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5 Ways to be More Confident

25 May

confidence[1]I saw this recently on social media, and thought it was worth sharing.

Believe in you.

Be your best.

Do your best.

Give your best.

Work hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

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Your Goals Won’t Achieve Themselves

20 May

Man on top of mountain.Question 1:

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go?

Question 2:

What are you doing to make that happen?

You can’t wait and wish for something to happen.  If it’s important to you — something you really want — you’ve got to make it happen.

Don’t wait for inspiration or motivation, just get moving and take a step in the direction of your desired goal.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but action precedes motivation.

Sometimes, getting started (and staying on course) may seem a little scary, but you’ll be surprised by how much the fear and apprehension subside once you get going.  Once you take action — even the smallest step — toward your goal, you will feel empowered, energized, and motivated.

  • Focus on your dreams and goals, and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged or distracted by short-term adversity and obstacles.
  • Stay determined, even when things aren’t going as planned.
  • Take calculated risks; understand that goal achievement will require change, in some way.
  • Engage in positive self-talk, and surround yourself with positive and encouraging people.
  • Be accountable for your daily actions.

Perhaps your goal requires some assistance along the way.  There are lots of willing and qualified people who can get you started and provide guidance on your journey.  No matter what your goal, identify and acquire the resources you need — equipment, education, assistance, or apparel — to achieve it.

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

How to Become a Mentally Tough Athlete

12 May

kevin-love[1]There are lots of different ways to describe and define mental toughness.  It can be described as the ability, willingness, and discipline to perform effectively and productively, regardless of the situation or circumstances.

Mental toughness involves positive thinking, focus, concentration, persistence, perseverance, and a strong belief in self.  It is the ability to ignore distractions, focus on what is important, and block out what is not.

Mental toughness is working through adversity, overcoming obstacles, and refusing to give up or give in.

And, although the focus of this blog post primarily relates to athletes, mental toughness does not apply only to athletes.  Since we all face obstacles and adversity, mental toughness can be an asset to students, business professionals, teachers, coaches, parents, and any other situation or life experience.

Here’s a list of 10 Characteristics of a Mentally Tough Player, excerpted from the article, Developing Mental Toughness:

  1. Doesn’t let one bad play lead into another. Short memory.
  2. Is able to take constructive criticism from a coach or teammate with the right attitude.
  3. Is still able to be a good leader even when they aren’t personally playing well.
  4. Is able to run offense and execute the correct play even when they are physically tired.
  5. Still shoots the basketball with great form and technique when they are physically fatigued.
  6. Doesn’t check out of a game that they are losing, and looks like there is no chance to win.
  7. Doesn’t complain about something being too difficult, but finds a way to get through it.
  8. Stays patient and is able to run offense even when being pressured by the defense.
  9. Stays in control of emotions and doesn’t let the size of the stage negatively effect them.
  10. Doesn’t put in the bare minimum during conditioning, but looks to try and win every sprint.

Thanks to my friend, Laurel Heilman of STUDENTathleteWorld, for sharing this information.

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

7 Tips to Help You Avoid Late-Season Burnout

13 Apr

Hitting+the+Wall[1]What do you do when you “hit the wall?”  I’m referring to the wall that suddenly appears at the end of your season, just before the playoffs begin.

If you’ve hit that wall before, then you’re aware of the mental and physical fatigue, performance decline, stress, frustration, and self-doubt that an athlete can experience.

The pre-season and regular-season — practicing, training, and competing — can take a heavy toll on an athlete.  Some athletes deal with it better than others, and are able to avoid feeling “overloaded.”

But even the best athletes can begin to feel like their bodies are shutting down, and they’re too physically and mentally “spent” to push past it.  Here are a few tips to help athletes better manage late-season fatigue:

  • Allow more time for recovery, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Stay well hydrated throughout the day — before, during, and after activity.
  • Fuel your body appropriately.  Make sure the frequency, timing, quality, and quantity of your meals and snacks complement your activity level.
  • Reduce the frequency, volume, and/or intensity of your activity, especially the stuff you do outside the gym. (strength training, etc.)
  • Focus on technical, sport-specific skills (ball-handling, shooting, etc.), and cut back on high-intensity conditioning activity.
  • Practice strategically, and be efficient.  Don’t just go through the motions — make every repetition count.  Quality trumps quantity.
  • Talk with your coach about how you’re feeling.

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

Tough Coach? Here Are 5 Tips to Help You Make it Work

6 Apr

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Matta talks with guard Craft in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during their West Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Los AngelesIt’s important to be a coachable athlete.  As a player you want to flourish under your coach, not flounder.

