Take the challenge. Find out who you are.
When we spend what feels like a lifetime in the gym, at the studio, on the field, or on the ice, sport identities tend to develop. Even years after ending my “dance life,” the words “I am a dancer.” still regularly find their way out of my mouth. Athletic identity can be quite beneficial and may even contribute to improved performance (Werthner & Orlick, 1986).
This blog post strays somewhat from the norm, and instead serves as a challenge. As summer programs and intensives kick into high gear, I dare you to ask yourself:
WHO AM I OUTSIDE OF MY SPORT?
What things do I love? Whether it’s ice cream and puppies (my personal favorites), or biking and hiking…take some time this summer to delve into worlds outside of your typical athletic rigor. As more and more sports become year-round, the idea of a “break” often doesn’t sit well with athletes. And yet, the benefits of a break – of a time to explore other activities – may result in enhanced performance upon return to sport. A week-long trip to Cape Cod could mean a whole seven days without training. What if I fall behind? Will I lose everything I worked for during the year?
If you’ve had these thoughts before, you’re certainly not alone! But instead of keeping up with your regular summer schedule, try breaking the routine to keep things fresh. Try a dance class you’ve been dying to take. Go for a swim with your friends. Take the dog for a hike. Find the FUN in what you do. TAKE THE CHALLENGE!
Live in the moment. Enjoy your time off. Capitalize on the idea of “other interests” as a way to feed [not impede!]who you are as an athlete.
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