How Athletes Can Balance Sports and Life
“Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat”… And if you’re a student, Study between.
The phrase has been written on t-shirts, emblazoned on locker room walls and printed on posters.
Many athletes are singularly focused on their sport more with the goal of reaching the pinnacle. The belief of “more is better” can consume some athletes.
But is more really better?
Is focusing on your sport 100 percent of the time the most effective path to athletic success?
The reality is that the “Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat” mindset often does more harm than good.
“Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat” mentality puts a lot of pressure on athletes.
Athletes that invest most of their time and energies on one pursuit heap excessive demands on themselves.
The “Train, Eat, Sleep, Repeat” mindset is an eggs-all-in-one-basket investment. Competitions become all-or-nothing, success or failure, and that’s a risky proposition.
Think of it in terms of investing money…
You would never dream of taking every penny and everything you own and investing it on one stock, so why would you do the same thing athletically?
The key to athletic success is having a balance in your life.
It’s a matter of being 100 percent focused during training and competitions but, also, having a personal life outside of sport.
Having a personal life is a way of recharging your batteries.
One athlete that knows how to maintain balance is WTA tennis player Naomi Osaka…
Osaka is ranked 20th in the world and genuinely enjoys her time on the court. Osaka has a clear goal of being one of the best in the world.
OSAKA: “I know that there are new [players] that are going to come and do good, and of course I want to be one of them. I feel like I’m already one of them.”
Osaka also realizes the importance of down time.
OSAKA: “Tennis is my job, similar to how a normal person has a 9-to-5 job. When I’m off the court, everything relaxes, and I don’t really care that much about what I do or what I say.”
That is prudent advice from a top-ranked athlete.
Balance actually will enhance your game but some athletes find it difficult to turn off their athletic role after leaving the athletic arena.
It is not easy to strike a balance between sport and life.
Many of your personal decisions, such as sleep, diet, staying out late, affect your sports performance.
With the time demands of competing in a sport, you have to schedule many social events around training.
Despite the conflicts, learning some effective balancing strategies will lessen the pressure to perform, keep your passion for competing alive, improve performance and help you develop fully as a person.
Tips for Balancing Sport & Life
- Set the schedule – Map out athletic commitments and set aside time to relax, hang with friends, enjoy hobbies or pursue activities outside of sport.
- Get a hobby – Find something that you love to do, such as music, reading, crafts, etc.
- Leave sports at the arena – When you walk off the court, field, or out of the gym, transition into other roles of your life.
Your new mantra…. “Train, Eat, Relax, Have Fun & Sleep!”
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“It was amazing!!! Before the show, I really felt like I was becoming the part. I was oddly calm, which concerned me because I thought my nerves might kick in on stage! But, they didn’t! I stayed focused in each moment, and remained calm, and actually did the difficult tricks better than I ever have! My coaches were all so proud of me and the one who I know the best was marveling at my calm, poised manner throughout the ballet. They said it seemed like I was doing it for the 15th time, I looked so comfortable. This is the result of my work with you! You gave me the tools to tackle this huge mountain of a role, step by step! I am beyond happy!”
“I want to thank you for your attention with my son Keith, Jr. You helped him to focus his attention on the sequential steps necessary to make the most of his at-bats. Keith went on to have one of his best baseball seasons ever. He led his team in batting average, stolen bases, RBI, and runs scored. He ended the summer with serious interest from several Division I colleges and eventually signed a letter of intent to play for Pennsylvania State University. He received a partial baseball scholarship and is now on the roster. Thanks again for your help.”
~Keith M. Donnell Sr.
“I am a Brazilian coach in Tempe, AZ. I am the vice-president of the Arizona State Brazillian Jiujitsue Federation, long story short, I would like to say that you have a great program; you have been able to help me and my competitors. My fiancee, Kristina Barlaan, who just won two medals at the 2012 World Championship has also mentioned your program as a big help.”
~Gustavo Dantas, Coach
“Michelle had the best weekend of soccer she has ever played. I’m not just saying this because you have been working with her (I promise!). She was relaxed, did not get frustrated with herself or teammates, never once ‘shut down’ and actually smiled a couple of times. Numerous parents noticed a difference in her composure and attitude. A college coach sent an email last night expressing interest–commenting on her level of play during the weekend. Thanks again for EVERYTHING…Michelle is in a very good place right now!”
~Diana, Michelle’s Mother