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Will To Win

The key to motivation is understanding what drives you to achieve and then tapping into this to bring your dreams to life.

Published August 16, 2012 03:31

Will To Win
Maria Sharapova

Motivation is the desire, that inner drive that keeps you moving forward to your dream, despite the losses, the frustration, the mistakes, and the setbacks. It is the engine that fuels your actions and all that you do. It helps athletes to have long, satisfying careers.

• Motivated athletes consistently achieve at a high level.
• They have a mission, a purpose, and are excited to do what it takes to achieve it.
• Their goals are realistic and high. They know that average goals do not fuel passion and action.
• Successful people use a variety of factors to stay motivated.

The key is to understand what drives you to achieve, and then discover and apply the methods that bring your dreams to life.


Many factors may drive an athlete to be professional including:
• Success
• Hate to lose
• Others' expectations
• Failure and disappointment
• Great achievements of others
• Fear
• Love of competition and/or challenge
• Achieving goals
• Fulfilling potential
• Inspirational films or books
• Attention and recognition
• Prove yourself to others
• Career scrap book
• Money
• Desire to be your best

These factors usually fall into two categories:
INTRINSIC MOTIVATION where the desire to achieve is internal (it comes from factors inside of you).
• Intrinsically motivated players are those who play tennis because they love the game.
• They love to compete, to work hard and achieve their goals.
EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION where the incentive is external (it comes from things that are outside of you).
• Extrinsic motivators can be tangible or real (the trophies, the money) or intangible (the recognition, fame, praise) rewards that come from your profession.
• Extrinsic motivation can also come from a desire to please other people and to give them what they want.

"The ones who want to achieve and win championships motivate themselves."
Mike Ditka, former NFL player and coach


Do you want to be average, typical or ordinary? When you strive to be average you will not live an extraordinary life that is full of challenges and achievements. Is that what you want?

Extrinsic motivators are effective motivators. Money, trophies, and praise are certainly rewarding, but successful athletes do not rely on these factors alone. Being your best, competing for the love of the game and achieving your goals are some of the strongest motivators. They are all intrinsic factors. Research shows that if you can develop intrinsic motivation, you will work harder and longer and will always strive to excel.


Motivation should be directed by your goals. It is up to you to make your goals powerful magnets which will exert a strong positive force on you that inspires you to reach them.

Goals enable you to bridge the gap between what you are and what you could be!

Are your goals serving you? Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are your goals clear, challenging, and targeted at being your best?
2. Are you doing something every day that takes you a step closer to your goals?
3. Is your commitment to quality in training, learning, practice, preparation, and performance strong enough to help you reach your goals?
4. Do you make time for fun in your profession and your life? Do you rest and recover properly?


Know Where You Are.
• What area(s) of your game do you need to improve: technical, tactical, physical and mental?
• What has worked well for you in the past that you would like to continue?
• What are the lessons you have learned so far, including the things that don't work for you?
• Have a clear picture of what you want to achieve; it will push you to keep working hard when things are not going your way and help you overcome obstacles and frustrations.

Get Excited. Get Specific.
• What do you want to achieve? What is a goal that will really drive you? Dream without limits.
• Decide your goal and plan what you need to do to get there.
• Be specific. Write down all the details, all the things you must do to achieve this.
• When you focus on the process (how to), the outcome (result) will take care of itself.

Make A Commitment.
• Motivation is linked to commitment. Dedicated players work harder and more enthusiastically to become better.
• Dedication and commitment requires clear and compelling reasons.
• Why do you really want to do this? What will you achieve by it? Why will you succeed at reaching this goal?
• Be conscious of your goals. Write them down. Set small targets to achieve weekly. Measure your progress often.

Just Start!
• What is one small step you could do right now to get started toward your goals?
• Is there one thing you could resolve that will help you achieve your goals? For example, get professional advice.

"Nothing is impossible to a willing heart."
John Heyward, author.


Life Stressors: Personal problems such as: a family crisis, injuries, moving, death of someone close, relationship breakdown, financial stress, can all result in a decrease in desire to train and compete.
Lack Of Balance: Excessive or incorrect practice, training or tournament competition, combined with insufficient recovery and/or lack of healthy activities can cause overtraining syndromes. The first signs include low motivation and a slump in performance.
Negative Motivation: Although very powerful, fear is usually an ineffective motivator. Fear can take many forms, including fear of: punishment, winning and losing, of certain opponents, of reactions of parents or coach, and fear of injury.
False Motivation: If you are only motivated by external things, such as money, or praise; or if you equate your results with your self-worth (i.e. if you lose, you believe you are a failure and a bad person) you will struggle to stay motivated.


Keep your desire for your profession strong throughout your career. Apply these tips today!
1. Plan each day so that you are working towards your goals. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
2. Develop simple, positive self-talk phrases and say them with passion every day. Make sure they are powerful, positive and refer to now. For example, "I am confident and focused."
3. Mentally rehearse and see and feel yourself achieving each of your goals.
4. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. What little extra could you do today to be extraordinary?
5. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and want you to be everything you desire. Don't settle for less. Positive feedback, attention and approval of you (not your results) helps your motivation...
6. Reward your efforts and small achievements often. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.


The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

Topics: maria sharapova
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