With summer right around the corner, now’s the time to decide whether you want to return to school in the fall as an improved athlete. Too many student-athletes use summer as downtime, exerting little or no effort at self-improvement. While it’s a much-needed break from schoolwork, summer is also the perfect opportunity to set achievable goals and work toward becoming a better athlete.
Here are four guidelines to get you on your way to your most improved summer yet.
Think hard about whom you admire. Who has done something great in the face of overwhelming odds? Whether it’s a famous athlete, historical figure, family member or coach, that person should serve as your inspiration for what you can achieve through a focused and determined effort. Put yourself in their shoes as much as possible, and see what you can learn from their stories.
Great goals include both clear, defined objectives and defined dates for completion. They are also achieveable—just far enough of a stretch, but attainable. State your goal using the phrase “I will” whenever possible (instead of what you will merely “try” to do). “I will” lends strength to your commitment. Write your goals down, and read them every day to keep them fresh in your mind.
Vary Your Training
It’s important to change your training regimen to align it with accomplishing your new goals. Since summer doesn’t usually involve school, it can be difficult to maintain the structure of a normal schedule. Map out your training sessions in a realistic way; you should be able to adhere to your program with relative ease, while keeping your eating and sleep habits balanced. That being said, summer is an excellent time to vary your actual workouts to keep things fresh. Try experimenting with different exercises or new methods.
Recharge Your Batteries
Summer without some rest and relaxation isn’t summer at all. It’s your time to do all the things that you’ve thought about but didn’t have time to do: visit family and friends, go see a movie, read a good book, or start more pick-up games. Make the most of your time. Summer always ends too soon.