Understand Your Opponent's Motivations

It can be helpful to understand your opponent's motivations. Many times, an athlete or a team will be very motivated heading into a game. They may think their level of motivation is enough for them to win the game. However, they may not know that their opponent is even more motivated. If they understand their opponent's motivations, they can know whether they need to dig a little deeper to find more motivation.

The goal is to match or surpass your opponent's level of motivation each game. When you understand your opponent's level of motivation, you can use this knowledge as a yardstick and a goal to help you reach your ultimate goal, which is to give your maximum level of motivation. Here are some examples of how understanding your opponent's motivation can help you.

If you know your opponent wants revenge from last year's loss, you can match or surpass their level of motivation by telling yourself, "I know they want revenge, but we want even more to extend our winning streak!"
If your opponent is motivated as an underdog, you can tell yourself, "I know they really want to pull an upset and prove people wrong, but we want even more to prove that we are in fact better than them!"
If your opponent is making the game against you personal, you can tell yourself, "I know this game is personal for them, but it's even more personal for us!"
You could also tell yourself, "I know they love the game, but we love the game even more! And we pride ourselves on mental toughness more!"

Knowing that your opponent is very motivated also helps you brace for a challenge, which greatly helps your performance.

On the other hand, if you know your opponent isn't very motivated, you can let this give you confidence in you chances of winning. This can also give you the motivation to take advantage of your motivational advantage and maximize your own motivation to make sure you win!

It also helps to know what kind of motivation your opponent has in order to use it against them. For instance, if there's a lot of pressure on them, you can play in a way to make them choke. 
Or if you know they have nothing to lose and will play very loose and aggressive, you can prepare for this and try to counter it.
Or if you know they're going to play angry, you can tempt them into penalties and stupid mistakes.

All of this is why it's important to go inside the mind of your opponent and understand their motivations. Gaining this insight greatly helps your ability to motivate yourself, reach peak performance, and find advantages to exploit in games. However, at the same time, you can’t focus too much on your opponent and let them distract you from your game and your motivations.

Comments