We all have an athlete inside of us. Your inner athlete is there whether it was developed when you were younger, you’re currently a competitive athlete, or you’ve not experienced your competitive side. The key to bringing out the athlete within you is to train like an athlete.
As an elite athlete from a young age, I’ve had a lot of experience training as an athlete and living as an athlete. Something I’ve noticed is that if you’ve ever been a competitive athlete, that’s a part of you for life.
Often there is a transition point. For example, I’m now a figure skating coach instead of a competitive figure skater. There are still many areas in life where I continue to be an athlete.
Here are 5 ways to train like an athlete:
1. Training like an athlete means being consistent and incorporating resistance training and cardiovascular training. It also means doing foam rolling and stretching daily. Every body is different. The amount of exercise you need if you’re doing a sport, the amount of additional exercise you need if you’re doing a sport, or the amount of exercise you’ll need to feel healthy varies from person to person.
I personally like to do 3 resistance workouts a week and 3 cardio workouts a week in addition to playing golf. If you don’t know what your specific exercise needs are, contact a personal trainer to get a fitness assessment done and a program created specifically for you.
2. Training like an athlete means taking advice when you need it. If you don’t have a background in personal training, you’ll want to have a personal trainer you see regularly. If you do have a background in personal training, you could see a personal trainer for review and maintenance once every two weeks to once a month or at least once every two months.
3. Training like an athlete means viewing food as fuel. That means eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking lots of water.
4. Even though you’ll find that you often have more energy when you train like an athlete, training like an athlete also means taking time for recovery, mentally and physically. Sleep is one important way to recover. Spending time with family and friends is another way to rejuvenate yourself. Typically, take one day off each week when you can rejuvenate yourself.
A day off doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. You can do that if you feel like that’s what you need, but you can do light exercise such as taking a walk or stretching. You can read or spend time doing things you don’t have time enough for during the week.
5. Training like an athlete means training your mind as well as your body.
Mentally-sharp mind: You want to keep your mind sharp by continually learning, reading, attending private lessons and/or classes, and being curious about the world around you.
Clear mind: This is focusing on stress-relief and being able to handle stress in a positive way. Finding a way to turn off is very effective in stressful situations. You can practice turning off your mind when you’re trying to go to sleep and you find your thoughts taking over. Focus on your breathing and try to clear all thoughts. As you get more effective with it you can start to use this in a stressful situation or when you’re upset – to clear your mind and calm yourself before you bring the other thoughts back in.
Focused mind: This is being able to concentrate on what you’re doing and being aware of what you’re doing. It’s extremely important in an athlete’s practice. You should use this while you’re working out or if you’re in a sport.
Rejuvenated mind: Meditation is the best way o get this. However, some people might find meditation along with other activities work well for this. Others just use activities such as exercise or watching a movie to rejuvenate the mind.
Not all athletes do these things, but if you do them, you’ll be a more successful athlete in your life and in your sport if you do one. Embrace the athlete within you, and enjoy the empowered feeling you get when you grow as an athlete! 🙂
Photo Credit: Photo of Christina Chitwood by David Paterson at Eventfotos.