5 Tips To Keep The Motivation High & Smash Your Goals, From An Athlete

It might be nearing the end of the year, but don't let that derail your goals. 



Obstacle Course Racing athlete, Thomas van Tonder has had a long season, with the last half of the year being particularly taxing in terms of racing schedule. The 27-year-old, who also became a new dad this year, has kept his focus solid and managed a string of good results toward the end of the season, including finishing second in the 3km and winning the 100m Sprint Race at the OCR World Championship, finishing on the podium at the innovative Red Bull Conquer the Castle and being a favourite in every Toyota Warrior Race he enters locally.

Related: 4 Mind Tricks That Work When There’s No Motivation To Gym

Here are 5 of Thomas’ top tips for athletes to stay motivated at the end of a long season: 

1. Have A Clear Goal

Clearly prioritise what event or race it is that you are going to be doing and then cut out any clutter and don’t plan any other stuff around that. In other words, have a very clear goal of what you are going to be chasing, late season.

2. Plan Accordingly

This pertains to training, recovery, race strategy, nutrition and kit. Everything really – you need to have a detailed plan in place for the goal you’ve set. There is a saying that says: ‘A prepared athlete is a confident one,’ and I subscribe to that. For example, the 3km event at OCR World Champs was my goal for the late season and I had a very specific plan in place for that event.

Related: 12 South African Heroes To Motivate You For The Rest Of The Year

3. Accountability

It always helps when there’s someone to help you hold yourself accountable. This could be a coach or a community of sorts. Someone who can hold you to your goals, but also who you can bounce ideas off and who can keep challenging you.

4. Trust In The Process

Once the goal is in place, and you have planned for it and you are properly accountable, you have to trust the process and not let the ‘process’ add to your stresses. Don’t be the person who looks at the athlete next to you and start questioning things (such as gear and form) which will break down your confidence.

Related: 7 Podcasts You NEED To Listen To If You’re Having Trouble Reaching Your Fitness Goals

5. Celebrate The Positives And Small Victories

If you hit small goals and results in the buildup – even if that is something as small as a morning run – celebrate those! It is important because it has a big impact on morale and that motivation is crucial to ultimately helping you reach your final goal. A positive mind is a positive body.

About Thomas van Tonder:

Thomas van Tonder has experienced a meteoric rise to the top of world Obstacle Course Racing (ORC). One of Red Bull’s top athletes, the South African started racing OCR in 2013 and finished second in his first race. Within three years he had turned pro. Fast forward to 2019 and, among many other wins, van Tonder has won 17 Warrior Black Ops Elite races, won the National Championship and Series Championships in 2016 and 2018 (was runner up in 2017). Van Tonder has also has competed in four OCR World Championships and placed in the Top 10 three times.

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