How to stay motivated in the face of setbacks

Arsenal's Declan Rice and manager Mikel Arteta react after their match against Everton.

Photo credit: Adrian Dennis | AFP

The past Sunday was one of the most painful and difficult for Arsenal players and fans in recent memories.

Having come so close to winning a first-ever English Premier League title in 20 years, they watched it all evaporate in thin air as their rivals, Manchester City, stormed into a fourth consecutive crown.

 The players slumped to the ground in dejection, and despair at the final whistle, exhausted that all their efforts had come to nought.

 This is a feeling familiar to many sportspersons who have faced setbacks in their careers.

 As a former athlete, there are instances I was left exasperated after coming so close yet so far from glory.

 As we head to this summer's Paris Olympics, this is a possibility that all athletes preparing for this competition must embrace.

 Negative reactions to disappointment, if left unchecked, can deflate athletes' morale in subsequent competitions and prevent them from attaining glory.

 How do you stay motivated in the face of setbacks?

 For starters, you have to be realistic that losing is part and parcel of the game. There are bad days in office just as there are blissful ones.

 You need to pick on the positives amid the setback while accepting that there is always room to grow.

 You also need to take some time out and recharge. Go for a vacation at your favourite destination with your loved ones and relax your mind away from the hustle and bustle of your career.

 If possible, engage a sports psychologist, who will enlighten you on positive coping strategies and help you make sense of the situation.

 Above all, trust in God that all things will work out for good, eventually. Spend time in the word of God and pray that He may give you the strength to keep going.

 In the end, all shall be well; what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

 Hopefully, Arsenal players and fans will take note of this, apply it in this tough moment and come back next season stronger.

 It's always about next season, right?

Korir is Athletics Kenya’s Nairobi Branch Chairman. [email protected]