Staying motivated in winter

It’s officially winter here in Australia and the cold weather has already claimed some young basketball players from the morning training sessions at the KGV stadium. No doubt that this is the same around the country with athletes struggling to stay motivated in winter.

It’s easy to get lazy with the cold mornings; staying in a warm bed is so much more appealing than getting up early in the freezing cold. Working out in the mornings has major benefits so here’s some steps to stay motivated in winter, so that your skills get polished over winter.

5. Warm breakfast to get you going

I feel that I am being silly saying this but in winter you want to be consuming more warm foods than cold. A warm breakfast over winter is a major bonus to get you going at the start of the day. A good start to the morning is eating oats or porridge. It’s quick; oats or porridge in a bowl, add milk, stir, microwave for 90 seconds and you are on your way. Quick, simple and oats/ porridge have a whole hots of health benefits such as lowering the risk of heart disease and helping your digestive system. For more info on the health benefits check this article out read more.

If you are not a fan of oats or porridge then you can eat a cereal with warm milk try incorporate a hot tea as well. There’s plenty of options on the menu for you but I’m not going to go into detail. There’s plenty of reading material out there for optimal diets for athletes. However, I will suggest staying away from coffee. As much as I love my coffee having it everyday is bad and addictive. I’ve seen people around the office not being able to operated without a cup of coffee. Some even get the shakes without their morning caffeine hit.

4. Get yourself some warm training clothes

The technology these day that goes into training gear is unbelievable and the range of sports thermal wear is amazing. They are lightweight, breathable and warm. If you do feel the cold right down to the bone like me, invest is some winter training gear. Items such as:

  • Full length compression tops and bottoms
  • Drifit Jumpers (Nike)
  • Lightweight track suit pants

To get you to and from training I also recommend:

  • Beanie’s
  • Jackets with hoods
  • Gloves
  • Scarfs

Common sense, I know. But having the right gear will help your mood and the result will be you approaching your training in a more positive manner.

Getting training gear doesn’t have to be expensive. I buy all my clothes from Eastbay. They have a whole bunch of Eastbay branded gear that is extremely cheap, most under USD$20. Obviously if you want to purchase the name brand stuff like Adidas, Nike, Under Armour and so on you’ll be paying a lot more.

3. Have your heater automatically turn on

If you have the ability to set your heater on a timer then you are a lucky mofo. When I was younger living with my parents the central heating could be controlled via a timer. This was a god send when I had those 6am training sessions. It was so much easier getting out of bed when the room temperatures were nice and toasty.

If you don’t have timed central heating here’s a little hack. You can get a small heater. Something sufficient to heat your bed room. Purchase a plug point timer from a handyman store or even eBay. Set the timer to 10-15 minutes before you want to get up, connect the heater to the timer plug and you have timed heating.

As suggest above, I recommend that you set the timer 10-15 minutes prior to waking up that way the room will be nice and warm when the alarm goes off.

PLEASE NOTE: With anything electrical, in this case the heater and plug point timer. Only use items that pass the safety standards in your country. Please ensure that you are buying products with the appropriate safety tags. The last thing you want is a fire while you sleep. Consult an expert if you are unsure.

2 Find a reason to train

Why are you getting up in the morning to train? What’s your goal? To find motivation to get up in the cold winter mornings you need direction. You need a purpose. You need to set goals. Is it to play better for your team? Is it the hope that one day you will play college or pro basketball? Or is it simply that you enjoy the game so much and it’s the only time you get to ball.

Whatever the reason, you need a purpose to get you out of bed. The higher the purpose the more motivated you’ll be. For example, what get’s me out of bed and on the basketball court 630am every morning is the fact that I will be playing a tournament overseas in September. I want to keep my skills sharp and get better so that I can do my best when I am playing the tournament.

If you need help setting goals that are meaningful and keep you motivated check out the article I wrote, 5 questions to ask yourself while goal setting. If you have a big tryout date coming up and need to set goals to get your training on track here’s how you can plan them out.  

1 Train with a partner

The best way to get you out of bed in the winter and onto a basketball court is if you train with a partner. Someone that will kick your ass if you come late or not show up at all. A good training partner isn’t the guy that’s passive and will be cool with whatever. You need the training partner that takes training super serious. The person that wants to get better and take his/her basketball career further. These training partners are hard to find but if you are one of the few that knows someone like this. Lock them in as your training partner!

When growing up I was lucky to have a few of these types in my life. Bart Strzebonski was the main one that I used to workout with and battle almost every day of the week. The intensity of the workouts was what made me improve so much and at an accelerated rate. I know I would never have been as good as I was without those workouts.

You need to find yourself a Bart so your game can improve at an accelerated rate. If you don’t have anyone like this in your life here’s how to find them. If you are not in a rep team then go and train with one. This will give you access to a better breed of basketball players that are self motivated. Eventually you will become friends with them and you can get on their training routines or get them to join yours.

Alternatively, you can get a coach to take you through individual training sessions. Although very beneficial, this can be expensive. In the coming weeks I will be interviewing some of these coaches so if this is what you are keen on be sure to check out the NoBordersBasketball Podcast.

I hope the winter cold doesn’t keep you off the basketball court and you keep that motivation high. It’s easy to get lazy over winter and develop bad habits. Use these 5 methods to stay motivated and get better!

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