You've probably noticed lately that your or your kids motivation and energy levels have been pretty low. We're all feeling a little zoomed out, tired of at home workouts, and mom and dad are trying to balance working from home with being parents and distant learning facilitators. Because of COVID, this is our new normal for the foreseeable future, so let's see how we can make the best of it.
Before we can talk about motivation, we first have to talk about our mental health. You may have observed your own or your child's mental health has seemed a bit off in recent months with all that's going on in the world. Since it's typically easier for adults to work through what they're feeling, take an active role in helping your kid's process what they're going through. Try this:
1) The only way out of the emotion is through it, so acknowledge what you or your child may be feeling. Own those emotions, process them, and talk about how to work them out. We're all feeling something right now, so talk about and work through them together. Feel them, and Deal with them.
Now, because of the current restrictions and lack of sports competitions, etc, you might find that motivation to train just isn't there. At home or distanced team trainings might be getting boring or repetitive. You just don't want to do it. I get it. I'm noticing some similar trends myself. Here are a few ideas that could help spark some motivation and bring back the fun:
2) Redefine your WHY. Why do you love your sport? Why do you compete? What do you want to achieve as an athlete? Understanding your why can help you visualize where you want to go and what you can do to get there.
3) Set smaller, daily PROCESS GOALS to help you reach your bigger goal. Maybe you want to increase your juggling personal best by the end of the month. What can you do every day to help you achieve that goal? How will you hold yourself accountable to working towards it daily?
4) Bring back the FUN!! Set up some friendly, goofy, competitions with your family or between other families and friends. Things like poster board paper airplane flying contests, toilet paper bowling, or water balloon toss. You can even throw a sport specific competition in there, like longest/most accurate pass, or farthest throw in. Get creative!! But make sure FUN is the number one priority.
We're in weird times without question. But as weird as they are, we have a unique opportunity to work towards mastering our craft and re-igniting our motivation. No other time in history have we had the extra time we find ourselves with now, so choose wisely about how you can make the most of it!
The following article was written for WHISTLE STOP Newsletter published by AYSO.
Focus is a common topic, not only in sports, but also in life. The key is to do your best to stay focused on the task at hand, remain in the moment, and redirect your mind back to that task at hand when it starts to wander.
Many common causes that can contribute to the loss of focus are known as internal and external distractions. Internal distractions can be things such as thoughts, heart rate, feelings, and/or emotions. External distractions can be things like fans, coaches, players, or weather. It's important to take note on what causes you to lose focus so it can be addressed on the fly.
Below are a few tips to help you focus or refocus during a game:
Pre-game walk through. In your pre game prep, walk the field and identify a place on or around that field that can become your refocusing go to that day. For example, one of the corner flags, a tree behind one of the goals, or even the whistle in your hand. Commit to these visuals as the thing that will bring your focus back to the task at hand when you need it.
Work together with your crew. Before the game, get together and chat with your fellow referees about your game plan and preferences. Being on the same page can help you stay focused on your role that day.
Focus cue word. Before you even step on the field, identify a cue word or phrase that can help redirect your focus. For example, something as simple as "focus" or something like "here and now" can help trigger you to focus on what you want and when you need it.
Breathe. Sounds simple, but sometimes a few deep breaths can trigger you back to focusing on the moment. Breathing can help you relax between plays (stoppages, half time, etc) and give you the opportunity to check your surroundings. Pairing your breathing with you cue word or phrase can really make a big difference.
Stay in the moment. Your job is to facilitate the rules and integrity of the game and the safety of the players. Because making calls are part of your role, own the ones you make. Dwelling on past calls keep you stuck in past moments and unable to be present in the now. Make a call, own it, move on. Leave it in the past so it doesn't influence your present and future.
Hey! I'm Katie, and I specialize in Mental Performance. I believe greatly in mindset and the role it plays in life.