The Summer Olympic Games have just come to a close and the athletes gave us some inspiration. Athletes have come from all over the world, chasing their dreams and competing for their country for a chance to win an Olympic medal. Olympic athletes are dealing with a new climate, new food, etc., which can be a difficult adjustment, but the most important thing for them to do their best in competition is to develop a routine and be consistent with it. Most athletes have a routine they follow that allows them to get mentally and physically prepared to compete. Home field advantage is no myth-- athletes play better at home because they are more comfortable in their own surroundings, which makes Olympic competition even more difficult. We may not be Olympians, but we can follow their tricks to develop a routine that helps us perform at our best, too!
Travel takes a toll on the body, so athletes have to take extra care of their bodies when they are on the road. Important self-care tips include proper hydration, rest, eating the right foods and, most importantly, developing a routine to get the most out of your body while on the road. Routines are so important and a good one can be the difference between winning and losing. At the Olympic level, the little things are important and any edge you can gain on your competition is a great thing. Experiment with different routines, but when you find one that works for you, the most important part is consistency.
Preparation is going to be completely different for individual sports like Track and Field, Swimming and Gymnastics compared to team sports like Basketball and Volleyball and Soccer. If you play an individual sport, create a routine that is specific to you and your needs. If you play a team sport, create a routine before you hit the field that prepares you for the team warm-up. Routines start the minute you wake up on the day of competition or a game. The food you eat for breakfast, the snacks you have during the day, remaining hydrated and your pre-game meal all should stay consistent.
What about athletes who need to prep for multiple events in one day, such as Track & Field athletes? Some tips to help them get back out there feeling better fast include first, getting off your feet and re-hydrating with fluids that contain electrolytes and maybe a light snack (protein bar or some fruit). Flushing out your legs is also a good idea if you have access to a cold tub/hot tub. This method removes all the junk out of your muscles and makes your legs feel rejuvenated. There is a plethora of information and technology available to help athletes recover and take care of their bodies. Taking care of your body and developing a routine is something you can control, so find a routine that works for you and stick to it.
All great winners started with a consistent routine to help them feel their best and compete at the highest level. We can follow their lead and develop a routine to help us feel our best, too.
By: Todd Gates, Founder & President, MCore FTS
August 22, 2016