Tuesday, April 5, 2011

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 don't know,perhaps I'm prejudiced in regards to Cerutty but I find that the above is quite profound and insightful. There is so much written in just a few short paragraghs. I mean,among many things,who is writing articles like this about the athlete in this day and age? The above also got me thinking about today's elite American distance runner, and this is just an observation,when I read a few of the big sites on running or RT, it seems like most of them are in the process of getting over an injury or having just got injuried. It appears to be a habitual and repetitive process. How much self-examination and reflection do you think is going on here? This essay should be a must read for every athlete who desires athletic success.

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