One of the biggest struggles with high school athletes is motivation. Not just motivation to play the sport they volunteered to play but motivation to put in the required work to be great. I have never been a big fan of rah rah cheerleader type motivation but do believe that the energy of the moment can greatly dictate the outcome. A former coach of mine put it this way, “if you are running a marathon, you’re telling me that if your family is cheering for you near the finish line, you don’t kick it into the next gear?” Essentially when you feel there are people on your side you are more likely to come out of your shell.

But how do you get yourself to that point? How do you get that cheering section? I think the first step is being yourself. Stop trying to impress people, stop being fake in uncomfortable situations, stop trying to do what you think other people want to see. People can sense inauthenticity from a mile away. The less authentic you are, the less people are going to willingly support you.

Secondly, start thinking like our former President John F. Kennedy encouraged the entire country to think. Ask not how other people can help you, rather ask how you can help others. Just like a sense of inauthenticity, people can sense selfishness from a mile away as well. Are you the type that constantly looks at people and thinks, “what can I gain from this person?” Become a service first individual. Your first thought every morning should be, how can I improve someone else’s day today?

This article was written with the everyday strength or sport coach in mind. However, it applies to everyone. We are living in a society of me against you, that has made it harder to find quality people. Applying these concepts to your life will not only help you succeed but more importantly they will help those around you.

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