Staying Motivated at the End of the Season
Are meaningless games at the end of the season difficult for you to get up for?
When games don’t matter and the season is practically over, many players just want to finish out the year as quickly as possible and put in just enough effort to complete the task.
Think of a season when you had a few games left with nothing on the line…
It didn’t matter if you won or lost because your team was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs…
You dreaded going to practice…
You went through the motions during drills or 3-on-3s…
You had no motivation and it was reflected in your effort, intensity and focus…
Games were just a formality, a thing you MUST do…
Your body was physically present during games, but your mind was focused on hanging out with your friends when the season finally ends…
The problem is not your team’s lack of wins but your lack of motivation… There are no meaningless games.
Every opportunity to compete and improve your mental and physical game is important.
Every practice that you go through the motions contributes to building a habit.
Every game you approach with an “I-don’t-care” mindset contributes to a negative habit.
Every game or shift that you lack intensity and focus has the potential to add to a negative habit.
If you are going to be attending practice and dressing for games, why not use that opportunity to better your game?
Maintain your motivation by using your ice time to implement techniques you have been working to improve in practice:
- Experiment with a different pre-game routine to see if it leads to a better mindset heading into a game.
- Take time to develop positive mental and physical work habits.
- Don’t give up on yourself or your team. Fight forward.
- Enjoy the role of being a spoiler.
- Look to end your season on a positive.
The Montreal Canadiens haven’t given up on their season despite being 15 points behind in the wildcard standings with only 12 games remaining in the season.
Montreal has slumped tremendously this season after winning the Atlantic Division last year, but their motivation has not slumped.
Montreal forward, Andrew Shaw, maintained a level of positivity and highlighted his belief that there are no throwaway games no matter what is happening during the course of a season.
SHAW: “Personally, it’s been tough, but it’s been tougher on the team. We’re determined to finish the year strong. We’re going to learn from this experience and get better. We’re going to compete.”
It is no fun to lose and it is worse knowing that your season will end without a playoff berth, but you need to find YOUR reason (your motivation) to continue competing.
In every game, there is something on the line… and that is your growth as a player.
Staying Motivated at the End of the Season:
Readjust your goals for the remaining games of the season.
Focus on improving your skills.
Set 1-2 performance and mental game goals that will help you focus on developing game during the last part of the season.
What mental skills can you improve? What can you develop in your physical game?
You may be out of the playoffs, but having a personal mission for the rest of the season, you can keep your level of competing high.
For more strategies on staying motivated and focused near the seasons end, check out, “The Focused Athlete”:
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