What does it really mean to be an athlete? Every sport requires interest and commitment, and “talent” won’t take you the whole way.
Though we wish it was possible, one can not become a skilled athlete overnight. It requires time and commitment. Through the course of becoming an athlete, one learns how to win and how to lose. It is crucial that athletes maintain a positive attitude in order to exude positivity on those around them. Regardless of the nature of the sport, an athlete needs take care of themselves by eating healthily and maintaining a regular sleep schedule.
There is always room for improvement. Not only are you trying to improve your own skills, but also aid in the improvement of your fellow teammates. A team is not about the standings, but the individuals that make the team possible. Each individual makes an impact on other players and has an important role on and off the field.
To practice means to repeat an exercise or activity to maintain proficiency. Practicing is an essential and consistent part of being an athlete. The more you practice something, the more you will improve and become a stronger athlete. Having repetition will develop muscle memory, master weaknesses, improve skills, and help you to gain confidence. Practicing regularly allows you to develop physical, mental, social and psychological well being.
To become a better athlete you must constantly train, whether it be by running, doing multiple drills a day, or building up your muscles and stamina. It is also important for you to eat healthy. Eating and drinking healthily allows you to obtain protein and vitamins. You can be putting in hours of practice, but if you are eating badly and not sleeping, then you are not fully benefiting from your hard work.
Sleep is a time for the body to recover after a good workout or game. “Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance,” says Dr. David Geier MD, Director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. Not getting enough sleep affects what happens inside your body. When sleeping, your body releases growth hormones. According to a WebMD author, not getting enough rest may cause you to have decreased energy: you become slow to react, and your hormones act unnaturally.
When I first started to play club soccer, I had no idea how to juggle a soccer ball. I was frustrated because I could only get two touches in the air. Seeing everyone else consistently improving, I began to practice every day in my free time. I would come home from school, find my soccer ball and begin juggling. Even when everyone was asleep late at night, I kept practicing with my ball. My family constantly told me to stop making so much noise. Finally, after weeks and weeks of continuous practice, I was able to proudly say that I could juggle.
“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit,” Ken Doherty once said. The benefits of being an athlete. Having the five S’s are what can turn you into a leader on the team and a role model to many others.
In the end of hard work, the accomplishment outweighs the frustration that the process of being an athlete requires.
Featured Image: The Archer Athletics garage on campus. Photographer: Rosemary Pastron ’16