It’s probably no secret to any of you parents out there, that keeping our teenage athletes motivated at the best of times can be a challenge. So how on earth do you keep them motivated during such crazy times of isolation? We challenge them to keep their eye on the prize. We offer them a reward if you will, to complete their mission as originally planned. The only thing that has changed, is they now have the gift of time. Time that you would otherwise scramble to find any where else.
Times are changing, that’s for certain. But the show must still go on. Your athlete must work harder now than ever. Their entire audience of coaches, sports directors, assistant coaches, and admissions staff, are all online. They too are home feeling isolated. It’s more than likely that they are catching up on work, scrolling for new recruits, and looking for talent that they otherwise would never had the time to spend looking at.
Recruiters are looking for your athlete right now. Tell your athlete that! If they snooze now, they will lose. It’s their time, right now, to gain the competitive edge and come out on the other side as the leader of the pack, and the disruptor in college sports. In my blog today, I am giving you seven surefire ways to keep your athlete feeling motivated, rather than isolated.
1- Vision Boards
A good way to keep your athlete’s eyes on the prize is through visuals. A visual picture is a firm reminder of what your athlete is working toward. Now is a good time to get those vision boards created if they are not already. You can make it as large as you please, and I do suggest having one large enough that they can look at it from any point of their room. It is a really good idea for your athlete to look at it each morning and night as they lay in bed.
Use pictures from magazines, photos, postcards, or whatever it may be that helps your athlete to visualise all of their dreams coming true. Use lots of colour, be artistic and creative, use funky materials, and just make it loud and proud. Your athlete won’t be able to help feeling motivated every single time they look at it. At the start of each day, suggest they spend that little bit longer looking at it and where they are headed in the years to come if they keep working hard. Vision boards are fantastic motivators, and this is the perfect time to get them going.
2- Study Party’s
These are certainly unprecedented times, and we are now having to find new innovative ways to do every day life. A good way to help your athlete feel like they are not so isolated is to hold a study party. No, I don’t mean to invite all the friends over for a slumber party. What I am suggesting is that you help your athlete to set up a meeting room. They can use Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any one of the amazing apps that can provide a virtual room to hang out in.
Your athlete can invite those they normally study with, or find completely new people. Students that study the same subjects, have the same interests, or play the same sport. Having extra people to study with can help your athlete to stop feeling isolated and begin feeling motivated and empowered. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends and build on those support networks. It’s important that we continue to help your athlete feel connected. A study party is a great place to start.
3- Virtual Bootcamp
Much like a study party, you can set your athlete up in a virtual bootcamp. There are a lot of public ones online at the moment. They are all in a bid to help us feel fit and healthy while in isolation. These are a great way to find something tailored to your athlete’s fitness level. And they can be a ton of fun.
Your athlete can continue to feel worked and pushed to the extremes within a virtual bootcamp. Another option is to have fun creating one, with the advice of your athletes coach. Then they can invite their high school or online friends to participate with them. You could have cool little incentives along the way. This will surely help your athlete to feel motivated rather than isolated.
4- Read Motivational College Sports Stories
It can take a bit to entice teenagers to read a book other than the textbooks they are ‘forced’ to read. Well, right now may very well be that time that you can entice your athlete to read. I wouldn’t suggest a long novel if thats not their thing, but I would try to find some really good college sports success stories.
Perhaps the biography of one of their favourite sports stars, a professor, a team, or even a coach. Any type of book that is going to remind them of how much they want to succeed. Many motivational books have a tendency of leaving a feeling in the pit of your stomach. They help us realise how much we yearn to achieve something. Look on Amazon or google etc where you can purchase books in digital or hard copy form. Reading motivational college sports stories will help your athlete feel motivated as opposed to lonely, isolated, and hopeless.
