If you were to ask any adolescent or younger athlete what he or she wants to do when they grow up they will most likely answer that they want to play their sport at a professional level. I mean why wouldn’t they want to? Play the sport you love for a good portion of your life, travel the world doing it, and to top it off get paid millions of dollars!
The sad part of this whole scenario is this unless the average high school athlete changes a few things he or she will never go pro. I know, that sounds super negative and pessimistic but, it’s true-KEEP READING good stuff is coming, I promise.
Here are a few reasons that you as a young athlete or as a parent your son or daughter will never make it big as an athlete.
1. You want to go pro but you train like a dummy.
You don’t go pro by training like everyone else. The young athlete needs a special strength & conditioning coach to become elite. Young athletes need trainers like this to perfect movement, so that optimal levels of power, speed, torque, agility, and endurance can be reached increasing their overall athleticism and their general physical preparedness. Routines from Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, Muscle Mag or God forbid P90X or Insanity don’t make you a pro level athlete.
2. You want to go pro but you eat like a dummy.
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Pop tarts for breakfast, a hot pocket or sandwich for lunch, and “whatever” for dinner doesn’t make elite athletes, it gives you have the same nutrition as a Halo or Call Of Duty guru.
You want to perform like a formula one race car you need to run on that kind of fuel, and NO, formula one cars DONT RUN on Monster Energy drinks!
3. You want to go pro but you’re trying to be good at EVERYTHING!
There is a reason Michael Jordan stuck with basketball and not baseball. He knew you can’t be a big dog at multiple sports (unless your Bo Jackson). My friend Clint Gresham is the long snapper for the best football team on the planet, the Seattle Seahawks. He not only specializes in one sport, he is a specialist in that sport. In high school I see too many good athletes that never become great because they are satisfied with being good at many things instead of great at one. Additionally the risk for injury to young athletes doing this is through the roof. Young bodies although resilient, can’t perform optimally when being under constant mental & physical stress throughout the year with very little or no time to recover. It also stunts athletic performance because the athlete never takes adequate time to periodize their training for their sport of choice, they simply hop from sport to sport in the name of being a busy athlete rather than an amazing one. Bottom line, choose a sport, and get really really really good at it.
If while reading this it stung a little (or a lot) or you see yourself or your son or daughter doing becoming “this kind of athlete” I’m not trying to crush dreams but point out that it CAN be done if done right. Get a trainer/coach that can help you with the things mentioned above. Note*** Good trainers cost good money, Ferrari’s & Maserati’s don’t come cheap*** Train smart AND hard, have a target, get angry when you fall short, but let the anger propel you onto greatness.