Welcome to week 2 of the FIT4Success Athlete blog.

This week, I’m going to let you know what I’m looking at and researching in the 4 key areas; Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual FITness.

Physical FITness

This week, I’ve been looking into something most youth athletes don’t even consider. It’s a subject that gets a lot of attention from elite Olympic, collegiate, and professional athletes.

NUTRITION

Yes, what you eat. The food you put into your body. Believe it or not, what and how much you eat impacts your ability to perform your best. That’s why elite, collegiate, and professional athletes take it seriously. Some have nutritionists who design specific diets for them.

Recently, I asked several experts, coaches, and professionals in my LinkedIn network what they thought would be their #1 lesson for middle and high school athletes. Many said “Nutrition.”

Why? Because most of us overlook it.

Here is some information for you:

The 14 foods athletes should be eating.

5 Nutrition tips for athletes.

Eating for peak athletic performance.

I suggest you explore and pay attention to what, when, how much, and how often you are eating. It’s hard to perform your best without proper nutrition. Eat healthy. It’s part of taking care of your body.

Note: I am not a doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I’m a former athlete who pays attention to research. I am not a substitute for your doctor, trainer, etc. If you are serous about nutrition, seek qualified information and a healthy eating plan.

Mental FITness

Negative self-talk is one of my top 10 barriers experienced by youth athletes of all ages and levels. I recently saw a number and I don’t remember the source. It said we have something like 50,000 internal conversations in our own head daily. Much of the time we do this and aren’t even aware it is happening. In my discussions and work with middle and high school athletes, this is a very common thing that comes up. Today, I’m going to suggest 3 steps related to your self-talk and the conversation going on in your head.

  1. Be aware of it. The first step is to pay attention to and recognize that it is going on. Spend a day, or even a week paying attention to the thoughts that “pop into”, “go through” or just “enter” your head. Identify the conversation that is going on and pay attention to it.
  2. Recognize that Positive thoughts lead to positive feelings which results in positive performance. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings which results in negative performance. This internal conversation impacts your confidence as an athlete. You need to own it.
  3. Control your self-talk with positive affirmations. Here are 8 guidelines suggested by author and success coach Jack Canfield for creating effective affirmations:

Emotional FITness

Building on the above, negative feelings contribute to negative outcomes or performance. Positive feelings contribute to positive outcomes or performance.

Therefore, as an athlete, it is in your best interest to use positive feelings to boost your performance while minimizing the impact of negative feelings.

Emotional Intelligence is a fancy term but one that every athlete needs to have understanding.

Emotional Intelligence refers to a person’s ability to recognize, understand, and manage his or her emotions and the emotions of others.”

Learning to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions during competition is vital. When you develop the ability to manage or impact the emotions of your teammates or opponents, it is game changing.

Spiritual FITness

“Only a small percentage of people are continually successful over the long run. These outstanding few recognize that every success comes through the assistance of many other people – and they are continually grateful for this support. Conversely, many people whose success stops at some point are in that position because they have cut themselves off from everyone who has helped them. They view themselves as the sole source of their achievements. As they become more self-centered and isolated, they lose their creativity and ability to succeed. 

Continually acknowledge others’ contributions, and you will automatically create room in your mind and in the world for much greater success. You will be motivated to achieve even more for those who have helped you. Focus on appreciating and thanking others, and the conditions will always grow to support your increasing success.”

Read the full article via Athletes in Action here.

If you are a coach, parent, or athlete who would like to arrange an free, exploratory 30 minute meeting, follow this link here to access my calendar and arrange a convenient time!