Article Table of Contents
A Sporting Chance
There is no way to deny it. Humanity clearly values athletics.
We’ve been competing with each other since ancient times, and it doesn’t look like we’re stopping anytime soon.
There seems to be an athletic event for everyone to participate in, from baseball to ax throwing.
It isn’t surprising that we still value athletics today.
In a world that is only becoming more diverse, sports is one of the few things that still keep us all together.
It's not just Americans.
Most of the planet still comes together every two years for the international competition known as the Olympics.
We don’t just compete on a global scale, but locally as well.
If one thing brings all of us Georgians together, it's cheering the Falcons on to victory.
We even teach our children from very early ages the importance of athletics by enrolling them in little league or junior football.
Here at Arrowhead Clinic Hinesville, we know how important sports are to us at a culture.
We know that many people participate in some sort of athletic activity, and we want them to continue participating for years to come.
That is why we have compiled a list of seven practices for great athletes.
1. Stretching and Warming Up
We often hear about the importance of warming up and stretching before an athletic event.
Honestly, we know that most people skip this crucial step.
That is a shame because it is one of the most important things one can do in preparations for any sort of athletic activity.
It is far from arbitrary.
Stretching loosens up the muscles and makes them more flexible and adaptable for prolonged intense usage that is required for most athletics.
Motions as simple as touching your toes, jumping jacks, and shoulder stretches will do great things for helping your body get ready for whatever challenge its about to undergo.
However, be sure to stretch properly. Do not over extend and do not stretch.
Occasionally that can cause as much harm as not stretching at all.
It seems counter intuitive, but rest is as important to maintaining health as anything else.
After a rigorous work out or game, your body is as exhausted as you feel like it is.
It needs time to rest, replenish, and repair.
It is only through the tearing of muscles that they are able to rebuild themselves stronger than ever.
However, sleep and rest after the game is not the only kind of rest that one needs.
It is important to know your limits and know when you need a break in the middle of your exercise.
In a sporting event, a good coach will be able to tell when you’ve had enough and bring you in.
But, if you are on your own, you will have to be the judge of when to take breaks.
Do not over exert yourself. Take the time to rest your body the way it needs.
Every picky eater has been told that food is just fuel.
If you put diesel in a gas engine, your car will not run.
Your body is very similar.
You need to be careful what sorts of food you put in your tank.
Fatty foods that are high in things processed sugar will not allow your body to run properly.
However, healthy foods that are high in things like protein and fiber will allow your body to work, rest and repair at optimum levels.
Protein is especially important when it comes to increasing muscle mass.
Eating healthy takes as much discipline as exercise. Be careful not to put diesel in your sports car.
In the same vein as proper stretching and warming up, proper technique is essential for an exceptional athlete.
You need to have a proper understanding of not only your body and its needs, but of the game and what it requires.
Knowing the rules and finer points of a game will allow you to determine how to use your body in the best way to accomplish your goals.
Similarly, knowing how to properly use a piece of exercise equipment will allow you to decide how best to use it to attain your preferred physical wants.
If you don’t use your equipment properly, or if you don’t play the game according to the rules, what good are you doing for yourself and your team?
You owe it to yourself to learn how to do things correctly, and to figure out how to excel.
You can’t play hockey without skates.
You can’t motor race in without a car.
Every sport has its necessary equipment.
If it is used in your sport it is necessary, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
A mouth guard does not help a boxer punch harder. However, it does keep them from losing their teeth. I
f your specific physical activity requires equipment, use it. It is only there to keep you safe and healthy enough to participate again later.
6. Mental Health
Keeping ones mind in the correct place is equally as important as physical achievement.
As children, we all had that one teammate whose parent pushed them too hard to win and succeed, placing a tremendous amount of stress on your teammate.
The practical fact of the matter is, no one always win.
Sometimes, we lose.
One needs to know that success is a process.
It takes wins and it takes losses.
If you don’t reach your goal, accept the fact and don’t take it too personally.
Use that emotion to fuel your drive to find a way to do better next time.
Remember, as cliche as it sounds, losing does not make you a loser. Failure to try again does.
The root of everything written in this post is education.
If you understand your self and your goals then you will be on the fast track to understanding how to reach them.
However, it is often simpler to understand the needs of a physical activity than it is to understand your own self.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of options available to help you get a better understanding of your own body.
Arrowhead Clinic Hinesville would be more than happy to meet with you and work together on understanding the needs, limitations, and even strengths of your own body.
Let’s start this journey of becoming an exceptional athlete, together!