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 Netflix into his or her schedule, then they probably won't get as much sleep as they should, and this will hurt their performance on the field/court. Even if time isn't an issue, things like eating junk food every day are obviously counterproductive to athletic success.

As an athlete, it can be tempting to come home from practice and unwind like normal people do, but living a disciplined life is the price you need to pay. You have to accept this and tell yourself that the rewards of success are greater than the comfort and convenience of being normal.

However, this doesn't mean you have to completely give up on living a normal, balanced life. You can still live a somewhat normal life and be a successful athlete. In fact, having a certain amount of balance in life is actually needed to succeed in sports. Without any balance in life, your mental health will start to decline. And without mental health, your performance will decline as well. A mentally healthy athlete is a high performing athlete. You cannot turn yourself into a high performance robot who lives, breathes, and sleeps sports 24/7 and expect to have long term success. Eventually, built up stress will affect your mindset on the field/court. This is why dedicated athletes need to find ways to live a somewhat normal, balanced life. Just because dedicated athletes can't live a totally normal life doesn't mean they can't live a somewhat normal life. It's not all-or-nothing. A dedicated athlete can still have a fulfilling social life and succeed in sports. Likewise, a dedicated athlete can still watch Netflix, play video games, and go on vacations. They just need to know how to moderate themselves and enjoy themselves while maintaining good habits.

Remember, it's possible to a regular, humble, and balanced person and also a great athlete. This is what we should all be aiming for.