Falling in Love with Your Sport
Hello, everyone! I’m Coach Briley with Complete Performance Coaching. Today, I want to talk to you about falling in love with your sport: why it’s important and how to get that feeling, and how to hang onto it. After all, February is the month of love, so why not bring in the topic of love to our sports and activities?
Love is relevant and necessary when it comes to pursuing excellence. Think of what trying to be excellent in your sport would be like if you didn’t love it? Would you spend so much time doing it? Why? Why would you spend any excess time not loving it?
I might not be a “love expert,” but here are some of my observations about falling in love within the context of sports:
Why it’s important to be in love with your sport
Think about doing something you DON’T love for hours and hours a day. Even on good days, the motivation to be there would evaporate. For the most part, you have to have a genuine love for your sport if you are going to spend years of your life working hard every day at it.
Being in love with your sport makes the goal setting and goal accomplishment process more effective. If you love the process of working towards something you believe in and buy into, you’re more likely to stick to that process.
However, this is not to say that there will be days where you are not 100% in love for your sport. There will be setbacks, disappointment, and times where you will feel like you want to give up. But, if you have some amount of genuine love for your sport at the end of the day, the glimmer of hope and motivation to work through those days will carry you farther than if you didn’t have it. For those tough days, all you need is just enough love in your heart to get by. A little love goes a long way.
How to fall in love with your sport if you feel like you have lost it
Think big picture. Is your sport contributing positive things to your life? For example, is it providing: opportunities for growth, fun and enjoyment, goal acquisition, relationships with teammates and coaches, confidence, and learning lessons that are improving yourself? These are only a few examples of incredible, positive things that sports provide us.
Think about the things your sport gives to you beyond the surface level of physical activity, fitness, having a routine, and winning awards.
Remember why you started in the first place
What was the initial drive to join? Was it competition? Pure fun? Making friends? Feeling like you belong to something bigger than yourself? Future opportunities? Ask yourself that question of why you started and hopefully, you can remind yourself of what thought process brought you to where you are now. You have an important role to play in your sport, but it’s up to you to find it.
I can’t tell you what to love about your sport, but it’s possible to dig deep within yourself and look for what your sport means to you. Everyone has different reasons, so be honest with yourself. Don’t second guess yourself. Use your strengths. You are in your sport for a reason, and you didn’t come this far to only come this far.
Practice gratitude for the little things each day
Commit to making a daily list of at least 3 things that you learned or good things that happened in your training. Even if it is as simple as “I survived today” or “I got to see my friends in practice today,” those count as things to be grateful for and add to your gratitude list. Make this a daily habit. You will remember your love for your sport quicker than you probably think.
How to hang onto that love for your sport
1. Celebrate each victory, big and small. Whether it was an overall great day, just ok, or a terrible one, there is ALWAYS a nugget of success or wisdom that comes from those moments. It’s simply all about how hard you are willing to look to find victories and positivity.
2. Embrace the suck. Embrace the mundane and the boring. Embrace the daily grind. Success is slow. Just like falling in love, it happens over time and with continued interest, dedication, and decision-making. It also takes continued effort and work. Just like goal setting and goal achievement, success does not happen overnight. Nor is falling in love. Remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it and sustaining it.
3. Stay curious. Keep looking for reasons to love your sport every day. Show up to practice each day as if it is a clean slate. Treat each practice like it’s a new chance to learn something new and master your skills. You get to decide the attitude you walk into practice with each day!
4. Don’t give up. Giving up should truly be the last option before giving it all you have and committing to finishing the process. Loving something takes continued effort, work, and choosing to love it, despite its flaws. Our sports are not perfect representations of real life, but they are awfully close. Avoid blaming your sport or the people in it for issues that are encountered along the way. That will keep things in perspective and allow for the love to be maintained.
Keep showing up for yourself each day, one thing at a time and one day at a time.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback or questions about this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy training!