Motivational people in athletes’ lives

Athletes at SPU speak about people in their lives that motivate and inspire them

Mesaged Abakar, Staff Reporter

Austin Ibale and her sister, Madison. (Courtesy of Austin Ibale)

Motivation is a central element in life. People often fail to find their drive or inspiration. Others use inspiration to contribute to success. Motivation can be critical in personal growth leading to a better overall mental health. It can raise the aspiration to reach goals.

Family, colleagues, teammates, coaches all have different motivational purposes.

“I would say my sister motivates me, and what’s funny, she actually plays soccer at SPU; she’s a redshirt Junior,” said sophomore Austin Ibale on the women’s volleyball team. “It’s been super cool being at school with her and seen her in athletics.”

Siblings can have various duties in the family. However, they are always role models for younger siblings.

“Most importantly, I think her being an older sister has been easy to always look up to and find ways to be motivated by her,” said Ibale.

The path to recovery from struggle is often a long process that can sometimes feel hopeless. Ibale was able to learn from her sister’s long recovery process to motivate herself as well.

“Her entire sophomore year had been physical therapy and training with athletic trainers. Eventually, by the time she was fully recovered, she had another mishap with her meniscus and had to get another surgery. Seeing her recover from a torn ACL meniscus, working so hard over quarantine, going on the field by herself has been super inspiring because I know it is hard to come back from such a long injury.” said Ibale

Most people may think that working out alone is enjoyable, but it can be quite strenuous. It can lead to being easily distracted. This is why having someone to work out with can be helpful.

“When my sister and I were at home living together, it was easier to turn to her and get motivated to do workouts, super hard lifts, or go on a run,” said Ibale . “She helped me work on doing the hard things that I usually wasn’t comfortable with. Seeing her work extremely hard and get recruited by SPU, made me want to eventually play college athletics.”

Ibale is also motivated by her teammates on the volleyball court.

“On the volleyball side, I tend to look to my teammates more and talk to them about ways to get motivated for practices.” said Ibale. “it’s been encouraging to hear from them how they get motivated and get excited about games and practices. It’s been super helpful having them around.”

The world is full of challenges, and it’s hard to go through life alone. Having someone to look up can be the source of a lot of success.

“Her being my sister has been amazing to watch her grow and Inspires me to work hard and dispute the circumstances and hardships along the way,” said Ibale . “She has always been an inspiration and a role model in my life,”

Mothers are sometimes the most important in people’s lives. They are often a person’s first source of love.

“My mom motivates me because she has sacrificed so much.” said junior Musa Ali on the men’s soccer team. “She basically made me make my own choices even though she wanted to help me; she couldn’t because of the language barrier.”

Musa Ali, a Junior on the Men’s soccer team and his family.
(Courtesy of Musa Ali)

It is critical to not be too hard on yourself and find the motivation to keep your head up in the toughest moments. Sometimes, we take criticism better from others than ourselves.

“Whenever I have a bad game, I always talk to my older brother,” said Ali. “He usually watches my games and can give me creative criticism on how I can improve.”

Despite how close family can be, it is often better to speak to someone outside of the family in certain circumstances.

“I have friends that are from where I am from and grew up with me, so I talk to them whenever I am feeling down because they understand me,” said Ali

While teammates play a vital role in inspiring their teammates, coaches play a significant role in athletes’ lives as well. They are the ones that help lead and encourage them.

“My coach from San Diego is definitely another person that motivates me because I don’t want to let him down,” said Ali. “I met him when I was seven years old, but I still keep in contact with him until today.”

Whether it be family, friends, teammates, or coaches, athletes at SPU and athletes around the country are driven and inspired by the people they love. As they see the hard work and acts of those who motivate them, they are inspired to give that same effort and energy.
Whether they see them every day on the field or on the court, or are missing them as they attend classes and do homework, it is love that motivates them to drive forward and play their sport to the best of their ability.