We have closed the door on the pre-season and now enter the regular season schedule. The pre-season, while tough on us from a results perspective at times, was exactly what we needed. Only 2 matches against unranked teams and most against top 6 teams. What a great way to see where we are at, what we do well, and what weaknesses are exposed.
Now that we know all that, our job is to shore up those areas, refine and maintain what we do well, and keep high on our list what we need to do to be at the top of our game when it really matters.
The first order of business is balance. I don't mean something gymnastic, nor about tipping or teattering. I mean, finding a way to balance the demands of school and midterms, with the training, weights and competition schedule and still have time for good nutrition, enough sleep and even an occasional social outlet.
Time management and balance are such important skills at this time of the year. Staying healthy, not getting bogged down by deadlines and time-wasters,
and bringing energy to training day in and day out..... that is the athlete's challenge. Those who rise, will be successful. Those who procrastinate, who aren't focused, who don't keep their eye on the prize and see each action they take as a means to an end, will falter.
As a coach, I can provide direction. I can provide encouragement. I can hope and pray that the athletes I impact will figure it out to their advantage.... and when one doesn't, I can try to be there to help pick up the pieces..... but ownership is huge. The athletes need to own their own balance, their own discipline and their own decisions.
Ahhh, I love this time of the year. What would late October/early November be, without such challenges? Challenges are something to rise to, not to make barriers or excuses. Some will drown, some will tread water, and some will take the tide head on and swim upstream to success. After all, this is the time of immersion.