5 Keys to give your team balance and an advantage:
Key #5 — Be a Self-Starter
As a player you must be able to say, “I am willing to start myself.” Too many people are always waiting for someone else to get them going, as in please motivate me. You must motivate yourself, we can be inspired by others, but you will choose to be motivated. Players need to realize that they have the power to energize themselves. Energy is a choice as well as a skill that can be practiced. In order to get better at being a self-starter you need to remember positive self-talk and staying in the here and now. A player that thinks they are too tired to do the next drill effectively can change that thought process by telling themselves to be energized and to do this next drill with a high level of enthusiasm.
The fact is that energy is a choice in over 95% of your life, if you just crossed the desert with no water or sleep for days you may in fact be out of energy. Seldom has a coach ever seen a player practice or play so hard that they literally have no energy. As a coach you can explain this theory to your athletes and when they seem to be absolutely worn out you (and they) will be amazed the amount of effort that they can still produce.
Self-starters spend time in the weight room, get as many reps in drills as possible, come early to practice, help put up the nets, sweep the gym floor, all without being asked to do so by the coach. The players that aren’t self-starters sit leaned against the wall tying their shoes, pulling up their knee pads, fiddling with ankle braces, etc. People that are learning to be self-starters know to work hard in drills and put meaning to quality practice.
There is such a thing as muscle memory that is complimented by rhythm and speed. So when a player learns to practice/play at a particular level of intensity it becomes their pace. Players that are self-motivated to practice hard and fast will tend to perform at a higher level because it is well within their comfort zone.
Being a self-starter is important for success in all aspects of life, not only in the sports arena.