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How To Dominate At Any Age-->, Issue#118
December 26, 2014
Hello and Welcome Back, or simply Welcome if this is your first newsletter!
Its always a pleasure to provide you with another issue packed with evidence-based information about fitness and sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance.
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Finish First Sports Performance is the official training/performance coaching provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL Hockey Team, the Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Division 1 Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite youth hockey organization, and the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.
Inside this Issue:To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on fitness and performance training principles for athletes and fitness clients, and how to use them to make sure you are on the right track. Enjoy!
1. Performance Article: How to be a Champion
2. Special Announcements: New Training Videos, workout and nutrition plans, and articles, PLUS, Boot Camp Holiday Specials (3 Months for $99/each)
3. Motivational/Inspirational Quote
4. Thank You
How To Be A ChampionBy Jeremy S Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, NASE
Director of Performance Science and Coaching
As a strength and conditioning professional, I have the opportunity to see firsthand the work ethic and commitment levels of the athletes that I coach.
I get to see which athletes are consistently giving 100% on every rep, every exercise, and making every workout—no matter what personal activities may conflict.
I also get to see which athletes go on to reap the benefits and success from the hard work and discipline that they display along their athletic journey.
As a result, I have found there is a high correlation between what I am able to see in the training center and the success or lack thereof in each athlete’s career.
It should go without saying that the hardest working athletes typically achieve the highest levels of success.
I’m not talking about the 12 year old athlete that has made the all-star team repeatedly because he hit puberty earlier than his peers, or the athlete that was able to do well on the high school team on raw talent alone.
I’m talking about much greater levels of success: college scholarships, fruitful high level collegiate athletic careers, national team selections, Division I accolades, professional sports draft status, professional sports competition, Olympic sports competition, and so on. (I will discuss success in another article, and what it really means to be successful)
So what makes these athletes so much different?
How were they able to attain those levels of success?
Well, it certainly wasn’t luck.
A great athlete once said “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
People often only see the athlete doing well and never see the behind the scenes work that it took to get there.
Legendary football coach and college football analyst Lou Holtz once said, “there’s no such thing as luck. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.”
Without the proper preparation, you will never be able to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you. And there are opportunities. We often never get to see them as true opportunities, again, due to our lack of preparation.
Instead, we like to point fingers, lay blame, and begin to resent other athletes who were prepared to make the most of the opportunity.
We can only blame ourselves for not being prepared.
We can only blame ourselves for not making the sacrifices necessary or not paying the price needed to attain our goals.
Billionaire Bunker Hunt , when asked what he thought it took to be successful, said
“It takes two things: you must first decide exactly what you want to accomplish (set goals), and then you must determine the price you’re going to have to pay to accomplish exactly what you want (sacrifices and hard work).”
It really is that simple.
First, set your goals.
Second, resolve to pay the price to attain these goals.
I’m going to include, for the purpose of illustrating these two principles, an excerpt from a book (Expert Performance in Sports, by Janet. L Starkes and K. Anders Ericsson) that was written by an Olympic Gold Medalist in women’s ice hockey.
I know it may seem long, but it is well worth it to read it entirely.
“An Olympic gold medal is the most recognized symbol of athletic success and represents the pinnacle of athletic expertise. Yet very few athletes ever make it to the Olympic Games, and fewer still make it to the podium. What does it take to get there? Physical, technical, and tactical skills; psychological and emotional skills; genetic factors; training and practice; access to quality coaching, equipment, and facilities; and access to international competition (i.e., the resources to afford international travel and competition) are all important factors. However, many athletes have all of these elements, but can’t seem to achieve the highest levels of performance in a consistent and stable manner. Does something get in the way? What is missing?
I spoke to a group of young athletes after the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano. I shared with the group that over the previous four years, for every decision I made, I asked myself, Will this affect my getting the gold medal? If it would affect my chances of winning, I made the appropriate decision; and if it wouldn’t affect my chances, I went with whatever was easiest, categorizing the decision as unimportant. My goal affected every big decision I made: the car I drove (I chose an SUV so that I could make the long drives to hockey practice in the New Brunswick snow), the job I took (the schedule had to be flexibile in the winter), and where I lived (it had to be close to the rink and the gym). This thinking influenced even the little decisions, such as whether I should go camping with my friends on the weekend (I would miss two training sessions if I went) and what I should eat for dinner (even if I wasn’t hungry, I needed food to refuel after a training session). The kids were shocked. They couldn’t believe that an athlete lives this way. I was surprised because I couldn’t understand how an athlete could not live this way.
Like many Olympians, I arranged my life so that I could train, practice, and compete at my sport. It’s not that I ignored other elements of life. I went to school and obtained a wonderful education. In fact, I am back at school working at an MBA part-time. I worked as a professor and a sport administrator. I volunteered my time to assist sport organizations, and I made time for friends and family, though not as much time as I would have liked. But as the Elvis Presley song goes, “you were always on my mind” describes exactly my approach to sport. Having had the opportunity to meet other Olympians, I can tell you that this determined focus on training, improving, and being the best you can be, regardless of the outcome, is a characteristic that many of the medalists have in common. But, it’s not all about the medal. In fact, athletes who seem to have the most success think the least about the outcome. The focus is on the process and on being the best you can be on the day that it matters most. My team was not able to do that in Nagano, and we ended up with a silver medal. After this disappointment, I remember thinking that if I knew beforehand that I would end up with the silver medal and not the gold, I still would have done all the training. I decided to stay on for another four years, and at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, we won the gold. Despite the many challenges, distractions, and adversity along the way, the difference was that we were able to focus on the journey so that we would be the best we could be on the night it mattered most…” Therese Brisson
Not everyone has what it takes, is willing to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices, has the physical, technical, or tactical skills, the emotional or psychological skills, access to quality coaching, equipment, and facilities, and everything else that is a high performance factor, in order to be able to compete at the top levels.
However, we all have the ability to train harder each day to be the best that we personally can be.
We all have the ability to decide what we want to achieve, and to decide to do whatever it’s going to take along the journey to get what we want.
Good things come to those who WORK for them, not to those who don’t create a plan, take action, and work hard.
If you are an athlete with no goals, studies have shown that there is a 97% chance that you will never be successful.
You must set the goals and work towards attaining them.
If you are an athlete with goals, but are not sure what exactly it’s going to take to achieve them, ask your coach, or speak to someone who is already ‘there’ (has achieved your goals).
If you need help with goal setting or mapping out the journey, sign up below for specific reports and free videos about goal setting and getting started on the right path. I am here to help.
I have been fortunate in my successes to have a team of people that have “been-there-done-that” helping me with every step.
Take a long, hard look at where you are right now.
If you are satisfied with where you are, continue doing what you’re doing.
If you’re not, then understand that something needs to change.
Do you think you’re working hard enough, but are not sure if you really are?
Again, ask—but be able to handle the unbiased truth. Take a long hard look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.
If you continue doing what you’re doing, you will continue getting what you’ve got.
What are your goals? How committed are you to attaining these goals?
Set your goals. Take Action. Work Hard. Win.
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"Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up."
Thank You for Your Support
Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.
Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit www.finishfirstsports.com for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.
Yours In Training,
Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
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