This post is the second in a series I am doing called, ‘Sharing Notes On What I Have Learned’.
This time, I am sharing what I learned from being a college athlete.
I competed with the San Diego State Track and Field team from 2006-2010. I learned a lot from the experience. Here are some lessons that stay with me:
1. Self-belief is powerful.
There were times early in my college track career that I didn’t see my potential. I didn’t believe I could be as good as some of my teammates. I was in awe of their ability, it intimidated me. My best event ended up being the one I was afraid to attempt. Triple jump. Mid way through my college career I changed my attitude to curiosity, the intimidation began to lift, I started testing my limits. To believe in myself!
Your belief in yourself will influence what you try. OR stop you from trying in the first place. Belief is a necessary ingredient for high performance.
*Tip* Question your thoughts when you believe you can’t do something. It may be the very reason you should try.
2. What you do outside of practice, determines how well you will perform during practice:
What you put into your body, how you sleep, how you manage stress, improves flow, or disrupts it. When I was in high school, I could eat a burrito before practice depending on the day. In college- %100 no way! I was also able to quickly recognize that drinking late and waking up early wasn’t for me. Every decision you make, influences your body’s performance. The truth can be empowering and lead you to more healthy performance based choices.
*Tip* Listen to your body. How do you feel throughout the day. Are you hydrated, well rested?
3. Athletes cross train.
Cross training is a term used in many athletic programs. This term refers to training multiple exercise activities to improve overall fitness and prevent injury with their sport in mind. ——A balanced approach helps an athlete achieve optimal fitness for their sport.
- *examples of cross training*:
- yoga + taichi + hiking
- biking + swimming + running
- weight lifting, running, basketball
*Tip* Move in different ways for optimal fitness.
Certain activities can lead to overuse injuries so it’s important to consider balance. Consider what is lacking in your routine.
- What percentage of your routine is dedicated toward:
- Joint health
4. The surface you move on matters.
Certain surfaces are more natural, making them better for your feet and more forgiving for yourjoints.
- Grass – even grass is forgiving for running and jumping.
- Track – buoyant for sprinting
- Firm Sand – added challenge for running
- Concrete- hard and unforgiving
*Tip* Vary the surface you move on: If you are a road runner, alternate with running on well maintained grass sometimes.
5. Athletes rely on muscle memory.
The body is intelligent. It will go into a zone and remember what you’ve practiced, that is the joy the highest athletes experience. Practice must be consistent to see muscle memory.
*Tip* If you are learning to do something, Practice consistently. Visualize yourself achieving the goal before you practice. 🙂
Thank you for reading this blog. I hope these notes are applicable to you in some way. Please share this post with anyone you feel may benefit.
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