One secret to motivation is to create accountability. Each player needs to be accountable for their efforts. Creating an accountability structure is what you need to do.
Case Study: Sports scientists observed that the more rowers in a rowing boat, the less work each individual rower contributed to the team's overall output. A single rower worked the hardest, while an eight person team were only working about 65% of their individual potential. The more people in a team, the more chance of this "social loafing." The application that the top coaches took from this study was that each player must be accountable for the contribution they make towards a team's performance.
For a team sport this means each player must have specific goals and outcomes they want to achieve. These goals should be public: known by the coach and other players. For example, a player might set a goal for the number of passes, off-loads or goals he/she wants to achieve. Other players can also motivate and encourage their mate towards their goals. The player or coach can therefore assess the outcome. This strategy is vital when you are playing a weaker side.
What about if you are doing an easy exercise or training session? The same accountability applies. Why not ask your gym instructor or coach to assess your technique or chart the number of reps you do. The public recording of your goals creates accountability. Or find an exercise buddy who can keep you accountable during these sessions.
By creating an accountability structure you can reduce the chance of "social loafing" and keep your motivation up.
Motivation for Quiet Times
Well-Being Australia theologian points out that staying motivated is not just hard for athletes. As Christians, we also struggle in keeping motivated to consistently read the Bible and spend time with God in prayer. We know it brings great benefits and blessings, but it is often hard to "find the time" for quality meditations.
So why not use the same philosophy? Find a reading buddy to read a passage with each day/week. Create a chart at your home or church with Bible verses read. Or make a prayer diary or prayer email chain in your network to pray through certain issues. Accountability and encouraging one another are vital for our own individual walk with God.
(Jeremy is a former sports scientist, now sports chaplain and pastor)