An Olympian’s Guide to Motivation

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Enjoy this guest post by Olympic Gold Medalist and 3-time world champion rower Will Satch. In this piece, he talks about how he motivates himself, and that even Olympians struggle to stay motivated.


How to Motivate Yourself After A Break

Finding the motivation to go back to training after a break can be excruciating, the very thought almost hurts. Dark winter mornings, bone-aching cold, and sometimes cracking the ice off the riggers, or worse, breaking up the ice on the lake.


I ask myself ‘why’, at the point the alarm goes off, in what is seemingly the middle of the night, as I’m sure many of you do during the cold British January.

My personal motivation has always come from being horribly competitive and a drive to be the best at whatever sport I was involved with – which I wasn’t. This combined with the fact that losing has never sat well with me. My losses have pushed me on as much as winning did; I thrive on being challenged and I am stubborn.

I won’t accept that I can’t achieve what I want if I invest everything I have.

Peer pressure is also important – to be surrounded daily by likeminded people, all striving toward the same end is hugely motivational.

‘Training with consequences’ (as the boss calls it) is paramount for motivation – setting smaller goals on the way to big goals breeds progress. This also means we’re tested all the time, which is hugely enjoyable, being the competitive person I am.

Finally, fun. This way of living must be fun, and it is. Grumble though I may, sharing extraordinary experiences with people I like and admire, who have become my firm friends, is an enormous privilege.  

If I had to offer a few tips and words of advice I would say:

  • Every day is a new day, a fresh start. Treat each day as if it’s your last and forget about the last – you’re only as good as your last performance
  • Mingle with others, join a group online and make friends. Good peers and training pals are a great way to keep you on track
  • Be patient, but work hard. You’re not going to see results immediately, but they will come if you’re consistent, and give it time.
  • Treat yourself. Live in the moments of your successes, and reward yourself (appropriately) for achieving your goals.

Like many kids, my dreams were filled with achieving sporting prowess. The biggest being becoming an Olympic Champion. Me and everyone else, eh?


Article by Will Satch is an Olympic Gold Medallist and Christopher Ward Challenger.

To find out more about Will & his journey visit:

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