BERLIN -–Training on through coronavirus-related lockdowns and
other restrictions is a daunting task in itself, with motivation the
And according to German sports psychologist Oliver Stoll, athletes in
individual sports have an advantage over those from team sports who
can only train in small groups, if at all.
Stoll acknowledges that those from athletics don't have the tracks
and fields available, and swimmers can't train in the pools, but that
nonetheless "team sports athletes are much worse off.
"Nothing at all is going for them. Except from being online or can
playing the garden with their families," he said.
Some football clubs like Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have
resorted to cyber training and others have permission to be at the
training ground in small groups.
Individual sports athletes have also had to change their training
routines but at least decide on their own how to proceed, with
motivation being the key factor.
"The question is why I do sport? If I am intrinsically motivated I do
it for the sake of the activity, because I love it. An award is first
of all no factor," Stoll said.
"When I am extrinsically motivated I do it because of the result," he
said, referring to promotion into another league, a winners' party, a
finisher t-shirt or a medal.
Stoll, who has been working with the national diving team since 2008
and took part in the Hawaii ironman in 1988, said that intrinsically
motivated athletes have a clear edge at the moment, with events
cancelled and no one knowing when leagues can resume.
Stoll said it helps to be "intrinsically motivated and active because
you love it, and are not looking at a special award directly related
Top athletes such as race walker Christopher Linke, who came fourth
at last year's world championships in Doha, don't necessarily fall
into that group.
Linke readily admitted he has completely lost his motivation and
doesn't know what he is training for.
"I am not an athlete who likes to train without goals. I don't go to
training because I enjoy it so much but because I know it is part of
being able to achieve a top result," Linke said.
Hurdler Pamela Dutkiewicz, a 2017 worlds bronze medallist, said: "In
sports, goals are clearly defined, and linked with a certain day and
even time. I adhere to the guidelines ... But the aimlessness of not
knowing exactly what will happen when, or at all, is really
Stoll meanwhile said that it is also possible to run a marathon even
without a competition, looking at those - mainly amateurs - who have
prepared for all those spring races over 42.195km which have been
"You can have the aim of running 42km. And if it is important to
prove that you can run 42km you don't need a competition. If you want
to," Stoll said.