Experience the Difference

Your Sporting Career, it’s OVER before you know it !

The best days in your sport will come and go more quickly than you expect and when it does end, you will realise that it only took up such a small percentage of your entire life, so I urge you to make the most of your most productive and competitive days while you can, when you can because it will be gone very quickly, and likely never to return.

And just like that, it’s gone!

Now in my 41st year of being a high performance coach, something I have never adjusted to over time is seeing obviously talented athletes that have completed their all-important first couple of years of involvement into their chosen sport suddenly choose to give it away and very often just as they are about to seemingly realise their sporting potential.

From what I could foresee with many of them, both with athletes that I had coached and just as many that I didn’t coach, so many of those athletes clearly had the sporting world at their feet but for reasons only known to them, chose to quit the sport and in most cases, never to be seen again in the sport.

This actually upsets me to see this. I know just how hard it is to attain that level of output and performance, then to let it go just like that is so disappointing.

So, take it from me, if you are intending to be your absolute best in your chosen sport, please do it now if you possibly can because you only get one good shot at it in each person’s lifetime. It is one hell of a long way back if you stop training.

Of course many just fall out of love with their sport and that is reason enough to give it up, talented or not, if you don’t love it, it won’t happen.

Then, I have seen ever so many good athletes not make it to the top of their sport because of a variety of reasons but primarily because there is many that thought, ‘no worries I am young and right now I want to join my friends, have a bit of fun, travel, party, stay up late and so on now and I will get back and pick up my sport later when it suits me’.

When that small number of them do make the attempt to return they quickly discover that the motivation and work ethic to return doesn’t very often mirror the sports’ requirements AND if you do come back later, remember this, that the athletes that did continue in the sport are now much further ahead of you than they were because they have had the time to continually gain strength and speed while you had been away ‘living it up’.

Now you aren’t as close to them as you were before or were hoping to be after a short time training again.

When you are young…ish it is easy to get caught up thinking that how you feel right now is how you will always feel and that it will be easy to pick up at a similar level to where you are currently at and move forward from there again as you are inclined.

It is no mean feat to once again to commence the re-conditioning, fitness, strength and speed development after a prolonged lay off, and the discipline required to make all of that happen doesn’t come easily.

There is obviously things out of your control that may require that you take weeks, months or even years away from your sport and that is just how life is at times.

  • Family is the primary factor here where it could all be back on you to lend support to a family member or members for illnesses, sicknesses or other factors out of their control and as you will know I have a ‘family first’ focus at all times so when placed in that position, it is totally unavoidable that your sporting aspirations will need to go on hold in this situation.
  • Injury is something that can seriously impede your progress and many times this is used as the excuse/reason for stopping their sport altogether.

Most injuries seem like the end of the world at the time but from my experience, don’t last as long as it seems that it will and in fact offer up the positive opportunity to work on other aspects in your sport that you wouldn’t normally do.

Having the occasional injury isn’t always the catastrophe that it appears to be when that injury is sustained.

  • Employment and especially work location are also potential impediments to having that required tunnel visioned approach to your sport that high level output depends upon.

Trying to work quality training into obscure work hours can be difficult but not insurmountable.

Whereas trying to fit quality training into your day when you work remotely and/or travel often into big cities does, however does create much more of a quality training problem.

  • Financial constraints are a dominant excuse that is used for giving sport away. Sport of any kind requires an enormous financial investment and without some external support can prove very difficult.

Event entry, travel, equipment purchase and ongoing repairs, recovery procedures, treatments, coaching fees are just some of the ongoing costs to being an athlete but if you can find your way around these issues and remain in the sport it is so worth it.

So, if high level sport is your chosen thing, then please leave no stone unturned to stay in the sport as long as you can, you will be so pleased you did.

If it is important enough, you WILL find a way.

Do it now, while you are able.

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