Showing posts from August, 2021

Fitting in with the Normal Crowd as a Dedicated Athlete

To succeed as an athlete, you sometimes have to accept not being normal. It's hard to live a completely normal life and succeed in sports at the same time. Many of the things that normal people do are incompatible with athletic success. For example, a dedicated athlete can't train hard all week and then spend the weekend partying, binge drinking, and staying up til 3:00 a.m. Here is a list of other things that normal people can get away with that dedicated athletes can't: Eating junk food regularly. Spending hours watching Netflix or playing video-games every day. Hanging out with friends for hours every day. Sleeping in every morning. Going on long vacations every summer. While a typical student can live a more normal, relaxed, an undisciplined life, a dedicated athlete cannot. There are simply not enough hours in the day. An athlete that trains for three hours after school will not have enough time to watch a movie every night. If an athlete tries to fit two hours of Netf

The Five Downsides of Passion

To succeed as an athlete, you need to have passion. Without a strong emotional fire burning inside of you, it's hard to motivate yourself to give your best effort in the short term and persevere for the long term. However, passion does come with some downsides. By itself, passion is not enough, and if uncontrolled, passion can become counterproductive. Here are five downsides of passion: 1. Passion is inconsistent. Since passion is based on emotions, it fluctuates according to your emotions. Sometimes you'll feel passionate, and sometimes you won't. If all you have is passion, without any discipline, you won't work hard when you're not feeling motivated. Strong, consistent work ethic requires both passion and discipline. 2. Passion can lead to burnout. If you allow your passion to burn too strongly, it can start to burnout. Being passionate about your goals can be emotionally exhausting. If your passion causes you to over-train and work too intensely, you may not h

The Importance of Exposure to Competition

As an athlete, it is very important to be exposed to your competition. What I mean is that it helps to know who your competition is, how good they are, how they play, and how they train. This is especially important for athletes who grow up in small towns. Many small town athletes are not aware of the level of competition outside their town, county, or state. As a result, successful athletes in small towns may become overconfident and complacent. They may think that just because they're the best in their town, they can compete with anyone in the nation. However, they may not know much about their wider competition. They may not realize how many athletes they are truly competing against. Also, they may not know just how athletic, talented, and hardworking their competition truly is. If they are not exposed to this level of competition, then they may become satisfied with their level of talent and training. If they don't know that they need to train harder and smarter, then they

Book Review: Tennis: Winning the Mental Match by Dr. Allen Fox

Tennis: Winning the Mental Match by Dr. Allen Fox is one of my favorite sports psychology books. Although it focuses on the sport of tennis, most of the lessons and advice taught in this book can be applied to almost every other sport. Fox gives practical solutions to many mental challenges that all athletes face. I will share some of my favorite tips I learned from this book. To begin the book, Fox explains how humans are genetically wired to care about the outcomes of athletic competitions. Even though we know sports are just a game that we play for fun and we shouldn't get too stressed out about winning and losing, our subconscious mind still cares, because as humans, we have a deep need for social power and acceptance. Although it is impossible for us to turn this part of our brains off completely, we can train our minds to manage stress better. Next, Fox talks about about how the stress and emotions of competition often cause us to do counterproductive things, such as get ver

Book Review: Endure by Alex Hutchinson

I really enjoy reading sports science books that are about the relationship between the mind and body and their effects on human endurance. I’ve read a very similar book called How Bad Do you Want It in 2019. You can read my book review  here . Both of these books are great. While How Bad Do You Want It is a little more practical, Endure is a little more academic and scientific. So together, they complement each other very well. You should definitely read both books.  Endure begins by sharing the most prominent theories on human endurance of the last century. At first, physiologists believed that the determining factors of endurance and exhaustion were all physical. Since scientists viewed humans as machines, they thought they could predict endurance outcomes simply off of physiological traits such as VO2 max and muscle fuel (food). This view led people to think that physical limits were what always led to slowing down and stopping in races.  Then, as Hutchinson writes, people start