Mental Performance Newsletter: December 2021

Staying Motivated During the Holiday Season: By Dr. Rachel Hoeft


Now that the holiday season is upon us and we are getting closer to Winter Break, it can be more difficult to keep your child motivated to work on their athletic skills. It’s important to help your athlete maintain their endurance, footwork, and sports IQ so they are prepared for their return to practice and competition. In this newsletter I’ll share 10 easy ways to keep your athlete motivated through the end of 2021 and into 2022! (Can you believe it’s almost here?!) 


But first... Why is Motivation Important?

There are 2 types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is a reward for work, such as a spot on varsity or being the top scorer in the league. Intrinsic motivation is an internal desire, such as the feeling of mastery, enjoying the collaboration of teamwork, or being a leader on the team. Both types of motivation are valuable and contribute to an athlete’s success. Intrinsic motivation is where the foundations of enjoyment are developed and maintained. Extrinsic motivation challenges the athlete to push their limits and work harder than ever before for a specific achievement.

Extrinsic Motivation Ideas
● 30 minutes of practice earns 30 minutes of TV time
● Practicing with friends or siblings for 30+ minutes earns an extra dessert
● Reaching 15 juggles earns getting to pick the movie for movie night
● Practicing shooting or passing with a teammate earns a playdate over the weekend
● Asking their coach for a goal that leads to more playing time 

Intrinsic Motivation Ideas
● Create personal skill goals using the goal-setting worksheet
● Head outside to play with them for fun before dinner each night
● Identify what type of leader or teammate they want to be upon return from break
● Draw scenes of their athletic goals for 5 years from now
● Talk about their favorite memories from soccer and what experiences lie ahead

Keeping your athlete motivated can be tough! There are many approaches to fuel their fire and keep them working towards their goals. Email me at for custom support on motivating your child!

Wishing everyone a fantastic end to 2021 and an amazing 2022! 

Dr. Rachel Hoeft
West-Mont’s Official Mental Performance Coach

“It has been so great to work with Rachel. She was flexible, kind, and very accommodating. Rachel gave me and my 9 yr. old great strategies for overall anxiety and anxiety related to performance during her soccer games. Rachel was open to working with me as the mother to develop strategies to help my daughter. She listened to our challenges and gave us realistic strategies to put into practice immediately.  Thank you Rachel!!!" - West-Mont Parent

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