Hopefully, you’ve heeded our advice in the past two articles regarding your off-season and are well into preparation for your next season. In this third installment we want to share some tips on staying motivated, stress the importance of nutrition and rest.
This is the time of year when you are doing the lonely work, making the choices that others won’t, and sacrificing for success. During this time, it’s normal for you to become unmotivated or grow frustrated. These are powerful emotions and they can be difficult to overcome without inspiration or encouragement. Below are some tips to help keep you motivated and focused on getting better:
- Write down your goals and place them somewhere where you’ll see them every day.
- Enjoy and get excited about the small successes.
- Continually remind yourself of the “why” behind your goals.
- Visualize success both in terms of accomplishing a training goal, but during games as well.
- Watch, read or listen to something that gets you excited.
- Read about the success of others.
The most important tip of all is changing your mindset about failure. What we stress with our athletes is viewing failure as needed feedback. That means when you don’t accomplish a goal, or miss a workout or training session, use it as a learning opportunity. Take a moment to evaluate why you didn’t accomplish a goal. Ask yourself if it was due to a lack of motivation or focus. Could fatigue been an issue? Or, perhaps a lack of skill or knowledge affected your performance. Take the lessons learned and incorporate them into preparation for your next attempt at achieving your goal. Another crucial element of succeeding during the off-season is proper nutrition and rest.
Nutrition and rest determine how your body refuels and repairs itself. Ignoring one – or both – will have a significant impact or your ability to continue your development and avoid plateauing during the off-season. As an athlete, you must understand that the demands you place on your body are different than those of non-athletes. Therefore, you must eat and rest differently. Below are some general tips:
- Food is needed fuel, so take nutrition seriously.
- Eat breakfast within 45 minutes of waking every day.
- Include healthy snacks between meals.
- Eat lean protein in every meal.
- Limit sugar intake and avoid sodas, energy drinks and juices.
- Eat healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, avocado and fish.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Re-fuel after a workout with a protein shake.
- You need to sleep to grow; this is when the body repairs itself.
Like everything else we’ve discussed, use these tips to evaluate and re-evaluate your nutrition and rest habits. If you’re serious about succeeding on the field, it needs to carry over into everything else you do, including nutrition and rest.