Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Complete Athlete

There is more to the process of becoming a great athlete than Just Do It.As I have posted before,we need to train and develop our mind as well as our body. What follows is one of the best articles I've read on the athlete. I sometimes wonder why no other coaches these days are writing such articles. "Unfortunately few athletes reflect on things,most look upon athleticism as a simple pastime and bring little of their mental powers to bear upon their chosen sport, that they go on year after year doing without critical examination what has been done traditionally for generations. And it is because of the attitudes of athletes themselves that the cynical statement is used--all brawn and no brains--- unfortunately in all too many cases the charge may be true. It is apparent to me that brains are far bigger as a factor in getting success in athletics,than just training as we know it. Athletes must learn to develop their critical reflective capabilities and to direct them inwards upon their activities. Athletes must learn to "feel" as if their training is really benefitting them. The test is that each season we should record faster times,all other things being equal. Most athletes then go through a prescribed routine,think little about it as long as they are copying someone else who has succeeded--or, what is worse,accepting the views and dictations of someone who purports to know but probably doesn't. And the test,again, for the latter(those authoritative and talkative ones) is whether they are doing it themselves. I say we must think about what we do." (From an essay by Percy Cerutty entitled The Complete Athlete). I find the above to be quite profound and insightful. There is so much written in just a few sentences.  Again,who is writing such observations about athletes in this day and age? I think of today's elite American distance runners, it seems as if far too many of them are in the process of getting over an injury or having just gotten injuried. It appears to be a habitual and repetitive process. How much self-examination and reflection do you think is going on there? This essay should be a must read for every athlete who desires athletic success.

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