At some point, you may find yourself playing for a “tough” coach.  Adjectives like demanding, hard-to-please, challenging, and exacting may come to mind.  Hopefully, fair is also a word that describes the coach.

Perhaps you haven’t had much experience playing for this type of coach.  How will you make it work?

Much of the time, it’s a question of attitude.  Additionally, communication and collaboration are very important components in building and maintaining a positive, productive player-coach relationship.

Every player has something to offer, and it’s up to you and your coach to define and develop your role and perform it to the best of your ability.

Sure, it’s a challenge.  But, with a “can-do” attitude – and by following a few tips – you might find that making it work is not as hard as you think.

Check Your Attitude

Listen to what your coach has to say, and respect his or her experience and expertise.  Be willing to try new approaches and strategies.  Don’t brood about (what you perceive as) your coach not valuing your contribution.  No one wants to play with an athlete who is dismissive of suggestions or assignments.

Be Positive

There’s a lot you can learn from your coach, if you are open and receptive to learning.  Ask questions and strive to continue learning.  Your willingness and enthusiasm to embrace new ways of doing things will be appreciated.  Recognize that both you and the coach are building a relationship that allows each of you to be successful on the court or field of play.  Absorb the energy and enthusiasm your coach brings to the team.

Build Relationships With Teammates

Connecting with teammates, both on and off the court, can help you foster your relationship with your coach.  Stay appropriately engaged with teammates on common social networks with positive posts.  Forward relevant articles to your coach with a note, letting him or her know that you found it helpful or useful.

Improve Communication

Chances are, you under-communicate with your coach.  Get comfortable approaching and talking with him or her.  And remember, it should be you talking with your coach and not your parent(s).  Topics like playing time and comparisons with teammates are – and should be – off-limits.  Focus, instead, on your own self-development as a player.  Ask questions like, “In what specific areas can I work to improve in order to better contribute to the success of our team.”  Most coaches will make more of an effort to help you once they know you are willing to help yourself.

Don’t Snipe

Avoid making negative comments about your coach to your teammates, friends, etc., and keep the negative stuff OFF social media.  All that will accomplish is to cast you in a negative light, make things awkward for those around you,  and adversely affect your team chemistry.  What happens at practice should stay at practice, unless it involves something that has the potential to hurt you or others.

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

When the Going Gets Tough…

2 Mar

the_fox_and_the_grapes_by_alexmax-d4ys8zz[1]You’re going to encounter some adversity.  You’re going to experience some hardship.  Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but it’s inevitable.

Recently, I’ve had some challenging (and enlightening) discussions with a few student-athletes that reminded me of Aesop’s “The Fox and the Grapes” fable:

     One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

     “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

     Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

     Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his nose and said, “They’re probably sour anyway,” and proceeded to walk away.

The moral of the story: It’s easy to despise what you cannot have.

When faced with adversity in their sport of choice, there are some kids (and, perhaps, parents) who apparently feel that it’s better/easier to give up than continue working to improve.  I hear comments used to justify quitting, like, “There are more important things in life than sports,” and “It’s not like I’m going to be a professional athlete.”

Of course there are more important things in life than sports — and very few of us will become professional athletes, but that doesn’t mean sports aren’t important.  Using that argument, you can rationalize any shortcoming.

You can make a case that there are also more important things in life than school — studying, doing homework, getting good grades, ACT scores, etc.

I suppose there’s also more to life than working — learning a craft, managing some aspect of a business, earning money, etc.

At any given time, you can add just about anything to to the “there’s more to life” list: faith, friends, family, and any other obligation/responsibility — or choice — you care to name.

I find it ironic that you rarely hear these types of comments from people who are committed to succeeding.  Certainly, they also know that whatever they’re doing is not necessarily the defining aspect of their lives.

What these folks have learned is that success is not only about the end result.  True success is also about the process.  It’s about learning and practicing and working through adversity.

What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you rationalize failure or do you strengthen your resolve and work harder?

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

Be a Possibility Thinker

17 Feb

does-positive-thinking-help-you--20120811102240[1]Are you a Possibility Thinker?

In his book, Hours of Power, Robert H. Schuller effectively describes the attributes and characteristics of a Possibility Thinker:

Possibility Thinkers look for — and often find — the good in virtually every situation, sometimes in the most unlikely places.

Possibility Thinkers look for reasons why something will work, visualizing ways in which it could work.

Possibility Thinkers explore every challenge to discover the positive opportunities that exist within.

Possibility Thinkers listen to new ideas; evaluate them thoughtfully; and recognize and seize opportunities.

Possibility Thinkers do not quit when faced with an obstacle.  They persist and persevere until they find a way over, around, or through.

Possibility Thinkers do not defend and rationalize mistakes, or make excuses for failures.

