Last week we set the table (pun intended) for this weeks installment on how to live up to your athletic potential. What are you doing that’s setting yourself apart from the hundreds or thousands of athletes trying to steal the position that you have worked so hard to get? This week we are going to talk about what fuels your workouts and games, gives you focus, positive attitude, energy and most importantly, recovery. All of this serves as the base of the pyramid, the foundation of the house, where it all begins and ends.
Three main areas comprise athletic performance: potential, talent, and training. Potential is first and foremost because talent and training will be expressed from potential. You can be born with some ability, but it can also be developed. Training and conditioning are gained through hard work. That said, either one is useless without potential. Potential is what you are genetically capable of. Think of the difference between Olympic sprinters and distance runners or an NFL lineman vs. a wide receiver. These are athletes that, due to potential, could never perform at a high level as their opposites. I can do a physical assessment to determine a young athletes potential and ideal sport and position. But that discussion is for another day and another blog.
Whatever the unique combination of genetically inherited abilities you have, making up your potential, the expression and ability to utilize that potential is highly dependent upon the presence of one essential ingredient: ENERGY. If you don’t have the energy needed to express your full potential, your talent will be choked off, along with all the hard work put into training and conditioning. It will all be wasted!
Still not convinced that energy is the basis of everything you need to succeed? If any of the following is a weakness in your game or life, you will want to read on. Energy is the basis of the following: emotions, thoughts, reaction time, concentration, focus, aggression, motivation, drive, competitiveness, speed, agility, coordination, strength, endurance, all the senses, and all bodily functions. So, where does energy come from and how do you get more of it? Of the three primary systems that produce energy, today we focus on the oxidative system. This is the use of nutrients from the air, water, and food to create energy. It’s not as easy as just eating a “well-balanced meal” either. Your diet has to be clean, as in organic, and in the right ratio of carbs, fats, and protein. We must also eliminate the foods that are creating an immune response and inflammation (This will have to be a separate, short, future blog).
The biggest piece of the puzzle of performance is food. Next week I will teach you how to find out EXACTLY what foods will be optimal for you and why some of those foods will work for one athlete and not another.