Whether we are sports enthusiast of an occasional ‘bag wagonist’ we were all thoroughly entertained and inspired by the performance of our athletes at the recent concluded IAAF World Championship. We cheered and screamed as our favorite huffed and puffed towards the finish line. All the events were exhilarating:
- Sprint race
- High jump
- Triple jump
- Shot put
- Discus throwing
- The relays
Records were smashed over and over again demonstrating that our body machine has not yet reached an absolute limit in terms of what it is able to do. The endurance and triumph of athletes is a combination of well-toned and conditioned muscular skeletal forms, mental preparedness and luck.
Attributes of successful competitive athletes include:
It does however take a dedicated team to support the athlete during the grueling weeks and months of training. Athletes need to have the best sports-related care and treatment that their training camp can offer. This has allowed many to recuperate from sports injuries and get back into the game.
Many professional athletes can afford to have a personal manager to advise on investments and negotiate remunerations on their behalf. The competitive life of a world class champion is relatively short perhaps 10-15 years and so it is extremely important to financially manage the earnings gained from gran prix and endorsements.
The coach is the technical expert to oversee and guide the athlete with the agreed training program. He or she also has the role to motivate the athlete so that the program is accomplished and the major competitions are attended. The coach in consultation with the doctor will discuss: when the athlete needs to go into rehab to recuperate from injuries and also to assess the right time to restart training.
The sports medicine physician
The physician assesses and treats medical conditions with the aim of getting the athlete back into competitive form. Musculo-skeletal injuries are especially challenging as the rehabilitation can take several months.
The physical therapist
The physical therapist is the “magician” to ensure the athlete is in good form with respect to musculo-skeletal optimal health.
The sports psychologist
Mental and emotional preparation is done by the psychologist who coaches the athlete to be focused on superseding his or her last performance.
The nutritionist plans the meals, snacks, and supplements to be adhered to by the athlete. Performance enhancing supplements which are banned must form no part of the athlete’s regime.
Last but not least is the family who experiences the pain, blood sweat, and tears that many athletes endure. They motivate, encourage, pamper, and protect their star athlete in a very special way.
The take away message
With consistent, dedicated work you can achieve what you set out to do. Be prepared to be persistent and work through the minor set-backs to reach your goal. One needs to pay attention to optimal mental and physical health for overall good performance. Build a team around you that can support you as you strive for excellence. Nurture and build the champion that is in all of us.
Hello_jadoc, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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