1. Know your why
It needs to be strong. It needs to be powerful and you need to know WHY you’re doing something. I’m not a morning person and yet every day I would get up and go to training. Body sore; schedule busy, juggling work and school and training. My why was always more important to me than any excuse I could come up with.
2. Motivate yourself. Daily.
Motivation isn’t something you are born with. It’s something you create and it’s something you need to recreate daily. A giant misconception is that athletes are wired differently. Our minds need training as much as our bodies. At the highest level, no one is going to get you out of bed other than yourself. In anything you do—training for a sport, advancing your career, succeeding in school, losing weight—either you want that result or you don’t, and there’s not a coach, trainer, teammate, boss, spouse, parent, or friend who can make you want it.
3. Off seasons are where medals are won
There’s no such thing as an offseason when you are an athlete. Off-season doesn’t mean you take the season off. It means you’re on your own until the next season. Everyone trains hard during the season, it’s what you do in the offseason that makes the difference.
4. Set yourself up for “wins” in training
Forward momentum is probably one of the most important things you’ll see in sports. In professional sports (like football or basketball) you’ll see teams feed off one good play, and then another and then they’re on a roll. Usually, the team on the roll wins. In order to feel that positive momentum in the third week of a hard training cycle, I would set myself up for wins in training. Whether it was a sprint piece at the end of the workout to get the boat moving well or a team session to refocus. These small kinds of wins keep you motivated and in touch with that momentum.
5. You hate it. We get it. Do it anyway.
Doing things you don’t like, or that you aren’t as good at is hard. I’m not a good runner, but for 10 years I ran 3 times a week, every single week. Nothing recreates the cardiovascular pain of running. For me to get better on the water, I needed to run. Your greatest gains will always come from strengthening your biggest weaknesses.
-Lizzie Bates (Sprint kayak) @lizziebee_23