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VIEW YOURSELF AS AN ATHLETE

What is an athlete? Who defines themselves as an athlete? What does it mean to be an athlete?

 

It can be easy to identify as an athlete when it’s your job. When you are a professional or elite athlete and most of your time is dedicated to your job – being an athlete,  it is easy to identify yourself as an athlete.

For the rest of us who might be competing at a less competitive level or not even “competing” at all, it can be hard to take on the athlete identity.  

Mostly because of the media has so heavily influenced our perception of the level of an “athlete”. Straight away you think of an athlete as being an olympian or an ironman – generally something extreme.  Not even the media refers to even sporting teams as Athletes!  Google articles on football or netball – they are referred to as “players” not “Athletes”.  

 

There are all different levels of athletes, not just the “pros”.   

If you’re training for something, you’re an athlete. If you are trying to improve on something, you’re an athlete. Being an athlete is a mindset. If you are dedicated to improving your performance; you want to get better and give yourself opportunities to get better – you are an athlete.

 

So  which comes first?  The athlete or the mindset of being an athlete? Personally I believe it’s the mindset.  

Taking on that mindset that you are an Athlete can shift how you feel about yourself and how you feel about your sport and your training. For some people, once they take on that mindset, they start living like an athlete and making decisions like an athlete. Taking on that identity or definition means that it becomes a part of you.

It changes the way you think about your nutrition.  Your body.  The way you train.  Decisions and actions become less about how you feel and more about how it will effect your end result.  Thought processes become more productive and less emotional.  Instead of “I don’t feel like training today”…..it becomes “I will give 100% no matter what that looks like”.  

Instead of “It won’t matter if I don’t do this or eat that”…..The inner athlete says “Will I get where I want to go if I do”

 

An Athlete accepts that its ok to have days where things just don’t work..  Understanding that your 100% on one day may look completely different to the 100% you gave last week.   

 

Another massive difference in those who have the  Athlete mindset and those who don’t are the ones who want to be educated, not just train and play. Athletes crave an education, not just runs on the board!

Being educated about what you are doing and why is what gets the results.  Our Athletes who ask a million questions are the ones that get results.  And by results I don’t just mean “on the scales”.  Its doing more, moving more, finishing more in training.  When you understand the process, the whole experience becomes more enjoyable, more focused, more effective.    

 

Being an Athlete and creating that Athlete mindset isn’t only about showing up and doing the work.  As a Coach I view every single person I deal with as an Athlete.  Whether you like it or not!  As Coaches we make ourselves acutely aware of everything that is going on with you, and we expect YOU to be equally aware.  Self monitoring is vital to success.  Being able to asses when you can give more, when you need to back off, when something doesn’t feel right, when you can push the limits.  As Coaches we are always asking our Athletes to constantly self rate when they are training.  It keeps you as the Athlete focused, and constantly in tune with your body and mind.  Eventually when my Athletes get so in tune with themselves that they tell me how something felt BEFORE I even have to ask…..That’s the Athlete mindset.