Possibility Thinkers are open to constructive criticism, sensible advice, and honest council.

Possibility Thinkers succeed because they have trained themselves to look for the positive possibilities in all areas of life.

Possibility Thinkers have faith, hope, confidenceenthusiasm, and optimism.

Possibility Thinkers are imaginative, creative, and visionary.

Possibility Thinkers are dreamers, opportunists, risk-takers, and believers.

Possibility Thinkers have a positive mental attitude; they are leaders and pioneers.

Be a Possibility Thinker!

Your thoughts?

WE WILL HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER ATHLETE!

We provide motivated athletes with a simple, customized training plan to help them improve performance and reduce injury risk.

EVERYONE Has Potential (including you)

27 Jan

stephencurryshooting_original[1]Not everyone can sprint like Usain Bolt, but everyone has the potential to get faster.

Not everyone can be an Olympic power lifter, but everyone has the potential to get stronger.

Not everyone can shoot like Stephen Curry, but every basketball player has the potential to become an improved shooter. (or ball-handler, etc.)

Not everyone can be Mike Krzyzewski, but every coach has the potential to be more effective in leading his or her team.

Not everyone can graduate at the top of their class, but every student has the potential to improve his or her grades.

Not everyone can be a world-renowned college professor, but every teacher has the potential to be a more effective educator.

Not everyone can be a great orator, but everyone has the potential to improve their public speaking skills.

Better parent. Better friend. Better teammate. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do.  All of us have potential, and we can all improve in some area(s) of our lives.  Talent, skill, and ability are great, but they’re useless if they’re not applied.

Potential is a double-edged sword.  Having the potential to learn, grow, develop, and improve is a blessing.  Unrealized potential is a curse.

What are you doing to unlock your potential?  What are you willing to do to improve?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

One Day at a Time (Today is the Day)

20 Jan

Haleakala-Sunrise[1]What do you want to accomplish?  What are your dreams; your goals; your aspirations?

You can’t do anything with yesterday.  It’s gone.

You can’t do anything with tomorrow.  It’s not here yet. (although today’s choices can impact tomorrow)

Today’s the day.  Today, it is within your power to work toward your objectives.  Today, you can do something to move closer to your goals.  Today, you can take another step forward in pursuit of your dreams.

But you only have today…

Take it one day at a time.  Understand that you can’t “do” one week in a day.  Aim for incremental change.  Over time, the cumulative impact will be considerable.  Make today count.  Make today what it can be, to the best of your ability.

Be patient.  Today won’t be perfect.  You can’t control everything, but you must be committed to do your best to impact what is under your control.  Try not to allow outside influences to upset and distract you.

Be persistent.  Don’t give up.  Setbacks are inevitable — and often temporary, and can be used as valuable learning experiences.  Keep moving forward — over, around, and through.  Slow progress is better than no progress.

Be realistic.  We all have limitations.  Be honest with yourself and recognize the difference between “can’t” and “won’t.”

Challenge yourself.  If you’re doing something you already know you can do, you’re not really challenging yourself.  Push yourself.  Raise your personal “bar.”

Believe in yourself.  Have faith in the power of you.

What will you do with today?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Happy New Year! (it’s resolution time)

6 Jan

Happy New Year, once again, and welcome to the end of the first full week of 2020.  Although I’m not a big proponent of annual resolutions, this time of year certainly lends itself to that process for lots of people.  If you’re one of them, here are some considerations in your quest for self-improvement:

  • Upgrade your pantry and fridge.  Replace the high-sugar, refined, processed, and fried foods and snacks with healthier options like nuts, fruits, and veggies.
  • Schedule your workout.  You’re more likely to commit to a regular workout if you schedule it as part of your day/week as you would any other appointment or obligation.
  • Train with a buddy to keep you motivated and accountable.  Research shows that you’re more likely to stay on task if you workout with a partner, especially if he or she is more fit than you.
  • Try new foods.  Experiment with new recipes and try to avoid stuff that comes out of a bag, package, or box.
  • Get your sleep.  You’ll feel and perform better when you are well-rested.  Aim for 7-8 hours of shuteye per night.
  • Try a new activity.  If your current routine is getting stale, move on.  Finding an activity you enjoy increases the likelihood that you’ll make it a priority.
  • Take a break.  Set aside time in your daily calendar for two 15-minute breaks — one in the morning and another in the afternoon.  Go for a walk, listen to music, or grab a healthy snack to improve productivity.
  • Get more color in your diet.  Try to include at least three colorful fruits and vegetables on your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Colorful meals are packed with antioxidants and nutrients to help fight illness and decrease inflammation.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2020.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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