Finding Motivation on Game Day and Every Day

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Your Monday morning alarm goes off signaling another work week has begun. Your mind races with all the tasks in front of you, and it feels easier to pull the blinds and stay in bed. Where can you find inspiration to tackle the day with the energy necessary to succeed in this competitive world?

Orlando Magic Assistant Coach Pat Delany and AdventHealth Licensed Mental Health Counselor Victoria Henry share some words of wisdom on how to stay motivated — both on and off the court.

Setting the Tone for Teamwork

Pat Delany has been around NBA basketball for a long time. Scouting for the Miami Heat, coaching for the Charlotte Hornets, and now coaching alongside Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford right here in The City Beautiful. With all that experience, he knows a thing or two about motivation and getting players prepared to perform at their best.

“I think players want to see your genuine self in a coach,” he says. “You have to build a relationship with them and get to know them and understand where they’re coming from. We all have different backgrounds, different things that make each of us tick.”

The social aspect of employee/employer relationships has changed dramatically in recent years. Communication, empathy and understanding are now the recipe for getting the most out of players — and employees in any field.

To be a successful leader and motivator, it's better to be respected rather than feared. And according to Delany, persistence and flexibility are key as well.

“Not every tactic is going to work the first time or the first way. That doesn’t mean the end goal can’t be done. You just might get there a different way. Having an open mind to each situation, assessing who is involved in terms of individual personalities, and how to address them as people is of the utmost importance.”

Strong Individuals Form a Stronger Team

Coach Delany believes to be a great leader, you have to start with yourself: “Be clear about having defined roles, responsibilities and goals. Have a clear and concise message about what our goals are and how we are going to build towards them every day, both as individuals and as a team. We are not going to reach these goals tomorrow. We have to stay positive and make the most out of every situation. We have a daily plan for the team, with the steps we need to progress and reach our goals.”

Delany also stressed the importance of a strong support team for any organization to succeed regardless of the field. “Our behind the scenes team is invaluable. From the training staff to the performance team to the front office. The coaches and players rely on them as a resource that enables the team to perform at its best.”

It's important to learn self-awareness and know that it takes trust and support from others to accomplish our goals. We must have the vulnerability to accept help from our team so that we can focus on the task at hand as we strive to move forward and be successful.

Staying Motivated Through the Journey of Life

AdventHealth Licensed Mental Health Counselor Victoria Henry is an expert at helping people find much-needed motivation.

“I really work with clients on reaching to figure out what is it that makes you go. What is your ‘why’ about getting up in the morning? Sometimes it’s about understanding what is already in place in your life and refocusing on the things that bring you joy.”

An attitude of gratitude and self-reflection is key to staying motivated day to day: “What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Is it writing, is it cooking, is it helping others? How do we keep these things integrated into your life, so they are part of your daily routine?” Henry explains.

She says life is a journey — and you have to be comfortable with how you change as you age. “People feel worried and have anxiety about the future, or they might have some identity issues with ‘who I am now’ versus ‘who I was when I was younger’ or ‘who I thought I would become.’ We can focus on analyzing the pressures of your day and your stress, so you can implement things in your routine that spark excitement. Because that can be a sign of depression when the things you used to enjoy no longer spark you.”

Setting Achievable Goals and Tuning Out Noise

Having achievable goals (and rewarding yourself for incremental gains) is also an important part of staying motivated. Henry asks, “what does success look like for you? You have to take small steps and give yourself small wins along the way; give yourself credit for each and every thing you accomplish each day.”

Breaking down large goals into smaller tasks helps as well. “Self-sabotage is easy when goals seem insurmountable. Then the waiting and procrastinating begins. Breaking things down makes it more palatable. Small battles and small wins let you feel like a success along the way, because it’s a journey. And in reality, it’s not about the destination or the goal. The journey is the success because what is life if you don’t enjoy the journey?”

Our modern, digital lives can also play a role in our motivation. “Social media can be a sticky topic. I have posed the question to patients about letting go of it altogether. While it may help you stay connected to some people or some communities, it comes with this antenna that picks up negative feedback and comparisons. And it can cloud how you see the world; where you can’t see true reality. This virtual reality people project online is not their true selves. And now you are not focusing on what is really happening in your personal life. You're just scrolling on your phone, when in your real life, you are just sitting on the sofa feeling unmotivated and unproductive because you are only engaged in other people’s digital projection of their reality.”

Henry recommends monitoring your screen time, especially on social media, and make sure you are focusing on the positive aspects it can bring to your life.

We’re With You on the Journey

AdventHealth is here for you if you're struggling with staying motivated or lacking a sense of joy and purpose. Our team of mental health experts can help get you back to feeling like yourself with a variety of therapy and treatment options. Though the road may seem long and daunting, you don’t have to walk it alone.

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