Sunday, January 20, 2013

Keys to Success: Athlete Performance Rituals



Keys to Success
Athlete Performance Rituals





Establishing training rituals are a key to athletic performance success. Having a clear vision of where you are headed provides the framework for developing training goals that will best prepare you for the upcoming season. Your goals create a strong bond between what you dream(vision) and what you do(rituals).
It is now January 2013. For some athletes this is the off-season phase of your annual training program. For those athletes headed into the track season you are increasing your general conditioning level. There are many aspects of your conditioning that can be performed now that will gear you up for the upcoming season. What are your training rituals that you have already established? What training rituals can you add that are realistic for the upcoming season that will better prepare you for the increasing intensity, frequency of training and competitive season?

These Training Rituals may fall into Specific Categories:

  • Nutrition and Diet
    • How do you provide the adequate nutrition to your body through a well planned training diet?
  • Sleep and Recovery
    • How do you provide the adequate rest and recovery required to maintain physical and mental freshness to engage in high level performance.
  • Flexibility, Warm-up and Cool-Down
    • How do you prepare and cool-down in the training that you are engaged.
  • Time Management
    • How do you manage your varied commitments on and off the field so that you can achieve what you have set as goals.
      • Home 
      • School/Work
      • Social Relations
Most importantly, in defining your specific rituals in each category, are these rituals in line with what you what to accomplish(Vision), and Why is this important to You? 


Raise The Bar for Excellence

Do You have an Athletic Game Plan for Success?


Establishing Positive Rituals Develop the Discipline Necessary for: 


  • Energy balance
    • You are able to balance the expenditure of energy in your training and competitive cycles through the year.
    • Equally important, is the ability to manage your recovery from the high expenditure of energy spent physically and mentally during training and competition.


  • Tool for setting goals and achieving success
    • Setting goals provides a framework that can be measured.
    • Establishing a checklist that falls under the Specific Ritual Category allows you to focus on each goal with a purposeful action that will help you successfully achieve this goal.
    • An example: It is your goal to increase your lean body weight(muscle) by 5-pounds before the upcoming season through proper nutrition and strength training. Establishing a positive ritual of consuming 20 grams of protein, five times per day, from a pre-selected list of foods that are available to you, and have maximal nutrient content would help you achieve this goal, based on your current weight.
If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it's up to you. - Dave Scott

  • Set priorities
    • Establishing priorities allows you to stay on track with committed effort, avoiding activities that lead to imbalance and conflict for the goals that you have set. 
    • An example: Training programs can conflict with social activities, yet, a social life is important for relaxation and a healthy lifestyle. Establishing a ritual of performing your strength and conditioning program at a specific time of the day, say the morning, will allow you to still engage in social activities with friends and family, or work obligations.

  • Maintain discipline that translates into action
    • Discipline can be defined as an activity that requires physical or mental training (discipline of martial art); it can be defined as training oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
    • Both definitions imply training, and the ability to define that what you are going to achieve, and act on it.




Establishing positive training rituals develops the the discipline necessary for maintaining your physical and mental energy balance. Consider the energy expenditure that is required in training, and how you are able to recover from these intense workouts so that you can get up the next day and do it again. Training habits are what keep you prepared and fresh for the duration of the season. As an athlete you are becoming more in tune with how your body responds to the demands of a busy schedule; in athletics and at work and/or school. Setting this foundation of positive rituals helps to maintain a balance of focused connection with your mind, body and the demands of leading a successful life in your pursuits at Work/School, Play and Compete.