Proactive: taking action to produce a good result or avoid a problem, rather than waiting until there is a problem.
Sit with that definition for a moment, and consider how it applies to your approach to your body.
For you high performing athletes, being proactive defines your mindset and the follow-through you need to achieve long-term success.
It’s how to put yourself in a position to be excellent at your chosen sport. And it’s why you’re on the path to be an Athlete For Life.
For those of you who have this great potential but are falling short, what’s missing?
It’s likely that you don’t have the right proactive strategy.
To help you, I’m going to lay out what this strategy should look like.
I’m talking about the 360-degree, holistic approach that takes champions to the top, and keeps them there.
Get out in front
The first thing you need to do is get out in front of anything that has the potential to hurt your performance . . . not only now, but in the future. Then stop it in its tracks before it becomes a bigger issue.
To do this, start by looking at what makes for consistent, optimal performance. Then work backwards from there.
Optimal performance means that you have the right level of skill, effort, and work capacity for your activity.
Anything that takes away from these three factors will be the focus of your proactive plan.
Unwanted underlying factors include things such as:
- Deficient strength
- Mental distraction
- Physical asymmetry
- Emotional depression
- Low energy / lethargy
- Poor endurance / stamina
- Low confidence / self-esteem
- Deficient mobility and stability
Don’t dismiss a single one of these, because they all go hand-in-hand. Address each of them, as they are all of equal importance.
And even though they may not all apply to you at this moment, you are still susceptible to each for as long as you are a human. You are one after all, right?
The way to address them is with a proactive strategy, daily action plan, and follow-through to build your foundation. The stronger your foundation, the easier it will be for you to stay close to the mark of consistency and forward progress in your training.
This means that on a DAILY basis you:
- Get high quality sleep
- Warm-up before exercise, and cool-down after
- Do corrective exercises to manage your asymmetries
- Eat the right quantity and balance of nutrient-dense foods
- Meditate to help clear your mind and manage your stress levels
- Nurture your relationships with others to give and receive love and support
- Nurture your relationship with yourself to promote self-reliance and self-confidence
- Take the initiative to learn the knowledge necessary to make your body work better for you
- Build strength to address deficiencies and reinforce a high functioning posture
- Monitor your heart rate variability to determine the right training intensity and volume.
- Improve and reinforce the mobility and stability to correct asymmetries. And to build control over an optimal range of motion
- Adhere to optimal recovery strategies such as practicing breathwork. And use cold therapy to quell inflammation
Now that you have a clearer picture of how you can get out in front, I want you to stay in front. To do that, you must continue to nurture all those areas as often as you brush your teeth. That’s at least twice a day.
To help you be proactive, I’ve created a self-care program called Search and Rescue Mobility (SARM). It’s a daily schedule of mobility and stability exercises that benefits every athlete, no matter your level.
Get yours here, and stay athletic.