The Winter Olympics ended several weeks
more than a week ago and I’m a bit sad that the 2018 games are officially completed. During the three weeks that the Olympics air on television, we had it tuned into one of the Olympic channels. Even if I wasn’t directly watching the television, I loved listening to the announcers keep me informed of what was going on in various events. Plus, I don’t like it when it is too quiet in the house because I am so used to the kids making noise.
Even if your don’t want to be an Olympic athlete, we came up with 11 lessons from Olympic athletes that you can apply to your own health and fitness goals. Simply set small goals and work your way towards the bigger goal. Once you reach the end goal, don’t give up, celebrate and keep going to maintain your new healthy lifestyle.
Passion for Fitness/Sport
Training for an Olympic sport takes a special passion for their sport and the passion often started when they were young. Once they developed a passion, their families often supported their decision and their goals to achieve their status of an Olympian.
Often times, a family would dedicate their entire life to helping their child achieve their dreams. It took a strong passion from each athlete to fully commit themselves to one sport so that they could maintain the necessary skills to compete at a high level of competition.
It takes countless hours of practice and training for them to become one of the nations top performers and compete at the national level. Not to mention they all had to be prepared to achieve the endurance, overcome mental hurdles, and spend even more hours at the gym.
Even if you don’t care to be an Olympic athlete, it isn’t too late to develop a passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.
Professional athletes boast self-confidence and they are proud of their body. As you know some of the sports such as ice skating, speed skating, bobsled, luge, and skeleton are just a few of the winter sports that require athletes to wear tight, form-fitting clothing. Not to mention, they are often in the spotlight on national television. Even though they are human, they are confident in their own skin and aren’t afraid of the potential body shaming.
Athletes Know From The Start That it Will Take Hard Work and Dedication
From a very young age, they know that it will take hard work and dedication to train to compete on a professional level. They have to train to be the best even if they are fatigued, don’t feel like it, are bored with the same move or routine practice, and even sporting an injury.
Each athlete is willing to give up everything to dedicate the time and work that it takes to compete at the next level. A very young athlete is willing to give up their childhood and traditional education so that they can attempt to overcome what it takes to be a professional athlete. According to Dave Ramsey, many of these Olympic athletes have to spend over 10,000 hours training and often times they go into major debt while trying to be the best of the best.
They aren’t afraid to drop the excuses to do what it takes to achieve their goals. An athlete will know that they have to spend countless hours working towards to prize. If they can do it and achieve great things, you too can use this mindset to achieve your fitness or weight loss goals.
Olympic athletes aren’t immune to facing injuries or illnesses while they are competing. There were a number of athletes in the 2018 Olympic Games that were still in the line up compete despite an injury, even a major injury, recent surgery, in sheer pain, or even suffer from a long-term illness such as rheumatoid arthritis.
We Have Bad Days Too
While it is easy for us to place an Olympian on a pedestal, it is important to remember that even professional athletes are human. They aren’t immune to having a bad day. Just because they are having an off day, doesn’t mean that they aren’t disappointed with their performance when doesn’t live up to their expectations.
A bad day for an athlete differs a bit from a bad day at the office. They might have had a bad day training, can’t learn a new trick, fell down one too many times, not performing well in a competition, and the list could go on and on. Remember they often spend countless hours training and they too want to do their absolute best.
Even if they are disappointed with their daily performance, their coach is there to help them focus on the bigger picture and remember that their bad days don’t define who they are as an athlete.
Have you ever been nervous at a job interview, walking into the gym for the first time, or scared to take a test? Athletes get similar anxieties and fears when it comes to competing. They know that they have spent hours training not to go into each competition to do their best.
They are known to use the following techniques to overcome mental hurdles that ultimately could interfere with their overall performance:
- visualizing their dreams coming true
- use guided imagery
- have to push other distractions out of their mind and focus on their own competition
- kick negative self-talk to the curb
- focus on using positive self-talk
- ignore others who wish to try to bring them down or make them give up their goals/dreams
- seek advice and encouragement from their coach
- they often take time to get into the zone before they are set to perform
- taught to recover and let go of past mistakes and focus on their strengths instead
How many times have you wanted to give up when things didn’t go your way? Olympic athletes are the most resilient people that I know. They don’t give up when training doesn’t go the way they wanted it to or when they injure themselves. Instead, they use it as motivation to keep going. They won’t give up if it means a chance to compete at the biggest competition, The Olympic Games, in the entire world every 4 years.
Tears of Joy
Have you ever cried tears of joy? Just imagine the overwhelming joy that overcomes an Olympic athlete after they find out that they medaled in their favorite sport. They aren’t afraid to share that sheer joy on National television. Those tears of joy are a representation of their gratitude to their parents, family or coach, and all the hours of hard work that it took to prepare for this moment.
Keep Trying to Do Better
Professional athletes are willing to do what it takes to try to improve their skills. Let’s take a look at Shaun White, a prior gold medalist, headed to PyeongChang Olympics to set out to take the gold medal for the 3rd time in the halfpipe. He says, “I set my goals to be here and work on my runs and push through that fear. I’m really excited to say that I have not put down my best run yet.” Shaun wants to set the new standard in his sport and improve upon his best run to date.
All the Olympic athletes want to achieve the same things that Shaun White did in the 2018 games. They all want to be better than they were during their last competition.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Olympic athletes take their nutrition and healthy habits seriously. They know that what the put into their body makes a difference in their overall performance.
Depending on the sport, some athletes like Sophie Caldwell and Micheal Phelps have to eat a ton of calories in order to maintain their demanding workouts and training. If they don’t enough, they don’t have the fuel stored up to be able to perform optimally.
Get Plenty of Rest
Athletes who spend hours training and working out not only need more fuel but they also need more shut-eye at night too. Physical activity puts more depend on your entire body including muscles and tissue. Your body needs ample time to repair itself from the day’s demands while you are sleeping. Getting plenty of shut-eye at night can help you become faster, improve intensity, helps keep your mental game in tip-top shape, and boosts coordination. So depending on your daily training schedule, athletes need more sleep in addition to the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night.
Even though the 2018 Winter Olympics are long over, there are still professional athletes are already training and focusing their efforts on the next games. Use these 11 lessons from Olympic athletes to reach and achieve your own health and fitness goals. Start with small goals and continue until you reach your end goal. Once you are there, keep going so that you can maintain your new healthy lifestyle.