There are so many facts that go into helping an athlete reach their full potential and all are integral parts to make the machine function as a whole.
Too often areas are neglected and lead to less than optimal performance, injuries, overtraining and fatigue.
That is why our philosophy is built as a holistic approach to fitness and wellness, encompassing the five fundamentals that go into making a strong house.
We see the areas being
1. Technique - Functional movement correctly performed for optimal performance. Using education as to the how’s and why’s of different movement patterns and drills to integrate the neurological pathways into repetitive movements that go into making up your sport art.
Running is not often seen as an art form as is perhaps the likes of Ballet dancing but its just as complicated to do it to perfection and one is never actually “there”. Perfect technique in running and other sports is a lifelong pursuit using drills, constantly correcting and improving. Constantly reinforcing the correct technique by conscious and critical regular assessments.
Strength training is an essential element in any balanced program. Strength training encompasses three categories development, maintenance and recovery.
Running, for example, at speed for longer distances requires strong fully functioning muscles and joint movements which leads us into the third pillar.
3. Flexibility and Mobility: Another area largely neglected by athletes due to a lack of time in our busy lives or a lack of understanding of the importance of a full range of motion and a ‘“well oiled machine” as well as flexible and supple muscles.
Good flexibility improves performance and is not a wasted effort and the importance of this grows as we age.
Flexibility and mobility are also crucial in the avoidance of injuries.
There are two components to flexibility and mobility in the joints, elasticity in the ligaments and tendons and relaxation in the muscles at full extension.
4. Nutrition: an obvious factor in optimal performance. But health supplementation is also a necessary factor in our day and age where our soils no longer give us the nutrients we need to function properly and the implications of processed foods, full of chemicals, preservatives, flavors and massive amounts of sugar and salt means it’s harder to eat enough without having too many calories, to get anywhere near the nutrients we
need without supplementing our diets with good quality vitamins, minerals etc.
In some estimates our plants, fruit and vegetables are only providing 10% of the nutrients they used to compare to what they were providing 50 odd years ago. So we are all over fed and undernourished a deadly formula leading to sub optimal sport performance but also so many of our chronic lifestyle diseases and hormone imbalances including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular problems.
5. The fifth element in our structurally stable house as athletes is a strong mind. Psychology, motivation, mindset, determination, resilience, perspective, the ability to deal with failures, risk taking, ability to focus, goal setting the list is endless in this area.
The mind being the most powerful tool and the biggest obstacle to success as an athlete. Your mind can literally make you or break you.
But in this sector also falls your support networks.
Athletes need good support networks to reach their full potential. Networks include
1. Coaching (why you are with the RHC family) to guide, educate, motivate and inspire.
2. Medical and related support networks. Doctors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, health practitioners of all types from acupuncture to herbal remedies, counselors, sport psychologists etc.
3. Friends and family - You can’t choose your family but hopefully they will be supportive in your endeavors, understand your need for time to train, do events, and will be able to see the overall benefit to the family arising from your discipline, your dedication, your improved health and wellness.
Keeping a balance between time commitments to your sport and your family and work lives can be very tricky for most of us who are time poor and overstressed.
Friends are easier to choose and I highly recommend seeking out like minded souls who are on the same journey as you. Friends who understand your passion and interests. Friends who you can share the ups and downs with. Good friendships, club trainings etc can help on a day to day basis with motivation and commitment for e.g. you are more likely to go for a run on that cold winter morning in the rain when you have committed to a friend to meet at 6am at the park. Search out people and cultivate friends to people who will help you get to your goal.
Support networks also include magazines, websites, research, books anything where you can learn more about your chosen sport. Delving into education being on the constant look out for ways to improve, new inspiration, new equipment developments etc. is a great way to stay motivated.
So even if your sport is an individual pursuit like running rather than a team event like rugby, you are not an island.
Embrace, cultivate and show gratitude to your support networks they are part of the fabric of you as an athlete.