Dear Student-Athletes

Dear Student-Athletes:

I can only imagine what you might be going through and how tough this new transition is. Sport is not the same right now. Training is not the same. Let’s be honest, our mindset might not be the same. So how do we stay motivated? How do we continue to be the best us when we don’t even know what is going to happen next?

I’m writing this to be honest, open, and real with you. I’m not here to feel sorry for you or feel bad about the circumstances COVID has brought us. Instead, I am here to hopefully spark something in you that makes you want to be better. Hopefully, I can spark some motivation. I know dealing with everything COVID has brought has not been easy for any of us. I also know moving forward won’t be easy either, but as athletes we have all the tools to not only get through this, but thrive in this. Regardless of hard moments or a lapse in motivation. Remember that.

I may not be in the same situation you are in, but I’ve had my own struggles with this and can empathize with you. I understand it’s hard and you may have lost motivation. Maybe you tell yourself, “why even do this, I might not even be playing a season?” Or maybe you are just going through the motions. You are training and back with your team part time, but you are just waiting to see what happens next. Maybe you feel upset, stuck, or even don’t know how to feel. Maybe you’re reading this and it doesn’t pertain to you. You are still motivated, staying positive, and working hard at your craft. Great- inspire the person next to you and be better together. We need each other in these moments.

I understand it isn’t fair and that everything is different right now. I get it, trust me. But, honestly, I learned quickly that the world doesn’t care. Life keeps moving forward, even during these hard times. Even when we might be struggling to find motivation and our sport is on hold. Even when we don’t have answers and we are unsure of what the season looks like, let alone what tomorrow looks like. Life keeps going.

We have to find a way to create a new script for the year. We have to find a way to be motivated and motivate our teammates. I have been trying to navigate this as well because for me, our Olympics got postponed. My career and Olympic journey is on hold, with hope that it will work out for next year.

So HOW do we get ourselves motivated?

Create a New Script
This year may not look like what it was intended to, but we have the power to change how we live each day. We can change our goals and rearrange plans to get us on track to our new goal. Give yourself new deadlines, new goals, and a new plan of attack. This may involve a shortened season or even no season, but how are we going to stay on track for our next opportunity?

Stop Thinking
If you find yourself going down the path of negative talk, making excuses, or just thinking about all the things that aren’t going the way you want…go DO something instead. Go do the workout, go practice a skill, just go DO it. When we sit there and think about all those things and worry we are wasting our own time. We are wasting time we could be using to make ourselves better.

Help Someone Else
When we can help other people, we actually help ourselves. Get a teammate and do workouts together, hold each other accountable, and give each other motivation. More often than not, when we see someone else working hard, we want to follow. Challenge each other to new tasks and compete at your craft, together. In the world of technology, there are plenty of ways to make this happen even if you aren’t physically together.

As athletes, we all want to win championships, become All-Americans, go pro, be olympians, etc. We have a clear end goal. Right now, many of us don’t have that.

So how do you want to be remembered?

In this process, when there is no clear path for any of us, how will you be a leader and find a way to stay motivated? Like I said, life keeps moving forward. We all have a choice right now to commit to a new script. Find what is going to help you stay motivated and be that motivation for your teammate.

You never know when the next opportunity will present itself…will YOU be ready?

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