Monday, December 18, 2017

It takes a village… raise a successful athlete

January 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

It Takes A Village…

You’ve heard the quote,” It takes a village to raise a child”. Well, in my opinion it takes a village to create a winning athlete. So many of us watch sports or the Olympic Games and admire the winners and marvel at their greatness. It is a natural inclination to think, if I study that golf swing, watch that jump in slow motion, or copy someone’s technique, I will be just as successful. Maybe,but athletes will be hard pressed to find outstanding success alone.Watch those television cameras – you not only see the smile of the winning athlete but the smiles of the unbelievable support team that goes along with that success.

I believe that there is so much more to an athlete’s game than the hours spent honing their specific skill. You need the total package which requires a team of experts to support you. As we have said before, your main coach is your mentor, friend and confidant that is there working to put the whole thing together. Let’s consider some of the components that go into the athlete’s success.

Your body is the machine by which you exhibit your sport. It needs to be in good physical shape, remain fit and injury free. This is where the help of a nutritionist or health counselor can come in. Look at Novak Djokkovic, the tennis player who merely changed his diet and starting winning major tournaments making him the number one player in the world. You need to fuel your body to help you sustain your energy throughout your event and your practices.

I also recommend you have your body assessed by a physical therapist to insure that your body is in alignment. They can suggest various exercises specific to you which can help in preventing injury. Often a change in equipment can make a huge difference. They may also work with chiropractors and acupuncturists to assist you with optimal health. Always, let your body rest to give it time to heal after vigorous workouts.

So you’ve taken care of your body, now it is time to focus on your mind. Mental toughness is crucial to the final outcome. Focusing on the journey rather than the result is how you can more easily “get through” the hours of practice and training. A professional mental skills coach can help you evaluate your past and help you make good choices going into your future. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to clear your mind and help you live in the moment.

Lastly, revisit your foundation.  As an athlete you learned some very basic skills that have set the foundation of your technique. Never allow yourself to think that you are too good or at too high of a level to revisit your basic skills and what your sport is ultimately based upon.

My best advice is to never stop researching and learning and to look outside of the box to see what others might have to offer. They may surprise you!


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