What motivates athletes

By Matt Hallas — Blood, sweat, and tears are common results of the work athletes put in to prepare for their game or match. An athlete must be motivated to face these hardships in addition to becoming sore, bruised and exhausted. To do all this, then wake up the next morning for school and do it all again shows truly how motivated these athletes are.

Student athletes sacrifice anywhere from 10-15 hours practicing during the school week and additional hours in competition throughout the week; seldom will they regret this dedication and sacrifice. Although athletes have different sources to their motivation, it is clearly present.

“What motivates me at practice is my strive to better myself as a runner,” varsity runner and co-captain Jacob Murphy said.

Although practice can help athletes achieve greatness in competition, Junior Varsity athletes may practice just as hard but will not get to compete in the “big” game or match.

“During practice, the JV is the scout team which means we run the opposing team’s offence and defence. So if we practice well, that means we prepare the varsity to do the best they can on Friday nights so the team can have a good season,” JV Football Captain Brandon Heckel said.

Regardless of varsity or JV, many athletes play for their team and want to make their team proud to have them.

“I have six guys behind me counting on me to do well, as I count on them to do well at the same time. I don’t want to give up on my teammates, without them I wouldn’t have anyone pushing me in my races,” Murphy said.

Along with playing for the team, some also view game day as a chance to show how well they practiced and reward themselves for their dedication.

“I play for the team. The JV team doesn’t play under the lights or even with a lot of people in the stands, it’s mostly just parents. But for me, it’s a reward for all of the hard work that we put in during the week to prepare the varsity. It’s sort of like our payday,” Heckel said.

Family, as it affects everything, can also affect athlete motivation. When you have dedicated family behind you pushing you to be your best and always supporting you, it helps set the tone for the athlete. Coaches are also there to not only help you improve but also to motivate.

“My family and coaches are always trying to help me and the kids on the team to get better, they motivate me,” varsity bowler Dylan Heaton said.

For some athletes through, their motivation is more personal and specific. They play for the team and to better themselves, but there is some specific goal they want to achieve and will not stop until that goal is achieved.

“Well I learned how to play with my grandpa a couple years ago who is really good at golf. All throughout the season I was just determined to lower my score each round that way I can play him one day and finally beat him,” JV golfer Chloe Ramnarine said. “All of the other girls really add to my determination because most of them have been playing a lot longer than I have so I just push myself to keep up with them and that really helps whenever I’m struggling in a match or anything.”

Athletes use many different kinds of motivators to help them do their best and to push themselves to new heights. Motivation is key to athletic success as well as many other things.

[Updated Aug. 12, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]