Motivation? Even pro athletes need a push

Let’s face it, getting motivated can be tricky. Especially when it could mean getting out of our pyjamas.

Motivational gurus and talking heads will preach about how to unlock secrets to push you forward. For the most part it’s white noise signalling the same message – ‘it’s within you, you just have to find it’.

And while some are the modern day version of snake oil salespeople, they aren’t too far from the truth, because it’s our brains which hold the real answers – but more of that later.

Exercise is number one

Far and away the best thing you can do for your brain chemistry is moving your body. You increase production of new brain cells and boost dopamine levels which makes you feel great. Don’t panic, you don’t have to pole vault or run a marathon, just do something which gets your blood pumping.

Professionals need a push too

You would think that pro sports people never lack motivation. Everyone can feel defeated, even with the grit and determination it takes to be on top of your game.

We spoke to five top rugby players to ask what moves them when they feel a bit meh:

Cole Swannack plays for Ystrad Rhondda RFC 1st team: “I just think about how much I want that end goal and take a step back and refer to how far I’ve already come.”

Pro tip: give yourself a pat on the back

Maliq Holden is a full back with the Cornish Pirates: “I think about the sacrifices I’ve made and where I’ve come from to be in this position and if that doesn’t work… I think about what it means to my family to see me happy, that always works.”

Pro tip: people and their faith in you can push you on

Martini Talapusi plays for Rugby ATL and Major League Rugby: “Good music and just telling myself that’s the only way I’m going to get better is by putting in the work outside of the professional environment.”

Pro tip: whack on the tunes and work on it

Trystan Lloyd plays for Yorkshire Carnegie: “Grab a big double espresso and try to grind it out, tomorrow is a new day.”

Pro tip: sometimes strong coffee and just doing it is the only way forward

Will Hendy plays for England Sevens: ” I think about what’s better. Being in a 9-5 job or being a professional rugby player who travels the world playing against the worlds best players?”

Pro tip: you may think your situation could be better, but try putting it into perspective

Follow TMA International, our sister company, on Twitter  Facebook or LinkedIn for more information & inspiration from pro athletes. Visit the TMA International website here

It’s a simple chemical reaction

The motivation molecule, dopamine, gives us the focus, energy and determination to be productive and the ability to experience pleasure. Play sports, learn a new hobby, complete an essay and you’re all good.

You could take a dopamine fast, like this crazy new fad or try boosting your feel-good chemicals by: Eating almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. Meditating to increase focus and concentration.

Sleep to help the brain get rid of toxins  Chill out to music to increase pleasurable feelings, improve mood, reduces stress, and boost focus and concentration. Massage enhances dopamine levels by nearly 30 per cent and decreases stress hormone levels.

Click here for more insights on well being from our Everyday Role Models

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