Here comes fall. It happens every year. August 1st rolls around and we get a whole bunch of frantic phone calls from parents and athletes.
“Hi, I’m trying to make the varsity soccer team and I haven’t trained at all for two to three months. Can you help me get in shape and three and a half weeks?”
“Hello, I am preparing for football tryouts in a month and I need to be ready for a double sessions. I had a stress fracture four or five months ago, and haven’t done any formal strength training. It’s important I make the varsity squad, can you help get me ready for double sessions?
Listen, we know that you’re busy with family vacations, part time jobs, and hanging with your friends, but cramming for the fall athletic season in another month is not the answer.
That’s right, we know you’re busy, but guess what, life is only going to get busier from here on out.
Why are you waiting until August every year to start preparing for the fall athletic season?
Is it really…
- The summer job
- The vacation
- The old injury
Or is it…
- Poor time management
- The inability to take ownership of your schedule
- Time management
We all have 24 hours in a day.
If you choose to sleep until noon every day, you are already losing the battle. It’s time to incorporate a little discipline in your life.
I’m not saying you have to wake up at 4:00 am, but I’d recommend getting up by 8:00 am at least 5 days a week if you are a serious athlete, have a job or want to really work towards something phenomenal in your life. This might even mean going to bed before 1:00 am.
Don’t get me wrong, sleep is incredibly important, but if you figure out a way to get up at 8:00 am instead of snoozing until noon, I just helped you buy yourself 4 hours a day and 28 hours a week. Within those four hours each day, you can eat breakfast, train, shower and still have a little time to spare for Instragram.
Don’t take my advice – listen to Navy seal Jocko Willink for some advice.
Break your laziness habit now.
I don’t care who you are, where you grew up or who your parents are. If you’re in high school, it’s a good time to start taking some responsibility for your actions. You, and only you, have the ability to create the life you’ve always wanted.
If you want to be successful at anything, you simply can’t be lazy. Here are a few things to consider as you embark on your journey to become a bit less lazy and a whole lot more successful as an athlete. Note, you may have to utilize a few different strategies in order to hold yourself accountable.
- Tell a close friend about your goal. Make sure he/she reminds you of this goal every time you speak. This friend cannot be soft and cannot give in easily. Choose a friend who tells it like it is.
- Start with baby steps. You’re not going to break any habit, including being lazy, in one day. Perhaps you go to bed at the same time every night. Nail that for a week and then add something else. Maybe you wake up and eat a healthy breakfast every day. Grab a group of teammates and set a time to run with once or twice a week. Work up to lifting twice a week and running twice a week. Then, add as appropriate from there.
- Embrace consistency. Ditch the all or nothing mindset by starting with small, achievable tasks (see previous point). Build momentum and structure into your schedule and slowly you’ll see changes happen and habits forming.
- Set a baseline. In other words, where are you at right now? Once the baseline is established, set goals from there. If your goal is to bench 300 but your current max is 135, that’s not realistic. If your current max is 135 and you’re goal is 185 and eight weeks, now we are talking.
Take Ownership for Your Actions
Simply put, you are responsible for your own actions. Do not put the blame on someone else or make excuses. You cannot change the past, so don’t harp on it. Take those experiences, learn from them and move forward.
- Earn your keep. If you cannot afford to train somewhere, get a job that will allow you to pay for it.
- Get creative. If you need a ride, ask a friend, borrow a bike and simply figure it out.
- If you are dealing with an injury, find a good coach who can help you train around your injury. Let’s say you break your leg. You can make excuses and not train at all or you can use this as an opportunity to make your upper body as strong as possible. Your choice.
I feel pretty strongly that there are very few excuses, and a whole lot of opportunities. Sure, often times you need to be creative in order to find solutions instead of throwing in the towel, but that’s part of life. Might as well dive in now!
If you really want to be successful in the fall season, the time to start is in the winter. Missed that opportunity? The second best time to start is NOW.
Get strong, improve your conditioning and smoke your competition this fall by working hard and figuring out how to hold yourself accountable this summer.