowing any barriers to motivation to workout and the athletes’ training likes and dislikes will help future motivation lapses.

Source of motivation to workout

The motivation that relies solely on something or someone external to the athlete should be noted. An athlete’s goals need to be self-governed; otherwise, the motivation to take steps to achieve those goals may be lacking. For example, an athlete may want to do well at a particular race because friends and family will be watching.


  1. Generally, this is unlikely to be a good source of motivation as it comes from outside the athlete, and when the going gets tough, the athlete may decide that they don’t care what anyone else thinks and give up on their goal.
  2. Sometimes an athlete can be too motivated – this usually ends in them not taking appropriate rest days, as they want to train all the time. Your athletes must appreciate that rest is as important as training and will allow the body to adapt to the training load.


One aspect of being a successful coach is getting useful  feedback from your athletes as to how they find your sessions.

Scientific methods of feedback, such as heart rates, etc., are helpful. Still, to assess your athletes’ motivation levels, you need to understand how they feel a session went as much as their body responded physiologically.  Based on this feedback, you can alter and adapt their training accordingly. If your sessions’ aim is not being achieved, you can look for another way to achieve the same purpose.


Your athletes’ feedback is likely to come in 3 main types – visual, verbal, and written.



Visual Feedback

Visual feedback – beyond the sweat, red faces, and heaving chests, does the athlete look pleased, or do they look a little dejected? Perhaps they look as if they could/should have gone that bit harder or paced themselves better. Verbal feedback – athletes frequently talk themselves and their performances up, and to a certain extent, this is to be encouraged.

A  positive mental attitude will go a long way to produce a good performance, but inside they may still feel that things could have gone better. It is important to listen to what the athlete says and then look for the things they didn’t say. For example, ‘The session went really well. I couldn’t have done it any better today. Chris was going really well today.

The athlete doesn’t say why they couldn’t have done any better today or why they felt it went well. Was this despite whatever was holding them back? Or did the session go well, but maybe on a less windy day, it could have gone better? Did Chris do better in some way? Is the athlete concerned that Chris is doing something to make him/herself faster than the athlete?

Verbal Feedback

Suppose the verbal feedback is given over the phone. It is often difficult to get complete and frank answers as there is no visual feedback from either coach or athlete. For feedback via phone, both athletes and coaches need to be comfortable communicating over the telephone. The difficulty with both visual and verbal feedback is keeping a record of it. a can write down visual feedback fairly quickly: “the athlete looked really pleased with him/herself at the end of the session.”

Verbal feedback is more difficult as you are likely to write down the feedback content rather than how it was delivered and phrased.

Written Feedback

Written feedback – where an athlete does sessions without the coach’s presence and may also give feedback via email or text. Although expansive, email can frequently hide an athlete’s actual view on performance.

Written feedback can vary from a list of what was done, with heart rates and times, to a long and involved written piece. The type of email feedback seems to vary depending on whether the athlete concerned treats email as another form of verbal communication or written communication.

The latter is also likely to provide a more formal, data-filled email than the former, who will frequently hold a single-sided conversation that can run to several hundred words. It is the more verbose athlete who is more helpful to the coach as you are likely to pick up things they haven’t noticed,  even themselves.

For example, you may get athletes who have a long winter of colds and/or injury, which by the spring can’t understand why they are not going and the previous spring. By going back over their feedback, you can establish and point out to them exactly how much time they have lost through such things. It can be surprising how much training can be missed, forgotten by the athlete only a month or later.


A lot or no feedback might result from both strong and weak motivation. At the same time, highly motivated athletes who are just getting started with their training routine commonly miss giving unprompted comments because it never occurs to them. They will continue as long as nothing is going wrong. And it is worthwhile to make an effort to identify these athletes each week.

A demotivated athlete will also avoid giving feedback since they will perceive their lack of participation in sessions as a failure. It is important to recapture these athletes’ motivations for achieving their objectives. and to press the switches you are certain would make them happy.

For certain athletes, as an illustration. Knowing that their biggest rival is working to regain control of their motive suffices. Others might have more pressing issues at the present, such as moving, getting married, starting a new job, etc. In this case, they may need to reevaluate their ambitions to make room for these other issues.

The best ways to handle a disinterested athlete will greatly depend on whether they are an elite, age-group, or recreational athlete. For some people, quitting a race or a season is less of a big issue than for others. Restoring your players’ motivation depends in large part on getting to know them well and comprehending why they participate in their activity.

Because they are passionate about their training and want to share it with you, some motivated athletes will offer a lot of feedback. It is likely that the coach-athlete relationship will improve the more input you get from an athlete, whether they are motivated or not.


The athlete and coach should agree on the training rather than the coach “setting”

The athlete’s training since is an ideal situation for the coach-athlete relationship. Although it may not always be successful, a highly motivated athlete is more likely to have read about the topic of their sport. In general, and based on their training experience, they are likely to have a helpful perspective on what is most likely to work for them.

Athletes who lack motivation can also offer a wealth of commentary. And it’s here that you can frequently discover the source of the issue. An email is a good tool for “baring of the soul” since it gives the recipient a sense of anonymity even when they know where the email is heading. Sometimes a sportsperson will begin the email without understanding why they lack motivation. By the time they reach the conclusion, they will have figured it out on their own.

Because they are so brief, texts are not the best medium for feedback. However, it might be useful for race results and session statistics, especially if an athlete is competing or training abroad. A text is unquestionably preferable to no feedback at all. Additionally, it is another channel of communication with your players.

Having a coach can help some athletes stay motivated. Whom they must “report” to is frequently able to persuade a hesitant athlete to participate in a session. Unfortunately, workouts that focus on an athlete’s deficiencies are typically the ones that they despise the most. It is likely that those exact sessions, which were unpopular before, will become a favorite once that weakness is eliminated.

The most effective technique to collect opinions from athletes. is to give them the freedom to do it, however, best suits them. Athletes are likely to be significantly more talkative if they have picked the media and method. With one athlete, who appeared to communicate effectively in this manner, I had pages and pages of messenger exchanges. Maintaining accurate records of the feedback is crucial.

This will assist you in creating training plans. And encourage that particular athlete. However, you may use what you learn from it to help other athletes you coach in the present and in the future.


Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • HUNTER, D.  (2006) Motivation and Feedback in Coaching. Brian Mackenzie’s Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 34/ July-August), p. 1-3

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • HUNTER, D. (2006) Motivation and Feedback in Coaching [WWW] Available from [Accessed

About the Author

Dawn Hunter, a British Triathlon Association Club Coach. Has been coaching individual triathletes and a triathlon club for over 3 years. She also competes in triathlons up to half ironman distance.

Sporting Body Sporting Mind – Book Review

motivation to workout
motivation to workout

I also lent this book, Sporting Mind, to one of my athletes, and she expressed great enthusiasm for it. For instance, when it was delivered back full of notes and bookmarks (pictured). However, from a really sharp young mind. Fortunately, though, not writing and highlighting.

While everyone is aware of the shifting connections between the body and the mind in their daily lives. Athletes particularly value this association. However, this book offers a course on mental training methods for athletic competition.

Unfortunately, a lot of time is spent on physical training while little time is spent on mental and emotional preparation. However, the finest performances occur when all parts are directed towards the same objective. For the athlete or coach looking to achieve peak performance, this book offers a comprehensive program of mental training strategies.

In order to refine a technique that has already received widespread praise. Christopher Connolly and John Syer have distilled their enormous experience. Earned through work with their Sporting Endymion consultancy.



The book is available on Amazon for USD 7.95

Paperback – July 26, 1984



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