4 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself in Chess!
Before I talk about the 4 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself in Chess, I want to ask you a question.
Have you ever found yourself so unmotivated and uninspired that you just didn’t want to continue playing or training Chess? Of course you must have. It’s human nature after all, to feel listless, sometimes.
One of the most common obstacles that budding chess players face, whether they’ve been playing for a few months or for a few years, is the feeling of sudden lack of inspiration.
Why only Chess players? It happens even for swimmers, skaters, athletes – you name it.
Throughout a Chess player’s journey, there are many things that can make a player feel low in energy and unmotivated in training or playing.
Although it is more apparent in newbie chess players, even the most experienced and determined players can sometimes feel low.
It’s almost like something that slowly creeps up on you (while you’re sleeping?) until something eventually snaps inside.
I once went through a spell of feeling demotivated, that lasted for almost two months, and largely not because I was going through some hard times in my personal front but largely because I had many things pulling me in many directions.
- You can read something similar about this in the fabulous book Grit: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up
The key is finding ways to remain motivated and inspired every single day, and to continue working to reach your goals and ultimately finding success as a chess player.
It’s not easy I can tell you now, but there are things you can do to help yourself. So let’s look at four simple but very effective ways, you can motivate yourself in chess pursuits right now.
#1. Why do you play chess?
Before you do anything, you need to be able to answer one very important question as a chess player.
Why do you play chess?
If you answered “because you want to win”, that’s not really a good enough answer to be honest.
Winning is a desired ‘result’. Almost every player wants to win while playing chess.
You need to understand what drives you to want to play.
Think about why you started playing chess in the first place if that helps.
What are your passions?
What is your ambition as a chess player and why should anyone care? I mean there are thousands of others just like you right? So what makes you any different?
Let’s do some analysis and spend a few minutes trying to figure out some of the answers to those questions above.
When people ask me, ‘Kish, why do you play chess so much, or ‘why do I do what I do’, here is what I tell:
“I play chess because I’m passionate about chess and I teach chess because I care about helping people in my favorite game find simple solutions to their problems. I can do this perfectly well by providing valuable and informative content through my academy, my online classes and my web blog, which in turn helps me to connect and understand my students’ needs better.
The result is that I get to build good relationships with my students, so they learn to trust me enough to want to follow my advice, do hard work that I recommend, and create a win-win situation eventually.”
Task: Remind yourself why you started playing chess. Think about how passionate and driven you were, and then try and get that feeling back. Remember that adrenaline rush?
#2. Do something that drives you!
Motivation comes when you do things that inspire you
Let me explain. Instead of fighting with your stagnation in trying to get inspired to work on your chess, or to solve tactical positions, do something else totally different.
It could be anything at all; decluttering your study shelf, going off to photo shoot nearby places, listening to old favorite music, watching funny videos on YouTube, playing a game of cricket!
Many years back I hit a bit of a wall when I was thinking about one player who was always winning against me. I just wasn’t feeling it.
So instead of sitting in front of my PC aimlessly playing online chess games, fighting with my frustration, I decided I would do something different entirely and clear my business-office and have a good old time-out.
Doing just that inspired me to come out of that frustration, eventually I was able to puncture his repertoire and win him.
Task: Do something that will inspire you to play.
#3. Set some realistic chess goals and then gate crash through them…
This is no doubt one of the biggest reasons why a lot of folks get low and uninspired to continue playing chess.
Not setting goals means you cannot make consistent progress, nor check on whatever small milestones you might be crossing.
If you want to move forward with your chess strength training, you simply have to create some small and achievable goals to work for. Same analogy for the GYM training.
It helps if you know exactly what you want from chess playing, which brings us back to point one: Why do you play chess?
But setting goals doesn’t just help you to make and monitor progress. It also helps you to stay on track.
Think about when you reach one of your goals, how amazing that feeling is. It inspires you to want to do more and achieve more, right?
So get out there and create some goals, then gate-crash them!
Task: Set some weekly goals that you can reach without too much effort, then crush them! Baby steps always amounts to big progress over time.
#4. Don’t be a one-man-army!
What I mean by this is don’t try improving all by yourself and expect to stay on the chess improvement race track. Almost 90% of us people are just not geared for that unless you are very talented in chess.
Make a few friends and connect with other like-minded players in your neighborhood, especially if you’re new and you want to get awesome chess tips and advice.
I can’t begin to tell you how making connections with the right people in the chess field has helped me to stay on track, stay focused and stay motivated as a chess player and later as a coach.
In the past, when I’ve been feeling down and out, a simple “word of encouragement” from one of my chess peers was all it took to fire me back up again.
So my advice to you is to make a lot of enthusiastic chess friends, connect with your group, AND show your love for the game by helping people within your chess community, from time to time.
I guarantee you that many of them will there to reciprocate, ready and willing to support and encourage you when you need them the most.
Task: Build a supportive chess group around you. This is not a quick process by any means, but start making those important connections now.
If you already have a peer group, don’t be afraid to reach out to ask for help and guidance.
Chess has changed my life, by 180 degrees, it really has. It has changed my thought process and has helped me to improve many areas within my way of thinking and my daily life habits.
However, without the right motivational nudge, I would NOT be where I am today in my chess path, and that’s a totally honest statement.
Motivation is one of the most critical ingredients to progress, going forward and catching your goals, in chess as well as any field.
Allowing yourself to become demotivated or uninspired to play or train regularly, can lead you down the path to failure. I know this because I’ve been down that path many times before.
Leave me a comment or some feedback below, I appreciate you 🙂
One good book that I recommend reading on this topic:
Kish is a highly respected Chess coach at the Golden Chess Centre, and conducts online classes as well as group coaching for those in and around Nanganallur, Chennai. You can read more of his articles at his web blog at Goldenchess.in
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