Debunking The Lazy Athlete Myth

Lazy Athletes Motivation

One of the greatest challenges I face among some athletes who are new to the program at SPMI are those who struggle to push themselves hard enough to reach their goals. Many athletes, coaches, and even parents may interpret this lack of drive as laziness or lack of passion. However, in many cases, the lack of effort and commitment is not caused by laziness but instead by a lack of positive vision.

While speaking at a school seminar last year, a basketball player in 9th grade mentioned that he was struggling with motivation in school. He said he had a hard time studying and completing assignments. I asked him what he wanted to do with his life after school if basketball did not work out and he responded by saying, "I have no idea". I then asked him if he knew where he would be after high school and he confidently answered, "yes, I will be a starting point guard at Duke University". I then asked him how was he so sure and he smiled at me while saying with conviction that, "I visualize it everyday. My room is filled with posters and I even have a picture of Duke's home court on my computer." I then responded by asking him with a smile, "Just Imagine how far you will go in school when you visualize success in the classroom while having positive images of achieving academic greatness everywhere you go?". He quickly went to his phone, changed his background picture and showed it to me. It was an image of an A+! 

It's this positive vision that enhances athletes drive and hunger for success and propels them into a stratosphere of greatness. One tip I give all athletes to follow is to add visuals of your goals throughout your daily lives. Below are 3 types of visuals that will help you dream bigger and work harder. 

An image of your dream goal: This image should be used to keep you focused and excited to work hard and push beyond the status quo. 

An image of your competition: This image may help drive you to work hard especially on days when your not feeling your best. Remember, when you aren't working hard, someone else is. 

An image of the early moments of your sport: This image may help you remember that your sport is also about having fun.


At SPMI, athletes immerse themselves into learning and developing world-class mental toughness. Mental toughness that prepares athletes to attack their fears with confidence and a positive vision both in sports and in life.