It's Coach Tip Tuesday!! For the first time ever, I'm posting one that I wrote a bit in advance, but its timing is poignant all the same.
Do as I say, AND as I do. Many of you, and especially the athletes who I work for, know me to be a coach who practices what she preaches. I personally feel that any coach who doesn't do this will never develop the full range of empathy and compassion required to be an effective coach, and I don't believe that any coach will ever reach his or her potential if he or she doesn't walk the walk in addition to talking the talk.
The reason I emphasize this is that my Coach Tip on this Tuesday is not one many athletes want to hear. It's not glamorous, and there aren't medals to celebrate it.
My tip is this: Listen to your body. Sounds simple enough, right?? I'm sure it does. And yet, in my years in endurance sports, I have found that this is the single hardest thing for athletes to do. What does it mean?? It can mean a lot of things:
It might mean listening to your body when it's telling you to rest. This might mean sitting out of workouts or races with friends. It might mean making a choice that makes you feel left behind. But know this: keeping your long-range goals in focus, versus letting short-term goals dominate, will actually put you AHEAD of the game.
It might mean calling a workout early if it's just not your day. One missed workout won't make or break your season. But continuing on when you know it's not your day COULD break your season if it leads to higher risk of injury.
It might mean pushing yourself just a little bit further than you ever thought you could go before. Our bodies are amazing machines, and if we listen, we can truly tap into their potential.
It might mean eating more carbs so your body is fueled properly to do what you're asking of it. Our output can only be as good as our input. You wouldn't expect a car to run without any gas in it. Don't expect the same of yourself.
I know what I'm saying and asking of you. I've made all of these choices, and I'm still currently making them. I know that they're not easy. What I can tell you is this, though: they're worth it. Listen to and honor your body. It's the only one you get. :)