The Tricky Triggers of Motivation
Not surprisingly, considering the thousands of different personalities you’ll find in the sports world, athletes reach motivation via many different avenues. balance training exercises for elderly We have all known what it feels like to want to impress our friends and family.
Perhaps not all of us have experienced a tragedy that moved us to boost our performance and not many of us, I imagine, have had million dollar carrots dangled in front of us to spur us on to excellence.
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Winning for the Gipper
It’s nice to know that not all strong motivations are self-centered. Athletes have produced remarkable feats while motivated to do them for their teammates, family, or their country. balance training exercises pdf As examples: in 1996, the Las Vegas Stars of the Pacific Coast (baseball) League dedicated their winning streak to first place in memory of their teammate Mike Sharperson, killed in a car crash. Mired in a terrible 1997 slump, Toronto Blue Jays Joe Carter was so angry at the dismissal of his manager and friend, Cito Gaston, he wore Gaston’s number on his back and clouted a homer to beat Baltimore. Bulgarian soccer star Hristo Stoichkov deliberately made himself angry during matches to motivate his teammates. When they see that I’m angry and that I’m being really aggressive, my teammates catch a bit of that from me and they play more intensely, he said.
Other athletes are motivated by greats who have gone before them, like basketball’s Larry Bird, who before games looked up at hockey player Bobby Orr’s Number 4 sweater, retired in the rafters at the Boston Garden; former IBF world middleweight boxing champion Roy Jones Jr., who watched tapes of boxing legends before his bouts; and Roger Clemens, who enjoys playing at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Tigers Stadium, where he gets chills looking at the names of all-time greats on the outfield walls.
As we’ve mentioned, many athletes are motivated by the presence of relatives in the audience. For some, having mom or dad watching from close proximity adds pressure that causes choking, but for many others the presence of family is a significant motivating factor.
But family members don’t necessarily have to be close by to influence an athlete’s performance. Sometimes misfortune for someone in the family can spur an athlete on. For instance, Belarus gymnast Vitaly Scherbo had no plans to defend his six Olympic titles in Atlanta until his critically injured wife, Irina, began her recovery from a near-fatal car crash. After the worst season of his pro career, NFL quarterback Neil O’Donnell had a big game to lead the New York Jets to a 41-3 victory in the 1997 season opener dedicated to his sister-in-law who had delivered a stillborn baby. It was on my mind constantly. I was going to win this for her. exercises to improve balance and stability Gary Hall, Jr., swimming for his grandfather whom he believed had been falsely imprisoned, won the gold medal for the U.S. 400-meter medley relay team with a record last lap in the 1996 Olympics.
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