We are all in the coaching profession to be a positive influence on young lives. The longer we are around, the greater the impact we can have on young lives. If we are dispensing information on how our young athletes can improve their athletic performances by eating nutritious food, getting a good night’s sleep along with exercising and training why shouldn’t we? If you are not practicing what you are preaching, isn’t that a little hypocritical? As what happens each January, everyone makes their New Year’s resolutions. You know the usual, eat better, start exercising, lose weight etc. And how long does it last? A few months, a few weeks? I knew a guy one year whose resolutions were to start eating better, start exercising and to quit smoking. Guess how long that lasted?
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) the top 3 killers of those living in the United States are: heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases. So what are you doing to not become a statistic?
Wouldn’t it be great to be in shape enough to demonstrate the drills you want your athletes to do instead of just having them do them? How impressed would your kids be if they saw their coach in shape and doing the deal? They would have to say “if coach can do it, so can I!” I can’t think of a better way to be a role model.
So what is it going to take to be that great role model? I know what you are thinking. I don’t have the time. I work all day then I coach. Where do I find the time? You have to make it a habit. As celebrity trainer Joel Harper says “it has to be a habit like brushing your teeth.”
I think it is similar to what Plainfield North track coach and Hall of Famer Tony Holler says in regards to training for speed. “Speed grows like a tree.” If you haven’t been consistent in taking care of yourself, it is going to take some time to develop good habits, being consistent with them and then seeing the changes in your body.
You don’t have to spend 2 hours in the gym every day to get results. Small little bouts of exercise over time can have a very dramatic effect. Do you have 5, 10 or 15 minutes? Do as many pushups as you can. How about jumping jacks or body weight squats? How long can you hold a plank or a wall sit? Do little things like that every day and it will have a compounding positive effect on you very similar to the way your young athletes respond to the training stimulus that you apply to them through your training program.
What about nutrition? Make sure to eat breakfast. If possible have a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner. Keep it simple. Lean proteins, whole grains and have a fruit or a vegetable at every meal you have. This will keep your energy up all throughout the day. Eventually you have to eliminate fast food, soda and anything processed. Think nutrients, not necessarily calories.
Drink water all throughout the day. This will also keep your energy level up. Even in winter it is easy to get dehydrated. An old saying goes “If your pee is clear, have no fear. If your pee is yellow, you’re a sorry fellow!” Make sure your urine is clear or very pale yellow to know that you are properly hydrated.
When Dr. Oz was asked what was the number one thing that could make the biggest difference in how we can perform better each day? What was his answer? He said “sleep.” You need a minimum of 7-8 hours each night to ensure your body and mind are performing at their best.
I am not sure what your training philosophies of coaching are (that is next month’s subject), but I believe as long as a young athlete gives their best in practice and at meets each time, I am happy with that. Are you giving it your best each day in regards to taking care of yourself? If not, why not? If you want to be in coaching for the long haul, you should be.
Here is a link to one of Joel Harpers workouts to get you started: