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!”
Related Sports Psychology Articles
- How a Balanced Life Can Help Your Performance
- Achieve Proactive Confidence for a Healthy Life Balance
- Mental Well-Being in Athletics
Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!
The Focused Athlete
It’s probably no secret that you have many opportunities to become distracted in sports. Athletes are bombarded with both internal and external distractions everyday in practice and competition. Focused athletes are able to get the most from their skills because they are more efficient with practice and more concentrated in competition. Athletes who lack focus let distractions run wild through their mind and don’t know how to adjust or refocus.
The Focused Athlete was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve concentration…
“The Focused Athlete” is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course in practice and games!