We’ve all heard the saying expressed in the heat of competition, “that athlete, that team, that person really rose to the occasion and won the game!” To me, there was no magic! My take is, the athlete didn’t rise to the occasion, they elevated to the level of their training. While they elevated, their competition lowered to the level of their workouts.

In their most important moments in competition; during the grind of an intense game, in the final push, going into the last part of competition, extra minutes, extra innings, double overtime, big championship games, under fatigue and duress, an athletes’ mental poise and physical prowess is predetermined by the level of their preparation. One cannot magically wave a wand and with a poof of smoke be physiologically more advanced, mentally stronger or technically more skilled. There is a process that is put into place over time and repeated over and over with training. When we set up the right training parameters, follow proper progressions in training and development, we continually take steps up the mountain of success to achieve peak levels of performance. We achieve the goal to elevate to such a height, that when we get tired, when we falter, if we slow down or we even fall down, we can still get back up, brush ourselves off, keep pushing to our high success level and win the game! It’s not just because we had a dream — it’s because we’ve elevated past average or what others consider normal in training — and were able to elevate to great. We took the necessary steps to DO IT when the time needed to take action required it.

A well-trained athlete demonstrates this with a kick to the finish line winning a distance race over other competitors, who are equally beat up and fatigued by the extreme demands. It shows up when an athlete that has developed the base of training and developed the skills of their sport, can play at a high level during a two-day or three-day tournament and not falter during the championship run, This process even works in our day-to-day life.

I had a friend that was hit with cancer. His cancer suddenly tapped him on his shoulder with a “SURPRISE”! He was at his best ever when late Stage 4 cancer required immediate, and the highest levels, of radiation to the base of his brain, face, mouth, ears, neck and chest. Had he not been at his very best — physical strength, physiological capacity and mental resiliency — the depths to which he sank would have put him under. As it was, my friend was able to, as he says, “win by an inch!” The road was long, but he was able to handle the journey. He’s back training others, as well as back to pushing himself to his new limits, to tackle the next surprise that comes his way.

In most situations, as with our most difficult challenges as well as our most exciting but tough opportunities, life doesn’t give us advance notice. We have to be ready with what we have. You train to “Be Your Best When Your Best is Needed,” so when incurring the mental and physical battles, applying one’s best in difficult conditions, your training level is so high when you sink you still win.

Get busy training your body and mind to higher levels. You have a head start to rise up over time, for future positive and negative challenges. Get stepping up now! Now is the time to get after it. Or, as we say at Coach Rozy Performance, “Don’t just dream it — DO IT!”

Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen, M.Ed, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, FNSCA is founder/director of Coach Rozy Performance. They offer high level performance training for all ages and levels as well as offer training for adults. Contact Coach Rozy at 817-219-2811 or go to www.coachrozy.com for more information.

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