Have you been feeling like you've lost motivation for something in your life and you just want to find it again?
If you had motivation in the past and you don't have it now, I'm going to share a little bit more about how I got fired up again for soccer. There are a lot of pieces to this, but I will really bare my soul in my soccer journey.
My soccer story
I have played many sports over the years: basketball, volleyball, track and rugby. But soccer since I was very, very little. I have played indoor and outdoor soccer with all girls and some co-ed. I played all year long. I played in school, in house league, and select then I moved into playing rep. I was captain a lot except when I was a teenager and moved up to play on an open women’s team. I played in a lot of tournaments, often one every weekend of the summer. The list goes on - and I still play today.
I had injuries over the years with sprained ankles and was able to spring back, but after tearing my ACL playing rugby, getting it repaired, and having two children it was harder. There are a lot of physical obstacles that I've had to face including plantar fasciitis, back issues, my knee being weak and a Covid cough that has lasted seven months. I’m sure you've also had to face obstacles (not just sports related). It could be in your business, marriage, or house. This can cause you to lose motivation for some reason or another.
About 13 years ago, I moved from a highly competitive league into a league that's just recreation, caused me to lose my motivation a little bit because I didn't have to try that hard to do well. Even after kids, I could still get away with not being super fit and not doing too much because the players aren't as good. Well, I’m now 43, had two kids, and I'm now probably carrying around about 50 pounds of extra weight that makes it hard.
But what caused me to fee like giving up?
As I mentioned, over the past few years I’ve had multiple injuries - ankle, knee, and back injuries - that then cause something else. For example, just as my ankle gets fixed, it would cause something else like a sore knee or back. Then I get over that and sprain my ankle just walking down the sidewalk. I cried. I cried not out of pain, but I cried out of frustration. I thought, “What is the point?”
Then just as I am physically not injured anymore, I get COVID. With that first bout of COVID, I had the COVID cough for probably eight weeks, and because of how intense the restrictions were, I couldn't get any support from doctors because I wasn't allowed. You know how it is, right? You have to fill in the form, and if you say you're coughing, then you can't get an appointment. I couldn't get help.
I wasn't really able to be on the soccer field because I'd be coughing. People would look at me like I shouldn't be there. So I finally get over that, and then I came back and I get injured again.
You can just imagine how the story is, and I'm super frustrated. I've lost motivation because I feel like, “What's the point?” Maybe I'm done. Maybe I'm not going to do this anymore. But I’d miss out.
Now how about you think about something you need motivation on? What are you missing out on because you’re not doing what you want to do?
What I was missing out on was that competitive side, the athlete, the confident person who loved to play soccer, but also the social side of things. It killed me to just go and sit on the sidelines because I could see all my friends out on the field, and they were enjoying themselves and I wasn't participating.
I lost motivation. Not even just motivation for soccer, but the motivation for me to be healthy again because I also had a second bout of COVID and the cough has still not left after seven months.
It's made all of these comebacks super hard. Have you felt that? You come back from something. You're getting back into business, you go into that next level, it's a struggle. I've struggled and it's hard to get fit if you're always injured. It's hard to lose weight if you can't exercise. It's just this vicious cycle. It’s hard to be energetic if you’re coughing all of the time.
How I get fired up again for soccer
The motivation was not coming internally from me. It wasn't intrinsic, I really needed to have some sort of external motivation to push me. It shouldn't be surprising what it was, but it really, really positively impacted me.
I loved the girls on my team and we played well together, but I knew I needed to change teams. What I was missing was a coach, practices, and full warm-ups. Now that I am on a new team that has a coach, I've really seen how this has increased my soccer brain and it’s causing me to up my game. The external motivation has helped to increase my inner motivation.
The question to ask yourself about your situation is, “What do I need that can externally motivate me until I can get my internal motivation back?” Maybe it’s a coach.
What a good coach will do for you
I feel like I'm playing at about maybe 25% of my ability, which is super frustrating because I'm very competitive, and I'm A-type driven and I can't do as well as I have been. I'm also a recovering perfectionist. When I can't do really well, it frustrates me. But I've given myself a lot of grace.
What the coach has done for me is give me positive feedback:
That has helped me a lot to feel like I'm a valuable member of the team and that I matter. Maybe in your life in some area, you don't feel like you matter. Maybe you are coming to grips with that feeling of “My effort isn't important” or you don’t feel “enough”.
Having positive feedback from him has caused me to feel okay again. It's one thing that I'm not as good as I was before, and I'm getting better, but to hear that you're seen as something positive really pushes you to step up, and step into what other people see for you.
You could find this in a friend, a mentor, an expert to support you with something, in an accountability partner, or coach. Having an outside person to give you positive feedback is so helpful. Yes, I still receive constructive feedback, but the positive feedback holds more weight.
I've really appreciated that in sports my whole life, probably the greatest gift my mom gave me was believing in me, which really built up my self-esteem, and built up my confidence. It makes me want to participate more.
We want to participate more in something we do well, right?
2. A coach will see your potential and tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear
I have always been at the top of my game in sports. I have always been the top player or one of the top players. I've always been looked at as the key to the team’s success. I haven't felt like that for a long time, and it's more like I’m a detriment to the team.
My coach created a new position on the field for me. It's so great because I have been a center mid and over the years based on my injuries, lack of fitness and such I had to move to the defense. But then I was really struggling and coughing during the games and struggled to do the position properly. So he made a new position for me.
When someone external sees YOU and your potential, they can suggest you try something new or do things differently. It can give you a new spark.
It was so great. I loved the new position.
“If this isn’t working for you, then how about this?” That's something that a coach, mentor or someone else can do for you. They can look at what’s not working or what the obstacles are and give a suggestion.
What wasn’t working was me pivoting quickly and being able to race back. What is working is him pushing me forward. It’s so beneficial to have someone externally see things differently and offer a suggestion because you might have blinders on.
I totally did have blinders on. I thought I needed to play defense. That I needed to hold that ground. But we had two other players who can really step up in that position, and then I could move forward, which is so good. Actually, it was so exciting. So I have this new fire in me. Rather than rebuilding the same fire, it was a new fire. I’m really thoroughly enjoying this position.
3. A Coach will expect more from you
That's something I think everyone needs in their life. Somebody who will say, “Okay, you're here, so let's get you there.” Not “Let's get you all the way to the goal right now”, but “Let's get you one step closer”.
They hold you to a higher level, but the higher level only needs to be 1% better tomorrow than today. It doesn't need to be 200% better. I am not going to be this phenomenal, top MVP player tomorrow. But could I be better tomorrow than I was today? For sure.
I hope you can look at that one area you want more in and be honest, “I need motivation, and I want to make things better.” I encourage you to find someone who will give you positive feedback, find someone who will see you and speak into the things that you need to hear, and someone who will hold you to that higher level. Someone who will hold you accountable to show up and hold you accountable to do what needs to be done.
I hope you are able to regain motivation wherever it is missing in your life, and get fired up again. If you want to have a conversation about this to see how I can support you, I’m happy to do that. I do offer free 15-minute consults to just see if we’re fit - just email me and let me know a little more email@example.com.
Read my other blogs here:
Get Goaled! Coaching Mastermind
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