Fast Friday Five Part two: “Assessing the Speed Athlete and Your Life”
At NX Level, the training process of the athlete starts with an assessment. I’ve come to find that “physical training” and life are direct reflections. Not a day goes by where analogies and parallels can’t be made with something as simple as teaching a snatch or taking kids through a dynamic warm up. Often I find that the lessons I am teaching the athletes, are in fact, lessons God probably wants me to learn or reflect upon. This week’s “Fast Friday Five” is part two of a two part series dedicated to some of these parallels I make when dealing with our standard assessment process.
1 “Mobility”- When we think of mobility we think of free, undeterred movement. Physical and mental mobility are extremely important for performance and intellectual/social growth. Joint mobility in the strength and conditioning context deals with range of motion at the ankles, hips, thoracic region, and glenohumeral region. If one has restriction here, movement competency or efficiency will be altered locally and globally. If one has poor alignment, soft tissue quality, muscular tone/imbalance, or structural genetic disposition, their ability to put themselves in effective positions will be altered. Performance is affected; the probability of injury is heightened. Can you squat, can you hinge, can you move your arms and shoulders? At NX Level we want to teach two main things: the ability to bend the knees, the ability to extend the hips. Life is always throwing curveballs, fastballs, and sliders at us. Can you hit that certain pitch? Do you have the keen eye to take a ball? Do you have the mental fortitude to recover from a strike out? One has to be a little malleable to keep or make relationships and to weather the occasional storm with life. Remember, no two people or situations are the exact, so bend a little and keep an honest open mind. I guarantee you won’t break and remember the words of Dale Carnegie, “Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.”
3 “Relative Strength”- To succeed in life, we don’t all have to be presidents, saints, millionaires, philanthropists, or NFL MVP’s. To gain true success in life, we just have to master ourselves. Without getting too Zen like in my preaching, your life is relative to your surroundings, your perceptions, and your wants. If you can master and be happy with whom you are and what you have, you will call yourself a very happy soul. Being happy is our number one human goal. Happiness is relative. Likewise, athletic strength is relative to your body. Relative body strength is simply how strong one is in overcoming their own resistance. Sometimes you are your own very worst opposition (I’m sorry for, yet again, blowing your mind and leaving you in the mental/physical conundrum). So as we talked about earlier on, get rid of the extra garbage body fat and emotional stressors, get strong and you will be quicker, more resilient with all your movements—physical and mental alike.
4 “Motivate and surround yourself”- There is the assessment process laid out. You can now call yourself a "self aware athlete." Making changes starts with awareness and acceptance, but now for true change and growth you need action. Once the ball is rolling you will soon realize that discipline is only as good as the “why” to the “what” you are doing. Find what motivates you, find who motivates you and prioritize them as being one with your goal. A successful journey is easy. Stick to the map, learn and weather the storms, surround yourself with other good sailors. Chances are the journey will be the reward. The reward is just icing on the cake.