5 Ways to Stay Motivated After Peak Season
by Michael Andrew, World Junior Champion
After the excitement of competing in my final World Junior Championships in Indianapolis this summer, and closing in on three gold medals, things have definitely slowed down a bit. There is always a lull after the peak season, which is a great opportunity to reflect and refresh, especially for me personally as I move full-time in to the senior ranks.
I’m sure many of you also have similar transitions in your lives, maybe switching teams or coaches or perhaps moving from middle school to high school or even high school to college swimming this fall.
It is important to stay inspired and motivated, and not lose momentum coming off of a major swim meet. That being said, here are five things that I do to stay motivated after the peak swim season:
1. Evaluate the past season – Going back and making note of what you did right, and what you could do better, is a vital way to stay motivated as you train for the upcoming season. Doing that will help you to gain perspective on your progress, appreciate the hard work you have put in, and help motivate you to push harder to perform better in the future. Make a list on paper, or talk through it with your coach or training partners and jot down some notes. It will help you think more clearly about your evaluation.
2. Create goals for the upcoming season – Having something to strive for is a huge part of being an athlete. Your goals don’t have to be out-of-this-world, but it’s important to have a few goals in place to give you that extra motivation to dig a bit deeper through the pain. Goal setting is a must for elite level athletes and there’s no reason that everyone can’t set their sights on some sort of goal that will push them: could be times, could be winning medals, qualifying for an event or even just contributing points to - or making your team.
3. Create excitement in and around the chaos – Find small ways to continue to find joy in what you do. Make an effort to spend time with friends, create something, or enjoy a hobby. If your entire life revolves around your sport, it will feel more like a chore than it is fun. Plus, when your heart is healthy, and you have good, supportive relationships with family and friends, you're more likely to train and perform better. And ultimately, that’s what really matters.
4. Help, or encourage, someone else – As a professional athlete I get many opportunities to host clinics and help inspire other athletes to move towards their goals. You don’t have to know everything, or be the best, to be a positive light in a high-pressure sport. Helping others is so rewarding, and in turn will help motivate you to continue pursuing excellence in all that you do.
5. Don’t forget your WHY, and how blessed you are – It’s easy to lose sight of why you are doing something, if you don’t constantly remind yourself. Knowing your “why” factor will motivate you to work harder, just like goals, but with more purpose. You also have to remember how blessed you are to have the opportunities to train and work towards being the best version of yourself.
Don’t forget this… “I don’t have to work hard, I get to work hard”. When I’m feeling down, or less-than-excited about training (yes it happens), I remind myself what my purpose is in swimming and how lucky I am to get to do what I love day in and day out.
Thanks so much for following along with me on the five of the ways I keep myself motivated after a big season of racing!
Please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram @swimmermichael. Follow me to be a part of the journey and be in the know for future giveaways and events.
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