When I first spoke to people who got up at 6am for training and workouts I could never understand why they were willing to do so, until I did it myself. I realised that by being part of a team there was a sense of accountability. Accountability to not only show up but to work as hard as you could; to crush it.
I joined a fitness movement that employed a simple sense of accountability to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. In the group if you said you were going to be at a workout, that was called making a verbal, and you stuck to it.
Even in the winter months when my alarm was going off at 5:30 a.m. and it was snowing and minus fifteen, I still showed up. Knowing that my friends and teammates were counting on me meant I kept showing up and without even realising it I became significantly fitter and faster.
A True Teammate
Now accountability isn’t something you can buy or train towards, it’s a feeling. A feeling that makes you do things you never thought you could. A feeling deep down inside that is so important in sport and without it, your team wouldn’t be the success it is today.
When you are part of a team you have to show up but sometimes just showing up can be difficult. We all know that at the end of a long day we don’t want to go to training, but if one of our friends is meeting us there, then we have that added motivation that makes us get up and go. This factor is an integral part of any team mentality, yet instead of just one friend expecting you to show up, you have a whole crew.
This makes accountability one of the most powerful motivators in team sports.
On And Off the Pitch
Let’s be honest though, accountability isn’t necessarily to the sport or the workout itself, it’s to the people, to your teammates. This is something I know each and every one of you can relate to but accountability shouldn’t just be on the pitch it should be part of your fitness regime and your day-to-day life. Think about the ways in which you can be more accountable to yourself particularly in terms of recovery.
Make yourself accountable to showing up for that physio appointment and taking the time to do an adequate warm-down. You can also make yourself more accountable to other people in your life. When you make plans with someone make sure you turn up, don’t cancel last minute. Accountability can make you a better friend, family member and teammate.
The Power of We Missed You
However, accountability should not be used against people but instead as a tool for team members to look out for one another. Many teams use accountability as a way of shaming people for not showing up. Instead of shaming why not turn it into ‘we missed you’.
If someone doesn’t show up for training then you should have people asking where they were, meaning they know someone is always thinking about them and missed them.
I remember missing a workout because I wasn’t feeling well, and even though I had only been a part of the team for six months, I had so many people message me asking me where I was and if I needed anything. I was overwhelmed by this community’s support, and it made me not want to miss another workout and to do the same for someone else should they not show up.
Accountability if used in a positive way can become one of the most significant factors in pushing members to train harder, to keep showing up and become better athletes. So next time you think about skipping that training session to watch the latest show on Netflix, think about your teammates, think about friends and I guarantee that feeling deep down will arise and you will be motivated to show up – that’s the power of accountability!