5 Professional Coaches Share Their Top Motivation Tips

If you've ever been stuck at a plateau with your training and in need of a motivational boost, you’re not alone. Lack of motivation is one of the most common barriers preventing people from achieving their training and fitness goals.

To get advice on how best to overcome such obstacles, we went straight to the experts. We asked five professional coaches and triathletes for their take on successful motivational techniques and potential roadblocks.

Read on to re-energise and restart your training routine, starting today.

Sam Warriner

Sam Warriner
        

Sam Warriner is a Former World No. 1 Triathlete who now owns a coaching business based in Taupo New Zealand called  Sweat7.

Sam was a 29 year-old age group triathlete back in 2000, who set herself the goal of becoming a professional triathlete. After winning seven ITU World Cup's between 2005 and 2008, winning the World Series Overall (2008) and winning Ironman NZ (2011), Sam now coaches age group athletes in Taupo and operates purpose-built accommodation for the athletes to stay in while they train.

How do you get your athletes motivated to train?

“Athletes are motivated for a variety of different reasons. When you throw life into the mix, athletes need somebody to lean on, somebody to oversee and at times somebody to push them forwards. Coaching really doesn't change much. Good coaches work with their athletes to establish a set of goals, provide the scaffold toward achieving them.”

Why do some people fail to keep motivated for training?

“I think the support structure around an athlete is key to them maintaining motivation. […] The life of an endurance athlete can be tough; an environment needs to be developed where they feel they can just 'drop in' when they need to, but not feel pressured to either.

“I coach age group weekend warrior types – they don't have the luxury of training seven days a week with a hands on coach, so we have to make the best use of what time we have. We Skype weekly, their training is set out on Training Tilt with all the specifics and explanations, and then once per month they come to Taupo for a weekend in our purpose built accommodation and we scaffold them toward their next phase.”

What’s the one key thing that prevents training motivation?

“Injuries can be a real challenge for both the coach and athlete. Athletes are more susceptible to them when they don't follow a well thought out plan. I get quite a few athletes come to me with injuries. […] They're motivated, they just don't yet know a strategy to turn that motivation into a solution to their current situation – that's where I come in. There is ALWAYS something you can be doing to move yourself toward your goal; sometimes it just takes a fresh set of eyes to steer you in the right direction.”

Love coaching? try our software

Walter Thorburn

Walter Thorburn
      

Walter is a 2 x New Zealand long course elite triathlon champion and World age group champion with 30 years of Endurance sport experience. He held the prestigious NZ Port of Tauranga Half Ironman 2k swim/90 k bike/21K course record of 3 hrs 48 minutes for over 11 years.

He has coached and guided triathletes to New Zealand and world age group titles since 2001 as well as top 3 results in the Speights Coast to Coast and NZ's premier marathons. He also holds the Level 3 Coaching certificate, which is New Zealand’s highest pinnacle of Tri NZs accreditation pathway for coaching.

He is the founder and coach for Go2Max Endurance Coaching.

How do you get your athletes motivated to train?

“(1) Creating a group excellence environment to be part of, (2) Running training sessions designed to build confidence and self-belief, (3) Having a vision for each athlete that shows him or her that you care and expect a shared responsibility.”

Why do some people fail to keep motivated for training?

“Training requires a huge commitment of time and energy. It needs to be at the top of the list. When it isn’t, you have problems. It’s important to create a week of training that fits the challenges of time availability so the athlete feels he or she is succeeding and making progress. Failing that, maybe the athlete needs a break.”

What’s the one key thing that prevents training motivation?

“From time to time when it happens, it would be either because of work, maintaining relationships, or both.”

Sergio Borges

Sergio Borges
    

Sergio Borges, founder of SBX Training, is a former elite level Ironman distance triathlete who has dedicated the last 22 years to studying the art and science of triathlon training. During this time, he has competed in hundreds of races of all distances including 23 Ironman races (9:38 PR) and over 60 Half Ironmans (4:12 PR), in addition to qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman World Championships seven times.

Sergio has been nominated as "All American" by USA Triathlon 10 times. After a decade of investment banking, he decided to apply his expertise to triathlon coaching. In 2003, having contested the traditional training approach for many years, Sergio developed an innovative and effective training method called Inverted Periodization.

How do you get your athletes motivated to train?

“I think the biggest motivation has to come from within so my first suggestion to all athletes is to have a goal. It can be anything from finishing a race, to placing in your age group, to qualifying for Ironman Hawaii or Worlds. Personal challenge is always a good motivation tool.”

Why do some people fail to keep motivated for training?

“I see a lot of athletes ‘rushing fitness’ and trying to achieve a level too soon, not respecting the body’s adaptation to stress and load, and it gets overwhelming. […] It's important to understand that even if the race is six weeks away, it does not mean the athlete can go out and ride for 5 hours when his or her longest ride before was only 2 hours.”

What’s the one key thing that prevents training motivation?

“Bad planning that generates overwhelming situations.”

