PPT Level 2 Trainer, Level 2 ASCA Coach, Level 1 AWF Coach
Question to the athlete. Are you working hard enough?
I am an athlete and have been involved in “the game” for many years at different levels. From April to November 2013, I was lucky enough to be a part of an elite academy in the UK. During this time there were standards had to be met. I did not have a team; I had the chance to prove myself. For the better part of 5hrs a day, we were expected to perform at top level during fitness and goalkeeper drills. After the first week the coach said to me “ you’re struggling”. I knew I was, as this was harder than I had trained ever, even during college pre season. I had 2 options, accept this and be satisfied with just going through the motions, or I could step it up and make the cut. So I did. I went to the training sessions through the day, and when everyone else came home, I went to the gym, went for a run, continued practice for another hour. Within 4 more weeks, I was where I needed to be. It hurt, but the satisfaction of matching the talent of some of the best upcoming goalkeepers was the motivation I needed. I pride myself on that grind mentality, never having the easy road, and finding out that the work was my reward.
Whether it be as a player, coach, mentor or strength and conditioning coach, you need to have that grind mentality. During my time overseas, I experienced 3 types of athletes
- The athlete who was talented and had a sense of expectation. They expected to be in chosen in the starting line up, get plenty of game time and get the accolades and glory
- The hard workers who still got by on a bucket load of talent but lived in the shadows of the first group, never quite having the bravado or personality to get all the attention
- The bloody hardworking, the athlete with the grind mentality. This group works tooth and nail for their spot and do everything they can to keep it. Fine tune their skill, work on their strength, and invest time and effort to make their performance flawless.
The ones I take pleasure in working with fall squarely in the 3rd category. I also believe this was where I sat for the majority of my playing career and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I never had the easy road, and this may be the reason why I pride myself to have the grind mentality.
As a strength coach, this grind mentality is something I love coaching in all the athletes that I work with. For every spot in a team, squad, training camp, whatever, you can bet your arse there are plenty more just like you (or better) keen to take that spot, YOUR SPOT. So what can you do to set yourself apart and be noticed?
You prepare! No, not in the sense of game day readiness, this comes way down the track. As an athlete who takes their sport seriously you do everything you can to make sure your weaknesses become your strengths. That is you harness the opportunity of the off/pre season to prepare your body to be at its peak performance for the playing season.
So, how does this translate to your sport? I’m glad you asked.
There is always a weakness to your game. No true athlete will ever say “my game is perfect”.
- In swimming or track and field, how important is 1/100th of a second?
- In Rugby, how important is holding position in a scrum 5 meters from the line?
- In any sport, how many times does pre-season break a teammate, with them giving up only a few sprints left?
So, to ask the question again, are you working hard enough?
The attributes you develop as an athlete are physical AND mental. It is the third athlete that is willing to dig deep for his teammates in last 30 seconds, willing to push that last 5 meters, willing to drive with every last ounce of strength to stop that ball crossing the line. It is the third athlete who has prepared.
So this pre-season, prepare to the level you expect to finish in the Post season. Do you want that trophy at the end of the season, that grand final win?
Invest more into becoming that better athlete, stand out from all the others and set the standard for your game!
Now with this information and understand the importance of planning your training year, perhaps you realise there’s more you could be doing. Get in touch to find out more about our strength and conditioning services that will get you excelling in your sport and that spot you deserve!
If you’d like to know more about how our Strength and Conditioning, Personal Training or any other services, could help you excel in your sport, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org