Physical activity is one of those things that we all know is good for us, yet many of us struggle to do it regularly. Some of us become very dedicated at the start of our workout regimen, but then taper off when seemingly more important things take over our lives. Working out usually gets put on the back burner then.
So how do you keep up the dedication and intensity of your workouts? Perhaps looking towards your favorite athlete will provide some inspiration.
Traits of a Professional Athlete
What sets an athlete apart from regular folk? There’s the physical strength, of course. Athletes are expected to push their bodies to the very limit, so strength and endurance are essential traits to have. But more than these physical characteristics, what really sets them apart from the rest of the world, is their mental toughness.
Athletes are bred to be competitors, so in terms of skill, those who compete in the same sport would have relative skill levels, use the same equipment, and play by the same rules. Who comes out on top typically depends on who endured the most, lasted the longest or outsmarted their opponent the best.
What You Can Learn From an Elite Athlete
You don’t have to be training for competition to apply some of an athlete’s characteristics and practices in your own life. After all, some of these traits are also applicable to our work.
- Have some variety in your training
Basketball players are not just required to run hard and fast. They also incorporate strength training exercises in their routine. Swimmers use yoga and flexibility workouts to become more limber underwater. All of these are designed to create a well-rounded athlete. You can emulate this by not doing the same workout day in and day out. Adding variety not only lessens the chance you’ll get bored, but it will also target parts of your body that other workouts might neglect.
- Join a league
Even tennis players have sparring partners. Just because you’re doing the physical activity to improve yourself doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from doing it with others. For example, if you’re a soccer fan, don’t just sit on the couch and watch the game. There are plenty of amateur leagues around the country that you can join. This also builds up your sense of teamwork and camaraderie as you get decked out in fancy equipment like team jerseys, custom mouth guards, and sponsored cleats.
- Be mindful of the moment
You’d be wrong if you were under the impression that most athletes rely purely on muscle memory. They are to some extent, but during training, they have to be aware of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Mindfulness is also one way they are able to curb feelings of anxiety during competition.
How will this help you achieve athleticism? It helps keep your goal in mind. Most of us have a reason for getting more exercise. Being mindful means that goal remains at the forefront and you can evaluate your physical activity based on how far along you are on your fitness journey.
However, the trait most top athletes share is accountability. This means you will do what you promised to do and doing it the best that you can. The more accountable an athlete is for their actions, the more likely they are to succeed in their sport. So, hold yourself accountable for your workouts. Schedule it in if you must. If you want to achieve your goals, fitness or otherwise, the most important thing is that you don’t give up.