* This post is written by one of our volunteer ambassadors in partnership with Invictus Active. *
I hope everyone is doing well as can be during these strange times. It’s been a whole year since the coronavirus took over our lives, but we can almost see light at the end of the tunnel. Because of this, training is going really well at the moment! We’re now doing 15 minutes of close contact work per session, playing 2v2 which is an amazing feeling. We’ve got a few camps coming up where we actually get to play some games that don’t require us to socially distance, so I am looking forward to that as it'll have been over a year since I played a proper game!
In other news, I recently did a Q+A on my Instagram page and one of the questions was ‘how have you found the motivation to continue training during the current times?’. It got me thinking because I know I won't be the only one who’s found it hard to stay motivated during lockdown, so I wanted to share my thoughts on this!
Let's go back to the beginning of the pandemic, wherein all honesty I didn’t miss playing basketball week in, week out. I was starting to burn out from trying to balance university and training, I had very little motivation and needed a break away from basketball. That being said, lockdown soon made me appreciate basketball and my teammates a whole lot more.
I moved back in with my parents at the start of lockdown and I truly valued the extra time I got to spend with them. Once home, I took a few weeks off from training just because I needed it. BWB (British Wheelchair Basketball) were very good at allowing individuals to go at their own pace and didn’t force us to train if we didn’t feel up to it. However, I quickly started to miss exercising, so began joining in with a few sessions each week. Having control over my sessions was really beneficial because I was responsible for getting everything done. Although it was hard as a disabled athlete to find alternative ways to stay active without gym equipment or a sports hall; but this is what kept me motivated to try new things such as circuit sessions, virtual Invictus Active Trainer workouts, and utilising the outdoor courts. I even got my Dad involved in a few of the sessions, which was great fun!
Lockdown has also made me reflect on why I started playing wheelchair basketball, which plays a big part in why I’m now more motivated than ever to improve myself as a player. I remember that little girl who was first rolled onto a basketball court feeling incredibly shy but suddenly felt as though I was a completely different person and more importantly, felt included. Not only do I love playing the game, but also mastering the tactics, the adrenaline rush you get, and the close games. All things I’ve not experienced throughout the pandemic, but that just makes me want to become a better athlete. So that when I do eventually get back on the court, I can just enjoy the moment, play the sport I love and not take things for granted.
Another form of motivation for me is staying positive. There are so many negative things in life and the media doesn’t help the situation. So it’s easy to feel like having a negative mindset is the easiest option, when positivity is nowhere to be seen. But there is, you just have to look for it. Even the smallest things, such as food, a roof over my head, and a loving family are things to be grateful for. Now that we’re training as well, I am so thankful for BWB for encouraging and allowing us to work on becoming better basketball players. The coaches are really positive as well and continually remind me of how much I’ve improved since September, making you instantly feel better about yourself.
Lastly, my teammates are the best. They are always so supportive, focused and motivational. They constantly push me to be better and it helps that we always have a bit of ‘friendly competition against each other. Especially during these times, where the family cannot necessarily relate to us as athletes. So, I find it really helpful to chat with a few of the girls about life, lockdown and basketball!
If there’s anything I’d want you to take away from this blog post, it’s that it's ok not to feel motivated and that taking a break is often the best thing for your mental wellbeing, as it will help your future self thrive and be the happiest person you can be!
Thanks - Joy x
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