5- Build An Online Book Club
Building an online book club, is a great way for your athlete to share their new motivational college sports stories. They can share with other students and athletes who are just as passionate about the college journey as they are. Your athlete will also find some great new book suggestions that other athletes have read and felt exhilarated by. This is also another way your athlete can find like-minded athletes and sports stars to share their journey with. You can also have a book club as a family in your own home, or with other family members online. The options are endless and everyone is online. Building an online book club can reduce feelings of isolation. It can be a good break away from study and training each week.
6- Start A Fan Club
An activity that you can do on your own, or with your athlete, is to build them a fan club. Create an online room that your family, friends, and support networks can gather together. They can see what your athlete’s journey looks like inside of isolation. A place they can leave encouraging comments, words of wisdom, and inspirational quotes.
You can post videos of training sessions, and updates on study and exams. Post books they are reading, milestones they are hitting, and just about anything you would like to include. Your athlete can keep checking in and look at all the encouragement and the support they have. They will realise just how many people are behind them and watching their journey every step of the way. This will lift your athletes positivity and confidence, giving them the courage to keep going. Starting a fan club will help your athlete to feel empowered and motivated. Isolation won’t even be a thought.
7- Rewards Systems
Your athlete is special, they have a gift that only a few people are ever lucky enough to have. They are disciplined, hard working, dedicated, and ambitious. Your athlete knows what they want, and how to get there, but sometimes they need help. They are teenagers after all. It’s important now more than ever, that you are giving your athlete incentive to stay motivated. They don’t understand what’s happening right now, heck none of us do. Therefore, it’s an absolute necessity that you are consistently reassuring them that it is business as usual. They are still on the path to college success and now is the time to shine.
Create a rewards system for them, something to work towards at the end of each day. Normally I would say each week. In the beginning however, you may need to ramp it up to keep them reassured. I know you cant let them go to the movies etc, there is still a lot you can reward them with. Their choice for dinner, a new online game, extra free online time, an online shopping spree, and so on. There are still many options, you just need to think a little differently about it. It’s so important that you keep giving them something to work toward. It will help them to keep focused and persist. A rewards system is a very good way to keep your athlete feeling motivated rather than isolated.
Times are changing rapidly and trajectories are shifting. Your athlete needs you now more than ever to get behind them and keep them focused and motivated. Consistently reassure them. Show them they are still on the same transition from as they were when the pandemic first began.
Study and training methods will change and be different for quite some time. However, if they stick to the original plan, then nothing has changed. Remind them how amazing, strong and courageous they are. Remind them how very proud you are of their hard work, strong will, and determination to keep going. Keep them motivated with their eye on the prize. They will come out of this on the other side with a very big winning grin. Just follow these little strategies and your athlete will continue to feel motivated instead of isolated.
I have a few spots available for consult calls this week and I’d love for you to grab one. Sure, times are uncertain! But, that doesn’t change the fact that your athlete still has a very big journey ahead of them. So – since you have more time than ever before, and no excuse not to go all-in on your athlete’s college success, I’d love to chat about working together so I can help you reach your goals. The call is free, so you lose nothing by hopping on the phone (I promise not to go all weird, used-car salesmen on you)! You can book your call here! https://peainternational.com/free-consultation-call/
The PEAinternational sporting community is growing by the minute with so many amazing parents and their elite student-athlete’s. I would love for you and your athlete to come on over and join us. We have virtual meet-ups, live shows, and lots of resources. We will help your athlete continue on the path to college success. You can join here! http://www.facebook.com/groups/PEAinternational
On the 14th April 2020, I am hosting a free webinar called Live In The Locker Room With Brooke. The topic will be ‘How to Use This Time to Lean in and Navigate the Complexities of the College Journey’. I would love to personally invite you and your athlete to come along and check it out. We will be kicking off on April 14 at 9 AM AEST. You can secure your spot and get registered here https://peainternational.clickfunnels.com/the-locker-room-livenar-with-brooketvy1v1it
I look forward to meeting you very soon. Please take care and stay safe and healthy during these isolating times. Stick together and stay connected, we are all in this together. I am here for you and your athlete every step of the way. Take care. Yours in sport and education, Brooke Hamilton.