What is the most important component of a successful athlete?
The answer is lifestyle.
Not the fancy lifestyle of Instagram success – lots of cash, fancy cars, exotic locations and abundant beauty.
We’re talking about the foundation of all success athletes, no matter the country they train in or the sport they excel at. The Cambridge Dictionary defines lifestyle as:
Someone’s way of living; the things that a person usually does
It’s literally the “style of your life.” And how you style your life – with habits and attitudes – will form the pattern of how you go about your daily life, which in turn dictates how your success will be.
Lifestyle is the foundation of your well-being and potential and one of, if not the most, critical to your success. Skilled performance requires self-awareness about how your lifestyle truly affects your ability to train, compete and to win, which is the goal for any competitive athlete.
Styling Your Life for Greatness
- You’re not just an athlete for the duration of the competition.
- You’re not just an athlete when you are working out.
- You’re not just an athlete during training.
Whether you are a professional or amateur, you are an athlete 24 hours a day.
Bad sleep, peer pressure, stress, binge-drinking alcohol while skipping on drinking a glass of water before breakfast – or worse, eating leftover pizza for breakfast. What do they all have in common?
They all affect you physically, mentally, and negatively. There are a huge number of factors that form part of the daily lives of most athletes, and knowledge combined with guidance are essential to help athletes navigate their pathway to success.
Understanding how athletes can improve key areas of their life – living as true athletes – is a critical success factor that all top athletes constantly tweak and improve. It’s not all workouts and specific skills training that allow athletes to reach their potential. If it was, everyone would be a top performing athletes.
We’ll be taking a look at relaxation, sleep, stress, nutrition, health & energy, motivation, and how they all work together. Focusing on the details and implementing small changes are how athletes work smarter and seem to have superhuman abilities. In a lot of cases, it’s not supernatural – it’s extreme hard (and smart) work that turn the mediocre into legends.
Elevating All Aspects of Your Life
It today’s world, it’s cool not to sleep 8 hours a day. Pulled an all-nighter, dragging during the day and cracking a joke about lack of sleep? Normal and seen as something to emulate.
While it can show a get-it-done personality, not getting enough sleep has detrimental effects on our performance and health – specially when it comes to physical activities, like extreme sports.
Nearly every extreme sport requires you to be on your game, mental and physical reflexes ready to make instant decisions and move within a split second, unusually simultaneously. It’s one of the most important factors in an athlete’s performance for their brain and central nervous system to function to be well rested.
Lack of sleep often causes many kinds of issues that affect physical performance, recovery from training and injury, cognitive function, and your mental durability.
No matter if you are an expert motocross rider or work a desk job and going for a walk around the bock is the most exercise you get, sleep is needed to preform the most basic functions of life. If it affects your most basic tasks, just imagine the benefits of getting quality sleep – or the repercussions for not sleeping poorly.
From reduced injury rates, improved reaction times, longer careers, fewer mental errors and better accuracy – the benefits are non-negotiable.
Stress Makes or Breaks You
Who are the athletes who succeed?
The ones who manage their stresses and anxiety by channeling it into their performance.
Good To Great
It does not matter the level of competition you are currently at, or the level that you want to reach. The critical factor that you need that will take you from good to great is being able to deal with the pressure and ensure that it doesn’t negatively affect your performance.
How does that translate into real life application? It’s vital to monitor your stress levels while becoming aware of the tell-tale signs of stress build up. Being aware of stress and where it’s coming from gives you the opportunity to deal with the issues before they become an even bigger issue.
When not managed well, we all know how stress can bring chaos to your mind and all aspects of your life, as well as your ability to perform.
A Well-Built Lifestyle
Just because you are a 24-hour athlete does not mean every moment must be spent on athletic focused skills. It’s just as important to relax and have fun, otherwise you are opening up yourself to the opposite of a successful lifestyle – burnout. All things in moderation.
Anxiety is something that all athletes deal with. Very few, if any, are able to completely eradicate it from their life. The key is how to deal with it and not allow it to control you. The answer to that is to find techniques to get proper sleep while ensuring balance between stress and relaxation.
Spend time on hobbies that you enjoy, hanging out with friends and family. Try different breathing and relaxation techniques to reduce stress and mental and physical anxiety, which will help increase both physical and mental performance.
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