To find out the best way to motivate a teen, we asked a teen.
Do you or your athlete seem to lack motivation?
Motivation is an essential part of athletic success. If an athlete experiences success, they are naturally more motivated than those who have faced hardships. Hardships leave many in search of external rewards, and due to the competitiveness of sports today, a consistent 1st place can be difficult to find. So how does a young athlete find the drive to reach success, before they become overwhelmed by the desire to quit?
Meet Nick, a young Freestyle prodigy and true artist at work with the ball. We are fascinated by his maturity, as well as athletic ability. But mostly by his desire to perfect his craft regardless of a win. So, we caught up with him between training sessions to gather his perspective on perseverance, his one important phrase, and some bonus motivational tips to add to your own mental ready mix.
Internal motivation and practice
I really believe that if you stick with a goal, your effort will be noticed. Mastering anything athletic takes time and perseverance, and practice enables you to grow as a player, and an individual. Overall, perseverance will get you farther in sport and life, than giving-up. For example, a trick I perform with success on the first first try, feels good. A trick landed after four grueling hours of sweating and several failed attempts however, feels so much more than good. In fact, it feels incredible. Even if another person does not compliment my success, I feel the reward by accomplishing the trick. This often motivates me continue to try new things.
The one important phrase
In my opinion, there is one phrase that can put you above everyone else in a competitive sport. That phrase is, “Don’t give up.” We all hear it, but most people never take it to heart. We should all try to remember the harder it is to do something, the better the reward feels.
Tips for young aspiring athletes
Let's say you are practicing baseball, and you want to become consistent at catching grounders. Most kids on your team will practice for a few hours, but not push themselves to the point of consistency because of the sheer amount of hours it truly requires. The urge to avoid hard work or pain is a normal, but not putting in hard-work when it counts, comes with a consequence of making mistakes in performance. On the other hand, if you don’t give up and spend many hours a day trying to perfect your craft, while the rest of your friends on the team are playing Xbox, your efforts will grant rewards. Those hours will enable you be the best one at catching ground balls on the field, and possibly get noticed by bigger, better teams and coaches. It will also teach you a valuable lesson in all aspects of life and other sports; stick with it, and you will reach your true talent.
Parting advice for the experienced and the developing athlete
For anyone young or professional, keep working hard, especially when life or sports becomes tough. I did, and it feels invigorating to know my efforts pushed my level upward as an athlete. The thing I believe you need to obtain your dreams in sports, work, or life, is a little bit of will-power and the understanding of this, “You can’t lose if you never stop trying.”