posted on: December 31, 2018
author: Brian Lomax
In my experience, athletes often want to be leaders. There’s a certain amount of prestige that comes with the title of leader or captain. It’s an honor. However, you don’t need a title to be a leader, and having a title doesn’t necessarily make you a good leader. A few years ago, I wrote a post on what it takes to be a good sports leader, and today I want to tell you how being a leader will benefit you.
One of the best ways to be an effective leader is through your actions. Be the example for those around you. Act as if you were the leader. Set the standard for things like attitude, effort and focus. Even if you’re in an individual sport like tennis, those around you will notice and pick up on your energy. Younger players will see how you train, and emulate you. They’ll emulate your bad behavior too, so be aware of that. Help the next generation be better by making yourself better.
By setting a great example for those around you, your training habits will improve. That will have a compound effect on your skills, your conditioning, and your performances. It will feel like you are leveling up, and we all love that feeling. So be the example for others, and reap the benefits yourself.
Continuing with the theme of improving habits, time management is often a skill that people are looking to improve. With so many distractions in modern living, it feels as if we don’t have much time to do many of the things that we want to do. However, it’s likely that that is a reflection on a lack of prioritization of what is important to you rather than a lack of time.
If you would like to manage your time better, start by making a list of the habits and goals that are important to you on a daily and weekly basis. Some may be things like daily meditation, while others could be related to exercise or work. After you have completed this list, add the following energy recovering activities to it: sleep (8+ hours), nap, meals, time with friends (social), and rest/relaxation.
Now take your list and start slotting these activities into your weekly calendar. You want to try and build a weekly calendar that allows you to do everything you want to, but to also have great energy along the way. That concept is called Energy Management. Life alternates between expending energy and recovering energy, and so you want to plan your calendar with this in mind. Your calendar should not have hours and hours of activities with no breaks. While many people in corporate jobs try to work non-stop for hours on-end, you’ll never see a serious athlete practice for multiple hours in a row with no breaks. The quality of practice would go down, injuries would result, and motivation would be depleted. That’s not a great long-term plan.
Hopefully, you can fit everything you want to do in a week. If not, you’ll have to use your priority list to help you decide what gets cut. Once you have your schedule, try it out for a week and see how it goes. Write down the challenges to maintaining it, and come up with a plan to handle them. Also, you don’t need to be perfect at this right away. This is a process like anything else and so you’ll tweak it and make it work for you.
By prioritizing your habits and goals, you’ll find that you have more time than you think to do all of the important things in your life. Put them in your calendar and treat them like important appointments.
Brian Lomax founded PerformanceXtra™ in 2009 with a mission of helping athletes achieve their goals and their top performances more consistently through a progression of mental skills that enables them to focus on what is truly important.
Learn more about the author: https://performancextra.com/brian-lomax/