Endurance coach? 21 day free trial

Kevin Cutjar

Kevin Cutjar
    

Originally from Australia, Kevin began triathlon training at age 24 without any athletic background. For the next three years, he struggled with his training program as he shuffled through a mass of contradictory information regarding training and nutrition. Eventually he changed his ways and started a personalized training plan.

After recovering from a stress fracture in June of 1994, he moved to Penticton, BC, to train for Ironman Canada, where he managed to place 61st out of 1400 athletes. His 9:58 finish time also qualified him for the Hawaii Ironman. From that point on, he realised that with a structured training plan that takes into account athletic experience, time availability, personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as long and short term goals, everyone can improve to a much higher level in their sport.

He runs a training program and coaching service for triathletes of all levels called TriathlonWarrior.

How do you get your athletes motivated to train?

“(1) Share a vision on the progressive nature of their training program, (2) Set short term goals as stepping stones toward their main goal, (3) Inspire them through group workouts, (4) Share stories of inspiration via social media, in group workouts, etc.”

Why do some people fail to keep motivated for training?

“(1) They let 'life’ get in the way, (2) They're not passionate about their goals, (3) They’re bored with their training.”

What’s the one key thing that prevents training motivation?

“Lack of specific goals or direction.”

Mike Bridge

Mike Bridge
      

Along with his sister Carol, Mike Bridge runs a small, athlete-centered coaching service called Racesnake in the UK. Racesnake works with competitive athletes to help them improve their times and win races. Both Mike and Carol have both been involved in professional sport and Triathlon all their lives and enjoy sharing their expertise with athletes worldwide.

How do you get your athletes motivated to train?

“SMART (Small, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic Targets) helps athletes avoid getting daunted by the training. […] Small amounts of regular feedback on every session helps reassure athletes that everything is fine and gives them a sense of accountability to someone other than themselves. [I also recommend] sharing their success on social media and keeping them in touch with the feats of others [through] a drip feed of articles, science research and pro athlete blog posts.”

Why do some people fail to keep motivated for training?

“Simply put, they get overwhelmed by the task ahead in terms of training. Their expectations of how quickly performance gains will be achieved is unrealistic and therefore they feel they are not making progress. Technical weaknesses (particularly with swimming) do not improve through simply hammering out large training volumes. […] Many athletes struggle with enduring a short-term performance deficit while training, for long-term gain.”

What’s the one key thing that prevents training motivation?

“When life gets in the way and training time is limited, amateur athletes often seem to feel that if they can't do everything (i.e. the full specified session) they might as well do nothing. Whereas actually, every little bit helps.”

Phew – that’s a lot of information to take in! Hopefully you’ve come away from this article with a collection of new motivation techniques that will help you get the results you’re looking for. Now get out there and get training!

 

Software for professional coaches

Want to learn more? Schedule a 1 on 1 demo

SCHEDULE A DEMO START A FREE TRIAL

Frequently Asked Questions

It's easy, just click the "Get Started" or "Free Trial" button at the top of the page, choose a plan, click the sign up button and fill in the form. It's a fully automated process, as soon as you have signed up your new Training Tilt site will be ready for you.
No, there are no long term contracts for any of our plans. If for any reason you no longer wish to continue your subscription to Training Tilt you can cancel at any time.
No, we do not charge members to use your system. Training Tilt was designed to help fitness professionals manage their clients and business. You can however use the Training Tilt platform to collect recurring payments from your clients using the Membership Plan tools.
Yes at any time you can upgrade or downgrade to any of our plans. We calculate our plans on a daily basis so you only pay for what you use. You can upgrade for a day to check out the new plan and downgrade again and we'll only charge you for a days worth of use.
When you signed up you would have recieved an email with your own custom website address that you chose during the process. You need to login from this custom address. The address would have been in the format http://yourbusiness.trainingtiltapp.com. If you've forgotten your address or can't find the email, send us a message at support@trainingtilt.com and we will find it for you.
It sure is, with a few simple steps you can have your existing or new domain name pointing to your Training Tilt website. If you don't have a domain, that's no problem you can use one of our sub domains. e.g. http://yourbusiness.trainingtiltapp.com
Yes you can, if you have already invested in a website you are happy with you can still use Training Tilt to build training plans and share resources with your athletes. It's a simple process to add a link from your existing website so your clients can log in to your Training Tilt site.
Yes our mobile apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for Android and IOS devices.
Training Tilt is a cloud based application, all our servers and data are based in Microsoft data centers in secure locations. Data is backed up on a regular basis, and we have the ability to scale our systems within a matter of minutes as our demand increases. Our cloud based architecture is also the reason why we can offer our service at such a reasonable price.
For whatever reason you can choose to cancel your subscription at any time. Just login, access the billing page and click the cancel button. As long as you cancel before the next billing cycle starts your won't be charged.

More questions?

Get in touch

Training Tilt Works with

  • Garmin Connect logo
  • Strava
  • Intercom logo
  • ConvertKit
  • ActiveCampaign