The Simple ABCs of Being an Athlete

athlete

What does it take to be an athlete? Ask other athletes, and you will get a million different answers. Every athlete perceives athleticism differently. However, if you want to get off to a running start, pun intended, you must know some standard terms that apply to all athletes.

What are the ABCs of being an athlete? 

Abs

Sure they make great photos for Instagram, but there’s more to it than lots of likes. "Pretty abs" can be a by-product of a strong core. Stability for balance while running or twisting. Core stability is a huge component of your training and not something to be stopped when you get that 8-pack.

Basics

Keep it simple stupid (KISS). No really, don’t get fancy and show off new unnecessary things. Just because someone else is doing a new drill or exercise doesn’t mean you have to. Continue doing what got you to where you are and slowly add in things once you learn more behind its reasoning.

Clock 

It’s you vs. the clock. There’s a timer in almost every sport or competition.  There's also another inner clock to not waste time or procrastinate in your training. Stick to your schedule of events, rise early

Dedication

If you want to be the best, then you have to do your sport with the ultimate focus. Dedication is not going to sleep late because of video games, or drinking with your friends or even eating junk food when you feel like it. You have to make sacrifices and devote yourself to your craft.

Excuses

We’ve all done it and made excuses. “I wasn’t fast enough. She was too good! I’m tired. I just need more reps.” There’s a reason behind everything that happens. Most of the time it’s in a negative comment, and you have to switch it and think positively to keep moving forward.

First Place

That’s the ultimate goal of course - State champion, national champion, bowl champion, super bowl champion! No one competes to finish in second place or last place. We all go for the win. 

Game Day

It’s the day we train for, game day. We record the stats that matter in competitions. Everything you do behind closed doors and unwatched eyes shines at this moment.

Hydrate

Water is your best friend. You can definitely feel the difference if your muscles are not hydrated to when they are supple. To make it easy just have a canteen bottle around at all times and set a timer on your phone every hour or so as a reminder.

Injuries

Blown ACL, pulled hamstring, torn shoulder ligament are all apart of the game. You will have an injury at some point in your career, and it will probably come at the worst time possible. But you will be prepared for it when it does happen.

Journal

You should always write down every training workout, treatment, weight session and anything else related to the day and your performance. You want to keep a detailed record to look back on in case you need to recall a week of training leading to a result. Over the years you will build up notes and documents leading to peak performances and personal records.

Knowledge

Know your sport. Be a student of your game. Always keep learning and getting better. Don’t just settle because your raw talent will only get you so far. 

Losses

Taking an L is apart of growing as an athlete. Whether it was as an individual or on a team sport, you can always learn from a win but even more from a loss. You’ll know what you need to do better next time so you can walk away with a victory.

Meditation

Taking 5 minutes a day to sit in a spot and just clear your mind helps with daily function. It can be hard at first to completely clear your mind and not let it wander. I like to end with three things that I’m grateful for. Gratitude can put things into perspective and keep you motivated on your why.

Nutrition

I loved Lamborghinis and always liked thinking of myself as a top sports car. You can’t fill a Lambo with crappy fuel and expect it to perform top notch. It just won’t. It needs premium fuel and to be taken care of. The same goes for your body. You can’t eat junk food and fast food and expect to compete your best.

Optimism

Being hopeful even when it's not happening yet can be one of the hardest things in sports. You work so hard to be the best you can, and it doesn’t show up on the field. You still have to continue to think of the glass as half full

Playlist

What music gets you excited to compete? You have to have that Spotify playlist that is always on repeat. Music helps relax the mind, ease any anxiety and make it feel like its no different than a regular practice day.

Quickness

For the majority of sports, you have to have some agility. Quickness doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have fast food speed. Some of the best NFL linemen are fast and agile for their size, so it’s just a matter of perspective.

Rest

The number one tip I think to recovery is to make sure to get your rest. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is optimal! You put a beating on your body and muscles every week, and sleep is how the body repairs itself and grows.

Shoes

This is a no-brainer. We need shoes, spikes, cleats to compete in our competition. Gear technology is getting better and better every year to optimize your performance to the fullest. Shoe sponsorships are also something to look forward to when turning professional.

Travel

The best part of being an athlete. Traveling to different cities to compete. Whether it’s one state over or across the ocean, traveling can affect your performance if you don’t know how to keep your elements as consistent to when you are home.

Underdog

C’mon, we all love a good underdog story. The challenges they face and the insurmountable odds. If you’re in this position, embrace being the underdog because there is no pressure on you. You may not fare as well as a top dog, and you just might find to have a lot more people on your side supporting you than you think.

Virus

Much like injuries, being sick can take you out of training for an extended period. Building up a great immune system through supplements and nutrition is very crucial in staying healthy.

Weights

Athletes are born in the weight room. Is that a saying? Not sure. But anyways, lifting weights is a long-term game. If you look at a span of 10 years and you increase your strength by 2-5% a year, that's 20-50% in the long run. The idea is to keep getting stronger every year, and it will pay off.

XYZ

Examine Your Zipper! As an athlete, we love our sweats or shorts and sliders. But every so often we get dressed up nicely in a pair of jeans or nice slacks and forget that zipper. Even though we don’t wear them often guys and gals, don’t forget to zip up.

Yolks

Eggs are one of the staples of breakfast for athletes. Whether its scrambled, boiled, fried or just whites without the yolks, eggs are a global dish. You can have two eggs practically anywhere in the world that you may travel for competition and be familiar with at least one thing that tastes the same as you would know it.

Zits

Let’s be frank everybody hates zits, and they come up at the worst time. Sometimes its even worse when you’re an athlete because of all the working out you do, the changes in your body, and the sweating.

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