This post may come off as a little rough, but sometimes we all need a little dose of reality. What makes an athlete 'elite'? As an athlete we should strive to achieve elite status, but what all goes into it? Our trainers have a few suggestions of why you definitely aren't elite...... yet! So here it goes, in no particular order.....
1. You don't pay attention to detail.
- Whether it's with keeping your feet straight when lunging, or having to be reminded constantly that you aren't using your arms properly when running, paying attention to the little things creates responsibility. Responsibility to always expect the best from yourself. Too often athletes just go through the motions and don't realize that everything we do is 'training' your body whether it's right or wrong. Train right more often and you will reap the benefits!
2. You don't focus on every single rep.
- It takes a lot of attention to focus on every repetition in your training program. Things are on your mind, a good song comes on, you see your friend working out next to you. A million things can go through an athletes mind during a training session, but focusing on every single rep will instill proper form and in turn create an efficient movement pattern.
3. You only work hard when someone is watching.
- Ahhh the old "uh oh, he/she is watching, I better shape up". You think you are doing yourself any good by being 'that guy/girl' at practice that sluffs off the whole time and then when coach is watching you actual do what your suppose to? We have a saying on our locker at ESP: "If you want to look good in front of thousands, you must out work thousands in front of nobody", enough said.
4. You think 2 hours a week is enough.
- Training needs to be done daily in order to create habit. Does that mean we have to be in the gym every day? Depends, are you sitting on the couch or your phone for the other 23 hours of the day that you aren't training at the gym? In that case, you better get the most out of the time you spend in the gym. Your body weight is sometimes the best tool for training. If you want some exercises, ASK!
5. You don't really know how hard it is to get better.
- We live in an instant gratification world. We see athletes win the Olympics every 4 years and assume that we have an idea of how hard they work. Do we really know all the sacrifices that each athlete has made? The physical sacrifices are nothing compared to the personal ones that they make every day. And more than half of us (yes I mention myself) couldn't get through the physical rigmarole. It takes a mindset people!
6. You stay in your comfort zone.
- If you want to be elite, you need to train outside of your comfort zone more often that you train inside of it. Push yourself; if you can't do that, find someone who will. I have a few suggestions ;)
7. You give 75% effort for 45 minutes rather than 100% effort for 30 minutes.
- Wait, what? You want us to work out for less time? Yes, as long as you give me 100% in that 30 minutes. If we train at 75% then we aren't pushing ourselves and are just spinning our wheels, getting no where.
8. You don't rest.
- Now, let's say that you ARE giving 100% every time you train/practice/play. Then take a rest! Your body needs to replenish itself for another round. Our bodies are machines, but if we don't take care of that planned maintenance time, they will no doubt break down.
9. You focus on the weight you are moving and not the function in which you are moving it.
- "Johnny benched 500 lbs!" Cool, he also did so putting an absurd amount of pressure on his shoulder joint because he didn't push properly. Good for Johnny, we will see him in rehab halfway through the season and sitting the bench! This is harsh, but the truth hurts sometimes. No athlete ever won a game because of how much he benched. Athletes do win games by staying in the game longer though! Don't be Johnny, make sure you understand how to move properly with every lift that you take part in.
10. You aren't consistent with your training.
- Consistency takes guts, it takes pride, and it takes responsibility. 3 attributes not commonly seen these days. Get to the gym and get your training done.
We challenge all of our athletes to stick out from the rest. Don't fit in, be the one person that doesn't follow, rather the one that leads. Be the athlete that is 'elite' among others.