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Making Use of Motivational Quotes

Core values and culture, reframing, ‘Big Reason Why’, Coaching Philosophy, AthleteDISC, CoachDISC, Sport ManagerDISC
Mim Haigh
Sports Writer – Athlete Assessments

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Undoubtedly, people love motivational quotes, they give us a chance to reflect on how or why we do things and they’re words of wisdom, an insight in to an unknown world of success, fear or fierce competition. But, you can also use motivational quotes to reinforce your core values, help you reframe, open an opportunity to share your ‘Big Reason Why’ or keep your culture alive.  Regardless of their origin or purpose, motivational quotes are incredibly popular, not just in sporting circles, but amongst the broader population the world over.

Before we examine ways to harness that immediate connection that quotes create, we asked Athlete Assessments CEO, Liz Masen about how she uses motivational quotes and here’s what she said,

“What is powerful about quotes is that a few words together capture what can otherwise take a paragraph to describe. The words of wisdom from those who inspire us capture what we’re trying to express ourselves. Sometimes they lift us through inspiration, sometimes they comfort us when things are challenging and sometimes they simply make us smile.”

“One of my all time favorite quotes is one that is often attributed to Mandela but was actually a Marianne Williamson quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” 

“On this theme, what I also love is when there is repetition through the ages on a consistent path, which I personally believe brings validation that the advice being shared has credit. For example, “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”, a quote by Socrates or by Pythagoras and also over 2500 years ago, “man know thyself; then thou shalt know the Universe and God.” 

Liz gives us some more excellent examples, this one by Carl Jung,

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

or this one by Benjamin Franklin,

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

and by William Shakespeare,

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

the well known quote by Sun Tzu,

“Know the enemy and know yourself.”

and in more recent times Gretchen Rubin,

“Self-awareness is a key to self-mastery”.

Using Quotes for Motivation

Seeing your goal beside a quote that inspires you or words by someone you respect can give it more traction. To keep quotes alive and relevant, I change mine every six weeks, (of course the relevant ones remain) then I add “spoken to me by…at the start and a little postscript at the end about how I applied the quote to a situation.

Motivation can be different for each person; just like some people get their energy from their interaction with other people and others in the same cohort or team get their energy from projects or internal sources, motivation is very individual. To be sure of what motivates someone else, whether that be an athlete, student or colleague, you could ask them directly or their AthleteDISC, CoachDISC or Sport ManagerDISC profile will tell you. Click to find out more about AthleteDISC, CoachDISC or Sport ManagerDISC profiles.

If an athlete or student can’t tell you about their motivation in their own words, perhaps they could find a quote that means something to them.

On one of our Team Days we each shared what motivated us, it proved a real bonding moment, but also served to highlight the differences between us and let us know what’s important to the people we depend upon to perform. Making use of what we learned- we are more aware of filing each other’s needs. Quotes would be an excellent addition to this conversation. To read more about our Team Day click here.

Signs and symbols of success

This is about owning the process of improvement and seeing reminders of that process in key places. Typically, we make signs, print water bottles, jerseys, T-shirts, stickers and if we have a low budget, we just laminate A4 paper straight out of the printer – it’s not the product that matters so much as the reason you made it. The process and the outcomes get everyone involved and keep them there every time they use or look at the signs and symbols of their own success. I’ve found this practise to be really useful; when I have low energy days, the signs remind me of the bigger picture, on vague days they keep me focused and on days when I have energy to burn, they’re a cherished reminder of what it’s all about.

Motivational quotes sit really well with displays of your signs and symbols of success, there’s something about seeing a quote from someone you know or admire alongside your personal goal.

Quotes that reiterate your core values and keep your culture alive

Your core values underscore what it is that you’re trying to achieve. As a group, you and your team should work together in the preseason to settle on some fundamental behaviours that will drive your everyday actions and bring you closer to your goals. Together, you can distil these down until they become your core values. If it’s not the preseason, don’t worry, it’s never too late!

You can be very deliberate about planning your culture and the core values that feed into it.  Every grouping of people has a culture and an easy way to understand culture is that it simply means, ‘the way people do things around here’.  But, you need to be very careful and ensure that your culture will bring you closer to your goals.

Again, you’ll probably have a favorite quote that resonates with your core values and making it known to your team can clarify the meaning of your values or show the way that value has been relevant to other people, helping them on their journey.

Watch Bo explain exactly what culture means in sport and learn how to cultivate the culture that you want here.

Using a motivational quote to reframe

Reframing is quite simply taking an event, something that’s happened or is going to happen and attaching a different meaning to it. Let’s use an example that we’re probably all familiar with – let’s think about what we tell ourselves when we lose a big game, or we don’t secure a place in a high stakes competition. The post-game analysis and self-talk can be negative, even diabolical. This can be damaging to say the least. However, if you attach a different meaning to the loss like, “the score line doesn’t reflect what we learned today” or reframe the loss in words that capture the expanse of your entire career, the long term effect of the loss could be very different.

A quote might help you to see a situation in a different way, which essentially, is what reframing is all about. For example, Liz shares “when times are tough, I often repeat to myself ‘this too shall pass.’

Watch Bo explain reframing in a sports context here

Quotes that resonate with your ‘Big Reason Why’ and Coaching Philosophy

A motivational quote can open an opportunity to share your ‘Big Reason Why’ with the people around you. Your ‘Big Reason Why’ literally explains why you do what you do, what drives you, what catalyzed you to start coaching, what makes you think you can make a difference and what that difference means to the people you coach.  Your ‘Big Reason Why’ is central to your Coaching Philosophy.

Having a Coaching Philosophy is vital to any coach because it directly impacts upon their coaching practice. Having a set of guiding values, principles and beliefs ensures consistency in your approach to sport enabling you to prioritize those areas that create your desired results. A defined Coaching Philosophy enables you to make well-judged decisions and actions. It is your consistency in behavior which creates respect and trust in your athletes, leading to a quality relationship.

A quote can mean different things to you at different times, making a note about the way a quote was relevant or helped you understand a situation can help you keep your Coaching Philosophy alive.  That quote could be the beginning of an entry in your coaching journal. Like any record of improvement, you need to own your Coaching Philosophy, it’s got to be up-to-date with entries that reflect your current circumstances, what you’ve learned, what you want to do better, what inspires you and what remains true.

Learn more about developing and maintaining a Coaching Philosophy

Where to from here?

Love getting inspiration from quotes as much as we do?

We’re guessing that if you made it this far, you do! Did you know we have an entire page dedicated to inspirational coaching quotes and quotes from the best sport coaches

At Athlete Assessments we’re here to provide you with excellence in service and to help you be your best. If there is anything we can do to contribute to your success, please contact us.

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