Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Getting better Every day

What pushes athletes to be great?
Alexa Stirn
Nine Whitewater women athletes compete in the 1500 meter run at the Rex Foster Meet Friday afternoon.

Motivation and discipline are two different things but they serve the same purpose. Both concepts push people to get out of bed and accomplish their goals.

Motivation is wanting to be great and wanting to succeed. It can be defined as the desire to do a specific task to accomplish a goal. But discipline is different. Discipline is holding yourself accountable even when you don’t want to go through the necessary steps to accomplish your goals. If you don’t have motivation then you need discipline and if you don’t have discipline then you need motivation. For athletes who want to be great, they need to have both. 

“There are some days when you wake up on a Sunday and you realize you have to run 13 miles and you’re like I really don’t feel like doing that today…but it’s all about the work you put in,” said Ari De La Cerda, a UW-Whitewater track and cross country runner. 

For an athlete such as De La Cerda to be great you need both motivation and discipline because as much as athletes want to be great and strive for excellence it is the tandem of both forces that drive results.

“I think being an athlete really says a lot about a person. I feel like it says how motivated, determined, resilient, and passionate you are for that given sport that you’ve chosen for yourself,” said De La Cerda. 

There are many reasons why an athlete keeps pushing themselves to get better even after competing in sports for the majority of their life. Sure, in a rare case, an athlete may only play a sport for a short amount of time before playing it at the college level. But for the majority of college athletes, it has taken years to get to this point.

Nonetheless, everyday provides a new chance to get better. For college athletes competing in sports doesn’t get repetitive and it sure doesn’t get boring. This is because at every step of the way, whether it be high school, college, or even pro, all athletes have goals to accomplish. 

“I just want to be better day by day. I want to be a better athlete and person and I’m willing to work really hard for it. If that means running these crazy workouts or insane times I’m gonna do it, no matter what,” said De La Cerda. 

There’s a reason many people look up to athletes as role models. An athlete is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, and even if they get knocked down they will get back up. It’s that kind of thinking that gives people the desire to wake up and be great no matter what their day may look like. 

“I personally look up to Florence Griffith Joyner a lot. I love the way she carried herself in the big meets… she was not afraid to be this very out-there, decorated athlete. I think what draws me to people like her and Sha’carri Richardson is that they are going up to the line and they are looking fierce. They are confident and excited but they are not overzealous, they are there to compete,” said De La Cerda. “I think I grow a lot looking at athletes like that, just exuberant that level of confidence in their abilities and their level and I think a lot of people should model after them.”

The desire to be great is something that anybody can have no matter what their goals may be. Athletes show people what someone can accomplish when they are willing to put in the work. Sports are popular because they are fun and exciting to both watch and play. But the true beauty behind sports is the process of getting better. 

An athlete, as an individual or a whole team has one main objective: To win no matter what. But the process of waking up and getting up is just as rewarding. 

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About the Contributors
Matt Ellis
Matt Ellis, Women's Sports journalist
Alexa Stirn, Photographer

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