Inspirational quotes can drive motivation | Portsmouth High School

Inspirational quotes can drive motivation

Katie Boulter, the young tennis player who gained a wild card to this year’s Wimbledon, was criticised in the press for willing herself to do well by reading inspirational slogan messages such as “trust yourself and trust your game” quietly during breaks in play.

I have an interest in Katie having known her as a pupil at my former school and I was indeed willing her to “Play the match like it’s the last match of your life – show how much you want it.” She was knocked out but not after she had given it her best shot. I was proud that I had the privilege of knowing her and knew that she had trained for years for what I hope will be her first opportunity of many.

Should she be criticised for willing herself to do well in a way that works for her? I too get tired of the slogans – the type on mugs and coasters – that say sickly meaningless mantras such as “live each day as if it is your last” and “dance like no one is watching” but sportsmen have for decades used motivational messages to urge them to do better.

Sports psychologists use these techniques – it is nothing new. I once heard Brian Moore, the rugby player, talk of how the England rugby team passed each other messages about how they played well to spur them on before important games. Equally they gave each other messages about how they could perform better before training.

If I was to give out messages for a successful summer holidays it would be along the lines of “read more; books are there to be enjoyed” and “fresh air smells great when you are enjoying it outside”. There is nothing wrong with inspirational quotes used to motivate and the press should cut some slack to a young woman who is a great role model for aspiring tennis players.

My very best wishes for the summer holidays which I hope are warm and relaxing for all.