Making Smart Choices

Proper Lifestyle for Athletes

Abraham Maslow was a pretty smart guy.  His hierarchy of needs is an excellent foundation for the overall success of individuals no matter their goals.  It’s especially relevant for athletes.

Athletes must eat well.  They must eat the right quantity of food as well as good quality food in order to achieve maximum performance.  They must also consume proper amounts of good fluids to supplement their diet.  Athletes must also get proper rest in order to prepare their minds and bodies for the next day of training or competition.

Young athletes have a sense of invincibility.  Many think they can be their best no matter what sort of lifestyle they follow.  They fail to understand that increased stress levels are a direct result of their failure to take care of their bodies and minds.  Just as Maslow’s pyramid shows, it’s impossible to achieve self-awareness without proper diet and rest.

When this lack of proper nutrition and rest are combined with the use of alcohol and drugs, this compounds the problems.  Now not only is the body not able to perform at it’s highest level, but the mind is also cluttered.  Many times alcohol and drug use lead to poor decision making which turns into increased stress levels.  These stress levels hinder the athlete’s ability to perform well.

Athletes who can develop good lifestyle habits are more likely to be successful in all parts of their life.  Athletes who make poor choices make achieving success more difficult than it already is.

As a coach, it is my responsibility to not only help my athletes make smart choices with regards to their lifestyle, but also model this behavior.  How can I ask them to do something that I’m not willing to do myself?

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