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“The Curse of Motivation”

By Alex On August 24, 2010 Under Sports Training

“Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.” –Josephus Daniels

This is something I’ve never really talked about before:

When I was going through my original speed and quickness transformation (the one where I went from super-slow and CUT from my own high school’s basketball team to playing college basketball and getting so darn quick, I was asked to create a best-selling speed and quickness program called “The Truth About Quickness”),  I struggled. A lot.

It’s funny now, because when we talk about it or look back on it, it seems so easy, simple and straightforward. And it sort of is..

Ya know, it’s like.. You do these exercises, you do them this often and you do this much of them, and pretty soon, YOU’RE incredibly fast too.

But that’s not the whole picture, is it?

You see, WHEN you’re doing those exercises, and you’re doing them OFTEN and you’re doing A LOT of them…you get tired.

You get frustrated.

You might even get bored sometimes.

It’s what I call “The Curse of Motivation“.

What is “The Curse of Motivation”?

It’s when you START a new workout program or regimen and are super excited to jump into it, and the first few workouts are just so AMPED up and you’re feeling great.

But then…something changes.

You start to get used to the new regimen. It all seems the same. It might even get boring. And that motivation you had going in to the new workout program starts to fall off..

And before you know it, you’re not even DOING the workouts anymore.. Another failed attempt to make ourselves better.


And when I spent all those years, working my butt off, testing and tweaking every method under the proverbial sun, I was just as susceptible to “The Curse of Motivation” as you were.

I got tired. I got bored. And there were definitely times that I would have much rather done ANYTHNG else than go to the gym again, make 250 “game speed” jump shots, do all of my dribbling drills and then go to the weight room for some front squats and RDL’s.

But you know what?

I always did.

I NEVER let some crazy “Curse of Motivation” stop me from getting what I wanted.

And I actually used a few different, “sneaky” motivation-getting tricks that, when I felt “The Curse” coming back on, I would put to use and completely BLOW AWAY any chance of de-motivation coming my way, and you know.. CRISIS AVERTED.

And I want to share those 3 tricks with you, but before I do, I want to know from you:

What do you do when you feel “The Curse of Motivation” sneaking up on you?

Is there a song you listen to? Video? Book or article you read?

Let me know in the Comments Section below, and when we get 30 responses here, I’ll be back with ALL 3 of those sneaky, motivation-getting tricks I used to use that worked so well for me.

I’ll talk to you in the Comments Section!


PS – If this is a serious problem for you, then do yourself a favor and go watch this video from my friend and Pro Sports Psychologist, Todd Herman: The Champion’s Challenge Video

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35 comments - add yours
Vivek Raman

August 24, 2010

Hey Alex! Well when ever I feel the “curse of motivation” I do a couple of different things. First I stop the workout for about a minute and close my eyes and try to remember why I am doing this exercise and what I hope to accomplish. After I do that I stay focused. Sometimes I just turn on my ipod I start listening to a bunch of rap music that gets me fired up. The last thing I do is that I sometimes watch youtube videos of Kobe during game time and that gets me fired up because it makes me enjoy what I do more after watching some of the insane things he does on the court.

Mohammed Akif

August 24, 2010

3 things:

Certain songs “talk to me” when I’m struck by this so-called curse.

Visualize/meditate in a tub full of warm water with the lights off before going to bed early, getting a ton of high quality sleep. If done well, wake up from a good night’s sleep, you’ll feel instant “action energy.”

Last thing, realize the power of MAKING A CHOICE. I can easily decide to blow off all my training-related commitments and ESPECIALLY the food and sleep choices, which basically means I’ve directly CHOSEN to FAIL and am responsible for any inability to meet performance goals.


August 24, 2010

i count as 34 comments NOW PLEASE tell us thoe “sneaky” tricks


August 25, 2010

i remind myself of two things. if hard work was easy, wouldnt everyone work hard? wouldnt everyone be great? i also remind myself that everyone works hard when they want to, but its those who rise to the next level that will work hard when they dont want to

Shawn Horwood

August 25, 2010

Well, I teach motivation…it’s kind of one of my areas of expertise so I do a number of things to motivate myself.

Depending on the situation a song or a quote can be helpful, but that usually just happens by fluke – I don’t really try to motivate myself with songs or videos or books.

I like to use visualization. Sit down and just visualize the end result. Feel the feelings. Bring up the emotions that I know I’ll have once I’ve achieved my goal and that gets me motivated.

Sometimes all it takes is reminding myself why I’m in it and why I set the goal in the first place.

I also use some NLP tactics…but that’s out of the scope of a comment section on the blog.

I use other techniques as well, but those are the biggest things for me.

I’m excited to see what tricks you’ve got up your sleeve.

(Get commenting people!)



August 25, 2010

A good video of Rocky training or a story of how people less fortunate than me overcame their handicaps never fails to give me that wake-up call I need. Now on to you, Alex!


August 25, 2010

Hey alex. Well , i know how it feels to really don’t feel like not doing any of the workouts, or even playing basketball somedays. I would say I am lazy sometimes. but then, as I was on my comp, (I usually go on the comp before I head out for sports), i saw a video on youtube, its some video about a show one tree hill. There was a particular video about the characther, Nathan, in the show who has a dream to go into the NBA. And the title says it all, you can’t measure a heart. And then I reflect back to my self after watching that video, do I really want this? Do I really want to make it to another level? Do I really really want to waste my 8 months of hardwork? And then I get motivated. Im starting to do this now when I feel bored, or even lazy, and it helps.


