"I don't read a lot of the sports, because I think people sometimes either build it up, or you have this guy that hates sports who is going to write bad about it, so I figure I'm not going to read it. Because I'm not going to let him put an idea into my head." —Herschel Walker, College Football Hall-of-Fame Running Back
High school fall sports season is officially underway, which means extra pages in the sports sections of local newspapers. Although seeing your team and your name mentioned in print may seem pretty sick, don't take the type too seriously.
The media will say what they want regardless, so don't let them direct your thoughts. If all you care about is what the sportswriters and broadcasters have to say, your ego will rise and crash like a messed-up roller coaster. The best thing to do? Take a cue from Herschel Walker. Just read the stat columns to scout your next opponent.
As an All-American running back at the University of Georgia, Walker received gobs of attention from the press, but he never listened to what they thought. Whether for good or bad, he always stuck to his own way.
For example, Walker's training regimen was a hot topic, because he didn't use free weights at all. Instead, the '82 Heisman Trophy winner used bodyweight exercises, such as Push-Ups and Sit-Ups, along with calisthenics, conditioning exercises and martial arts training, to keep his body in peak form throughout his three years in college and 14 years as a pro. Regardless of what the media said—positive or negative—he kept his head down and focused on his intense and unique training sessions.
Walker's training contributed to his uniqueness as an athlete. He not only competed in pro football, but also represented the U.S. in the two-man bobsled during the '92 Winter Olympics, finishing in seventh place. In college, he ran track, recording 10.22 seconds for a 100-meter dash, and garnered All-America honors in that sport as well. Now at the ripe age of 48, Walker is competing in the MMA Strikeforce circuit. His current record is 1-0.
Not bad for a man who never picked up a dumbbell in his life.
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