I have been around the block when it comes to athletics. I have been on several different teams for sports. I have put in the time and done the research for what it takes to be an elite level athlete. That is why when I get asked “What does it take to be an athlete?”, I get to speak from personal experience.
As an athlete the goal is always to improve performance. And while genetics plays a big role in an individual's physiological ceiling, lifestyle choices, commitments, economic and social limits, desire and even luck prevent many athletes from achieving their full potential.
This is why I decided to share a few things that you can do to become more like an athlete.
Keep a Training Log
I made this mistake on day one. When I first started training I didn’t keep a log of my training. Ultimately I never saw progress because I didn’t know what numbers I was trying to chase. I saw others doing it but thought there wasn’t time to mess around with that. I was wrong.
Training logs reveal a lot. If you hope to make improvements and have meaningful communication with a coach, you should keep a detailed training log. Clear, accurate information, including short journal style entries are crucial.
"And how did you feel about that?" is one of my favorite questions to ask, and while it seems silly to even record that, the answers are, in fact, very helpful for training purposes. Try this for yourself and you will see a difference.
Read and Absorb
Seeking guidance and information is a key element to any improvements we make in our sport. There is so much information on the internet. Be wise to what you read and make sure you get all the information on a topic before investing your time. Absorb different source of a topic to make sure you understand it fully. A true athlete will research tons about their sport, specific training, nutrition requirements and find out what works best for them.
I've always been baffled by the actions of otherwise intelligent, educated people who get caught up in the local scene, what seems like a popular trend right now may not be safe or even work for you.
Nothing comes easy without hard work. With that being said, this hard work comes with sacrifices. You may have to miss event or skip out on pizza day just to see better results. I am not saying you have to. I am saying you should WANT to. Your why should outweigh your need to slack off.
Stay woke. Literally be mindful to what you want to achieve and have some discipline to get there. We only have one life and I cannot say it more clearly
When I was done University level sports I realized something. I had spent all my time training for my sport and never found balance. I had no idea what to do post graduation. This did eventually change but I was still lost. And this is why I share my story so that others find balance and not get so burnt out from athletics.
For continued, long term athletic progress, life balance is fundamental. From the moment you stand up and declare your intention to become an athlete, you need to learn life balance. If you manage to juggle commitments, obligations, work, play and sport well, your road to athleticism will be cake. I had to learn this through trial and error. That is why I pass this knowledge onto you. Make a plan of action and look to the future. Where will you be after athletics. How can you turn your passion into a career.
When I look back on my athletic journey I have learned a lot. I fee it happened to teach me life lessons. Who I am is based off of what I have endured through athletics. And you know what... I wouldn't change one thing about it.