Loss of Love For Your Sport

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Have you lost the love of your sport? Dreading going to practice thinking your teammates are dragging you down? Where did all the fun go? If you’ve been having “what if” thoughts and feeling gloomy, then it’s time to reassess your goals.

  1. First, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the center. On one side draw a smiley face (or a happy face) this signifies what you love about your sport. In this column you will write all the things you love about it. On the other side of the paper draw a sad face, this signifies what you do not like about your sport at the moment. Throughout the next few days, keep that piece of paper next to your bedside table and write down ideas as they come to your head before you end your day. Now, let the list sit for a few days.
  2. Next, revisit the list the following week and review. How long is your love list? How long is your “I do not love” list? What are some new thoughts about how to turn around an “I do not love” item to a love item for your sport. There should be an action step for every “I do not love…” item about your sport.
  3. If stumped on what that action item might be? Consult a coach, buddy or parent. Get some external advice. At this point you are gathering information. Write out the possible solutions to the “I do not love” item on your sport. Sit on it for one day.

While writing your list down, make sure to make a copy for your phone (which I know you have with you practically always) a reminder for the time of day that you will come back to the list. It’s critical to put a reminder in your phone for each re-evaluation of the list and ideas you have formulated as solutions. Life gets busy and you are trying to incorporate many new habits. Set yourself up for success, set the follow up re-evaluation date.Once you have a clear idea of the issues and potential solutions for your “do not love list”, I want you to take the one that is not necessarily the toughest/challenging one but the one that seems to be bothering you the most and truly look at the solution on this item and visualize it as resolved. Once you have the thought of resolution, I want you to remember what that feels like…it should feel fabulous, like you can conquer the world.With that feeling and visualization, jump back into the solution and create a step by step action plan to make that a reality. Just tackle this one “I do not love item” at a time. It will probably take 2 weeks with diligent work to get this done but with some effort, which you are not shy about putting in and some visualization and determination, it can be possible. Remember anything is possible with the right mindset. If you find yourself going into a defeatist attitude that’s setting you back from reaching your desired outcome, remember these concepts.There will be bumps along the road but it’s inevitable. Knowing that they exist should give you comfort and less worry. If one of the action steps is not happening, reassess and try a new action step to get you to where you want to be. Just because you had to tweak the action step does not make it a failure. You are a competitive athlete, giving up in your sport is not in your mindset, nor should it be.Oftentimes we think the path to success in our sport is going to be easy, that genetics will define whether or not you succeed in your sport. News flash, all the clinical research shows that genetics is only 5%, the other 95% is practice – consistent, deliberate practice. It is the belief in oneself when the going gets tough that defines true competitive athletes.Your action plan should be to start with that “I do not love item” and work on it for 2 weeks. Get back to this article two weeks from now and take on the next item in your list. Only after you have gone down your list can you make the determination of whether to stay in your sport. Our suggestion to all athletes is to go through this mental exercise before you just give it up.If you work through your entire “I do not love” list and come to the fundamental conclusion that you still feel burnt out by your sport, then it’s the time to make a lifestyle switch to a different sport or activity to find your passion. But our suggestion is to not give up on being the best you can be in your current sport until you have gone through this exercise. Now, work that list!

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