3 Principles Every World-Class Athlete Embodies

World-class athletes like LeBron James, Ronda Rousey, and Lionel Messi train hard and eat right. They’ve also mastered their minds. While exercise and nutrition are important aspects of health, mind health is equally important. When it comes to overall health, the body and the mind are inseparable.

Here are 3 principles every world-class athlete embodies in their daily life:

#1.World-class athletes are coachable

A person is coachable when they’re willing to listen to others who are more experienced, and at least consider (and try) their advice.

No world-class athlete can make it to the top without being coachable. For example, say you’re on your high school track and field team, and you have dreams of becoming an Olympic shot put champion. Your coach notices you’ve been developing your upper body strength, but you’ve been skipping leg day. This deficit shows in your lack of distance. When your coach asks you to focus more on your legs to increase your distance, you resist the idea because you don’t see what strong legs have to do with shot put.

Needless to say, you’ll never make it past your high school track meets with that attitude. Coaches are there to provide guidance from a more experienced point of view. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been engaging in your sport. There’s always someone who either knows more than you, or can observe you and help you improve your results.

Being coachable means letting go of the idea that you already know everything, and embracing the possibility of learning something from others.

#2. World-class athletes approach teaching others holistically

You’ll never see a black belt in Taekwondo train a new student to break a concrete block without first teaching basic kicking and punching techniques. Even if a student only wants to break a board or block with their hands, they still must learn basic kicking techniques before having the opportunity to break a board with a punch.

In any sport, all components are connected. For instance, in golf, it seems like putting is completely separate from driving, but both need to be learned to play a game of golf. If you just want to perfect your putting to show up the little kids at the mini-golf course, that’s different. If you want to be a serious golfer, you need to learn the entire game.

#3. World-class athletes take mind health seriously

You’ll never be the best soccer player or golfer if you’re stressed out all the time and your thoughts wander down dark pathways. You might be skilled when you have a moment of clarity, but without regularity, your skills won’t move you forward.

Professional athletes understand the impact mental health has on their physical performance, and they will do whatever it takes to maintain that health. For many, that means taking days off to rest their mind and body, meditating regularly, and avoiding anything that causes stress. When they train other people, they make sure to incorporate mind health into their training.

The best personal trainers for weight loss don’t just make their clients lift heavy weights and eat well.The best trainers incorporate positive psychology into their training. For instance, a basic trainer might have someone do 10 push-ups and move on to the next exercise. A good trainer will push their client to squeeze out a few more reps. A fantastic trainer will push their clients, but they’ll do something different after each workout. They’ll have a conversation with their clients about how they feel about their workouts, and what they’re processing emotionally.

Professional athletes embrace the idea that mental health affects their performance, but the public isn’t ready to acknowledge this yet.

While not all weight loss clients struggle emotionally, many do. The best trainers know the weight loss journey is intensely emotional, and they will provide appropriate support and encouragement for their clients who need it.

Want to be like your favorite sports hero?

If you want to be like your favorite sports star, you’ll need to do more than develop practical skills. Half the game involves your mindset. How you think about yourself, the world, and your progress has a direct impact on your results. Work on your game, but don’t forget to master your mind.

About Jason Spencer

Jason Spencer has a tremendous enthusiasm for all facets of health, fitness and physical performance that stems from an athletic lifestyle from childhood. Jason was fortunate enough to compete in collegiate football and learned to love the challenges that physical activity placed on the body. As Jason progressed through his higher education and became increasingly aware of how science is applied to physical activity and how it reveals the benefits of exercise, he realized very quickly that he wanted to pursue a career that gives him the opportunity to teach others to compete, challenge, and push themselves towards something more valuable to them than anything else; health, fitness and self worth. Being a fitness professional allows Jason to do this for them and he is always incredibly grateful for that. Jason has a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. Neuroscience and his acquired knowledge of the nervous system and muscle stimulation techniques has been extremely instrumental towards building a unique ability and feel for training the body for optimal form and function. As a personal trainer he is certified with ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). He's also a strength & conditioning specialist with NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association). He has additional certifications in both kettlebell principles & techniques (Equinox), and Flexibility & Corrective Exercise (Swedish Institute of Health Sciences in NY). Jason has worked as a trainer and conditioning specialist in a variety of fitness facilities over the years such as: LA Fitness in Piscataway, NJ, the YMCA in Metuchen, NJ, and Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York, NY. He also does private in-home sessions all over the Manhattan area.

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