Even though information, coaching and an abundance of resources are available to today’s athlete, the simple “prerequisite” things that athletes must do to progress at an accelerated rate are still not being executed on a consistent basis. Even after talking with some of my pro athletes who are in their first years living on their own, habits are still not cemented in their daily lives and even if those habits do become regular, sometimes (many times) they can slowly slip away from them. Not executing the following habits on a daily basis is a sure way to halt not only progress for our athletes in sport, but for our athletes in business as well. In a world where every competitive advantage helps, hopefully these give you that slight edge you need to succeed!
1) Eating Enough of the Right Foods
It less that 2 weeks I have had 2 OHL draft picks come to me with a problem. “I can’t put on weight” was their complaint and after doing a 3 day diet journal it is clear why. They were consistently NOT eating enough. Not only were they not eating enough, but their meals were not balanced properly. Athletes at a high level (junior-pro) who are in their competitive seasons (6-7 bouts of exercise a week) need to consume approximately 3500-3750 (male); (2500-2750 female); a day to maintain lean muscle mass. It blew my mind when I saw these two bright young hockey players only consuming about 1700 calories a day and by their assumption, they were “eating a tonne”.
As an athlete it is your responsibility to ensure you provide your body with the fuel needed to not only power your practices/training but to allow for sufficient recovery.
Here is an example of a great breakfast for athletes
3-5 free range egg omlette with 2 extra egg whites with mixed vegetables and avocado, 2 slices of rye toast, 3 glasses of water and fish oil (YEAH its alot)
I know most of you out there (except for maybe our adult followers) would say that they or their kids sleep enough and although you may be right, it is important to know that as our athletes are growing and developing they need more sleep. Guess what! If you are a busy adult and have to make important decisions or work hard during the day you need to sleep as well! If you are aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep a night, you are right in the sweet spot for proper recovery. Try these 3 actions that will help you go to bed faster and allow you to get a deeper sleep
- read with a low light
- stretch (static stretching) for 10 minutes
- meditate (don’t start chanting…might tick some people off) just do some deep breathing exercises.
3) Shutting off
As a society we are always connected to our phones and athletes today are not immune to this distraction. Try to at least a few hours a day, put your phone in an inconvenient spot so you aren’t tempted to look at it or use it. Utilize this time to be productive.
4) Understanding WHY
I read Simon Sinek’s book called the “Start with Why” in the summer and it really resonated with me as a coach and a business owner. So often we get caught up in the “daily grind” and forget WHY we are actually doing something. For our athletes it is important to understand WHY you love you game and then to really understand the purpose of your practice. Don’t just go day to day, practice to practice without understanding WHY you are doing what you do and how it is going to help you do WHAT you love.
5) WORKING HARD
On the ice, field or court usually our athletes give it 100%, however when it is in the gym more times then not as a coach, we have to push our athletes the extra mile. If you are serious about making it anywhere in life, you need to be internally motivated. Your desire to reach your goal should run so deep that people should have to tell you to “hey man, maybe relax a bit”. There is no better example then Kurtis Gabriel as I talked about in a previous post. No one is going to get the job done for you, it is up to you to prepare yourself to do the job better then anyone else.