25 Aug Bringing the Athlete Mind to Work
During a trip to New Zealand in 1962, Bill Bowerman, a former track and field coach, discovered a concept called ‘jogging’ and decided to bring the phenomenon back to the United States. It was during this jogging boom Bowerman was introduced to a young entrepreneur and accountant, Phil Knight. Together the two gentlemen together set out to ‘Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.’
This was the birth of footwear giant Nike. But what was most remarkable about this statement was the asterix that appeared next to the word ‘athlete’, which referred to the following statement ‘*If you have a body you are an athlete’
Even though you may have never thought of yourself as an athlete, you are. Your income is based on your ability to perform your role as an individual and as a team. You are expected to perform under huge amounts of pressure and expectation. You have a set of demands you need to perform exceptionally everyday. You cannot afford to get sick or injured.
However there are two key differences:
1. You have to perform mentally more than physically
2. Athletes will train 90% of the time to perform 10%. You need to perform 90% of the time and train 10%.
The key to being able to perform consistently at the highest level and preventing burn out, is hard work plus recovery. Even though these two things may seem in direct competition the reality is they are maximised only when both are valued.
Most athletes and corporate athletes find the hard work the easy part but need to train themselves on how to slow down.
Here are some ways to consider:
Sleep: getting a good nights sleep is key to health and longevity. Having a sleep routine to help you wind down at the end of the day is crucial in not only gettting to sleep but staying asleep.
Water Therapy: For centuries water has been used as a therapy for improving psychological and physical disorders. The compression from water and the increases in circulation will bring nutrition, oxygen and also help gently detoxify the area.
Massage: a recent study found that even a 10-minute massage reduced proteins associated with inflammation in muscles that had been exercised to exhaustion, speeding up the recovery of athletes. Everyone has different needs so be to find someone whose style suits you.
Brain Break: when was the last time you completely disconnected even just for a weekend. There is never a good time to go, you just need to do it.
As American high performance coach and author Mark Verstegen says ‘For you every day is game day!’.