Four Keys to Reach Full Sport Potential
Hi, everybody. I’m coach Rebecca Smith, and today I’m going to give you the four keys to reaching your true sport potential.
All the time I hear about athletes who are very talented. They have all this potential – the coach can see it, the parents can see it, everybody knows that they have so much potential. They’re natural, they’re strong, they’re fast, whatever the potential is that people can see, they are just not rising to it. Maybe they did for a period of time. Maybe they had a phenomenal season up until age 10, 11, or even 12, then all of a sudden they plateau. Or maybe they’re doing fine, but you just know there’s more. That tells me that one of these four things is missing or maybe more than one. I’m going to give you the four so that you can give yourself the best chance of having that epic sport career you’re looking for.
Before I tell you the four keys, I want to quickly go over the basic science, pseudoscience, of building muscle, getting stronger. The idea is when you are trying to build muscle, when you’re trying to get stronger, stress plus recovery equals adaptation. Here’s an example: if you’re doing pushups and then your muscles start to get really tired and you keep going, you are creating these little micro-tears in your muscles. Then you sleep and you eat good food, and those little tears heal, but they don’t just go back to normal, they grow back stronger.
The concept behind that is that you have to stress out your muscles before they can get stronger. You have to push them to their max and beyond. If you’re doing situps and you start to get tired and you stop, you haven’t put stress on your muscles. If you start to get tired, you’re fatiguing, then you push through and you keep going, that’s when your muscles really start to stress out. Then, the key is they have to have time to recover. That is what creates adaptation which makes you better. It makes you adapt to the stressful situation so that it’s no longer stressful. Then that same amount of situps, that same amount of pushups is not stressful anymore. It’s just what you’re able to do.
Four Keys to Reaching Full Potential:
1. Train your body
You have to stress your muscles and stress your body so that what once was hard, you adapt to it and it becomes normal and automatic. That’s something that your coaches are doing expertly. I don’t need to tell you about that they stress you out and then you heal and then you’re stronger. That’s the idea.
2. Rest and recovery
You must have enough rest and you must allow your muscles to recover. If you’re not getting enough sleep, if you’re not having enough downtime, your muscles will not fully be able to repair themselves. I’m telling you, sleep is the number one thing that you can control that athletes do not take advantage.
I spoke with a sleep doctor whose expertise is in sleep psychology for athletes. He said, “If you have to choose between not getting enough sleep and training less hours, you’re better off leaving practice early, getting home, and going to sleep.” I know that’s going to be controversial for plenty of coaches, but you have to prioritize your rest and recovery. Otherwise, you’re depriving yourself of the ability to adapt, and all you’re doing is continuing to stress your muscles without getting that full recovery
3. Fuel and hydrate
If you’re not fueling your body in the right way, you’re not going to be able to get the optimal recovery. The same goes for hydration. You have to make sure that the inputs are good, that you have enough fuel in your machine to allow that process of recovery and adaptation to happen.
4. Train your mind
The other thing that’s under stress during this process is your mind. There’s physical stress, then there’s the emotional stress. Stress does not need to mean that you’re suffering. Stress could mean that you’re pushed up against your edge, you’re being asked to be more aggressive or to do something scary that is right at the edge of your comfort zone. That’s stress. You want to be pushing your edge. If you are going to live to your max potential in your sport, you must be willing to push the edge. You have to be willing to push for more. You’re not just trying to get to a middle level and maintain. You want to go for that extra situp. That is going to require your mind to be able to go there too.
Lack of Coping Skills Leads to Burnout
So if you don’t have the coping skills to deal with that on a regular basis, then you’re not going to be able to have the recovery you need mentally. Eventually, over time, you burn out. No matter if you’re the best athlete with the most talent, even the hardest working athlete – if you don’t have the coping skills, if you don’t have have the right mindset to allow you to not suffer, you’re going to eventually burn out.
The Myth of Time
Now, there’s one primary myth that prevents athletes from having one of these four or multiple of the four keys. That myth is:
I don’t have time.
- I don’t have time to pack a lunch for myself
- I don’t have time to sleep
- I don’t have time to take a break
- I don’t have time to train my mind
Yet we have all this time for training our bodies, and then the output that you’re getting from the training is not what you want. It’s suboptimal because you are not putting in the time. We’ll call it time, but’s not really about time. You’re not putting the time into the other three pillars. If you don’t have time to sleep, to eat right, or to train your mind, what’s the point of all of that frustration? There are many athletes out there who are spending valuable time beating themselves up, being frustrated, feeling stuck, feeling scared, suffering, stress without recovery, without relief, without reprieve, and over time, that starts to take the joy out of it.
Science has proven if you’re happier, you perform better.
Then of course your motivation is going to still be there to be able to go for those big dream goals that I know you have in there.
Here’s a fact that we proved in the last week. In just a few minutes a day, you can make humongous changes in that mental side. You’re going to have to add a half-hour or an hour probably to your sleep. That’s a whole other conversation, but it’s time well spent. If you can allow yourself to get into recovery and for an adequate amount of time, you get enough information so that you know what your body needs as far as fuel and hydration and to get your mind trained.
Superhero Confidence Challenge
Recently, we did a seven-day Superhero Confidence Challenge. We spent an average of about five minutes a day, and at the end of the week, all the athletes who participated let me know what their successes were. They posted that they had reached their goals.
We had breakthroughs on tumbling, on bars, on throws in basketball. We had one guy make 1500 free throws! He said that by the end of it, he was out of his head. His mind was clear, and he was no longer worried about the shot, he was just hitting them. We had axles landed. One figure skater regained the axle that she had lost through fear. We had more aggressiveness, more confidence, more potential, and this was literally five minutes a day for a week and these athletes were completely breaking through.
In seven days, athletes were reaching their potential!
When we finished the challenge, we opened up the doors to the PerformHappy Community. We don’t do this very often because I like to bring in a group and then love on them. We work together and we train just a few minutes a day so that these athletes can have that recovery. We train so they can have that respite mentally so they feel like they’re not doing it alone. They then have tools to make it so much easier and happier and so they don’t have to deal with all that frustration, that stress and that fear.
We have nine more weekly challenges and those are all recorded. If you didn’t get into the Superhero Confidence Challenge in time, it’s recorded. It’s in the community and if you join, you have lifetime access to it. They’re in six-day chunks, but you can do them in your own timeframe. I’m going to tell you the reason we designed them how they are – it’s so you can do them in the car on the way to practice. There’s no extra necessary time. You slip it in where it fits and you do it on your phone. You can take it with you.
We also have bonuses for our PerformHappy members. We have a resident nutritionist, Christina Anderson, who does trainings suited just for our members so you can know exactly what you need for performance nutrition. She also has a whole session on eating disorders. Another bonus is Academic Strategies for Success. So if you feel like you can’t possibly fit anything else in because school is so demanding, this little mini-course will teach you how to study faster, more efficiently, have fewer nerves, and do better on tests. The last bonus is what we call The Confidence Game. If anybody is struggling with a fear or mental block, this is a super quick exercise. You fill it out and take it to your coach. It basically teaches your coach how to coach you through a mental block in 10 weeks.
If you’re ready to reach your full sport potential and you have questions, you can reach out to me at [email protected] Let’s get those pillars in place! Get those four keys in place so that you can really, really love what you love. Alright, I’ll see you soon. Bye.