There’s no question that athletes and sports professionals at all levels take their habits and routines very seriously. What are these habits that these successful professionals have that you can follow? How can you include these in your day-to-day lives to give you the professional edge?
Here are 5 habits that all successful athletes and sports professionals have in common.
Training, putting in the time and energy to be successful is the most obvious action. But how you do it counts. And it applies to all levels of athletes. Consistency is the key. There will be days with bad weather, or when you will want to go out with your friends and just have a fun time. There is nothing wrong in taking a day off once in a while. But you need to keep track and know there are days when you simply must decide to train, no matter what.
Set aside time to recover
Training is important and so is recovery. When your trainer/coach tells you to take a day off, take their advice. The body needs time to relax, rejuvenate and also to integrate training. Our minds also need a little downtime. One important reason for this downtime is to avoid injuries. Great athletes know the importance of downtime or recovery period and take it seriously.
Be aware and stay focused
You can develop focus, but knowing where to apply your focus is way more important. To become aware of this ask yourself these three questions daily after training: What went well? What didn’t go well? What do I need to do to perform better next time? Preparing yourself mentally is as important as preparing yourself physically for the big win. ‘Pursuit of Excellence’ by Terry Orlick is a valuable read for anybody who is interested in training, competing and winning.
Nutrition is key in the training plan
Your commitment to succeed must be greater than your cravings. Train yourself to focus on healthy and nutritious eating habits. Include a lot of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. Many A-list athletes such as Usain Bolt, Michelle Phelps, MS Dhoni, and Misty May-Treanor say, NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST. You must have heard this many times from various sources, know that it is not a myth. A nutritious and healthy breakfast will fuel your body for the best.
See setbacks as opportunities and always stay inspired
Winning is great, but being involved in a sport isn’t just about winning. There has to be another motive that inspires you to reach for the stars. There are athletes who dedicate a win, a game, or even a training session to someone or something that inspires them. And finding that ‘Why?’, that one reason apart from winning keeps them going. So, ask yourself, what inspires you? What gives you the extra boost to do your best every single time you enter the field? How you can use this motivation to your advantage? Knowing this is important because it is human to be fuelled by desire and that helps you to challenge yourself personally. This helps when setbacks occur, they won’t take you out of the game, instead, they will you to come up with a better game plan and perform your very best. In the end, the point is to make your own routine that fits your unique body and mental stamina perfectly. Your ritual should be as unique as you are!