The grind is real. When you’re training to compete your competition is training to win.
Train to win, play to win, and implement recovery to top off your game and help you build deeper capacity for performance.
Too many athletes overly focus on the active aspects of training. They go to practice, drill strategies/techniques/plays/etc. They exercise to strengthen and fortify their bodies. But these activities literally “break the body down.”
The Grind is Real
To get into top form, to go from grind to game, here are 3 things you should know to up your level of performance.
• Know that, the score will take care of itself the better you take care of yourself. Call it whatever you want – biohacking, athletic recovery, or self-care but it starts by knowing that exercise, activity, and effort all break the body down, they don’t make us stronger. When measured post-exercise, health bio-markers look as though we’re sick. It’s the rest, right refueling, and smart recovery that we do that makes us stronger and better. Get clear, overtraining can set you up to under-perform rather than outperform your competition.
• Get good sleep and take naps. I used to operate from the “work hard, crash hard” mindset. Sleep isn’t only about needing rest and feeling energized. Quality sleep is probably the single most important physiological factor that we need to perform our best. Sleep consolidates the information you were trying to embed into your body by drilling and practice. It enables our brains to clean out toxins more effectively than when we’re awake. Exercise and sleep both trigger the release of HGH (human growth hormone) which increases metabolism and increases athletic performance, but 75% of HGH is released during sleep. Top athletes not only get a good nights sleep, they nap during the day. Don’t sleep on this advice!
• Get a massage or bodywork session, down-regulate your nervous system, or use sensory deprivation. Exercise is a type of stress, things like massage and bodywork, float tanks, and cryo or ice baths can affect the parasympathetic nervous system recalibrating our bodies into rest, relax, and recover mode. This may even help strengthen heart rate variability, a strong indicator of overall good health.
Good to Great
A good athlete is strong, ready, and on, but great athletes are adaptive, present, responsive, and calm.
Great athletes can turn it up or down on demand. They are present to circumstance and know how to operate internal control switches.
Adaptability and resilience increase performance, and they are also characteristics of good health. Don’t keep running in the red, seek out the right therapies and know your local resources that will allow you to modify, make use of, and increase the results of your down time.
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