August 25, 2010

Always have a good selection of motivational music on your ipod/mp3 player, be prepared to change your workout at short notice to keep your interest and motivation at a peak or ask others if you can train with them for a session and most important when i get home from work/gym (our gym’s at work) first thing i do is get my things ready for the next days training session and put my bag in front of the door, that way i have to pick it up when i go to work the next day and take it with me, i’ve found that the biggest excuse given is that people don’t bring training gear with them and have started the day not prepared to train.


August 25, 2010

When I feel that I imagine myself in a big game doing something like 13 points in 33 seconds or just shooting and most important I’m not missing.I think about that and I never miss – I’m dunking over Yao, I’m making good crossover on MJ ,he falls and then me jumping over Vince Carter and dunking.But the most of time I’m just shooting in different games – one shot against Rockets,one against Lakers…and that way I forget about pain and keep practising!
Sorry if I said something wrong,my English is not very good.


August 25, 2010

i let my ego take the upper hand, i look for the best guy next to me and i say to myself :

“i’m gonna be better than him”

i search any weaknesses in my game and improve it

i also have some criteria that make who i’am:
the most important is:
“do anything to improve yourself every day of your life”

i use visualization a lot too


August 25, 2010

I usually listen to remember the name by fort minor


August 25, 2010

I don’t know what to do that is why I am reading your blog


August 25, 2010

Hey Alex,

I think the best thing for me is remind myself what goal I want to achieve, then visualize myself doing that certain thing (sometimes I have a little background music to pump myself up if I need it). Usually I do this before bed, and hopefully I dream about that achievement during the night :D.


Taylor Allan

August 25, 2010

Usually I just think…

What would Barney Stinson do?

And then I do that. Or the opposite.


August 25, 2010

You’ve gotta want it everyday. I guess for me its a matter of positive attitude. “Sacrifice is an on going process not a one time payment” (Attitude 101).

Dave Szostak

August 25, 2010

I usually like to have a bowel movement. That both relaxes me and motivates me to keep pressing.


August 25, 2010

Nice everybody. Taylor, I think I’d just read every poster in Barney’s office. Then do the opposite.


August 25, 2010

Usually, I watch some mj commerical before hit the gym.
and listen to some bump up songs, and just remember this quet :
” If you work hard, there is someone who work harder then you”
and I try to work harder than every baller.


August 25, 2010

The first thing I do is usually tell myself that I can’t do it, I’m too tired, too old, or something else that really pisses me off, and then I go set a PR.


August 25, 2010

i absolutely have no clue what to do….


August 25, 2010

till i collapse


August 25, 2010

i have been experiencing a lack of motivation lately. I just don’t want to workout. Usually music helps but not this time.

dental hygienist

August 25, 2010

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!


August 25, 2010

eminem- lose yourself is really good for motivation! And iverson reebook ad


August 25, 2010

I stop, sit down, plug in my headphones and listen to the playlist of songs, in order that relax me and get me fired up. At first, I think of my grandfather who passed away and how everything I do is to make him proud. Then I visualize the end result (my future), and how different it’ll be if I quit or keep going.

When I think of my future, if I give up right now it often consists of me in living in an alley in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver or some other horrible place. I think of that because this quote always comes to mind:
“You quit right now, you quit every day the rest of your life.”

Then I think of how sweet my future would be if I kept going. How I could win Provincials with my team, receive the Most Valuable Player award for the province of B.C., receive a scolarship to a great school, get “Rookie of the Year” awards and what not. That’s what motivates me to keep going, no matter what! And as soon as my playlist is over I get up and just keep going.

I know I’m not the greatest writer, I only got a B in English; so it might be a little hard to understand.. but it makes sense in my head. 🙂


August 26, 2010

we dont know that is why we want you to tel us


August 27, 2010

usually i time myself or sumthing that way i can try and beat my old record.

Dan O

August 27, 2010

Hey Alex.

Great post man.

I get the ‘curse’ all the time.

I usually use visualization to get over it.

If I’m working towards a really big goal (whether sports-related or not) I always PROMISE MYSELF that I will achieve it.

Once I make a promise to myself, I do whatever it takes to get the goal.

To date, I’ve never broken any promise (knocking on wood).


August 27, 2010

Hey what I do when I get the motivation bug is really envision myself at that end goal. For example, one of my goals is dunking, and at 5’8″ that is a tough goal for myself. As I’m doing my workouts though and coming closer to that goal, I find it helps to just see myself in my minds eye doing wild dunks.

Then I’ll usually look at some YouTube videos of Nate Robinson or Spud Webb and it usually does the trick!


August 27, 2010

Hey Alex

When I feel the curse, I usually think of the that one person in the world who is a little quicker, faster, and stronger than me. I then tell myself, there is no way I’m letting him win. Period!


August 29, 2010

Well usually I first imagine the benfit of the certain excercise I’m doing, for example if I am doing squats I imagine my self flying above the rim or if I am doing ball handling drills I see myself breaking someone ankles. Then I watch some highlight reels of my favourite ballers Dwyane Wade and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Finally I just imagine that feeling I get after I’ve finished a hard days workout.


August 29, 2010

Yo Alex when I feel the curse of motivation I stop and think about why I’m working out and visualize the end result I’m working for. Like if I’m working to increase my vert I’ll think about soaring over defenders for dunks and rebounds and blocking anyone’s shot who dares to try me.


August 30, 2010

I listen to the song ‘Do the John Wall’ by Troop 41. Really gets me motivated.


August 30, 2010

thats over 30