Athletic Success – Essential Tips On How To Become A Successful Athlete And World Champion
By Eric Ah-Yuen- Tour Council associate, World Champion Athlete- Tae Kwon Do - Canada National Team Coach
SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS
As you often will see, a successful athlete often credits his teammates or training partner after winning a huge event. I personally believe it is very important to train with partners who has won and competes at the same level; not only does it make you elevate your game all the time but they always have the same focus, drive, dedication, determination and goals as you, whether it’s that Olympic medal or winning a World Championship. You will be able to remind each other and offer support when you are down or tired and motivation is low. You can draw on each other’s support and use that commitment to train with that partner, especially on those cold mornings run or when the body is aching and all you want to do is hit that snooze button. In essence, having the proper training buddy is essential in becoming a successful athlete.
IF YOU HAVE NEVER LIVED IT YOU CANNOT TEACH IT
No athlete can ever do it by themselves without the proper coaching. Most athletes will tell you that they have one coach in their career that has had a significant impact on their life or athletic career. I find not only having a good coach is crucial in your journey but having a proper coach who has trained, competed and lived the experience as an athlete is essential. They know what it takes to win and how to win using not only the physical aspects of training but a mental approach and game plan. They can understand your experience and your journey more easily than a coach who had never lived the experience or competed at the same level as the athlete.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
As cliché as it sounds, this quote is so true, especially as an athlete when you are burning upward to 1000 kilocalories per hour. After a hard training session I use to lose about 5-7 lbs. It is very important to know how much to eat and what you should be eating. You do not necessarily have to be an expert in nutrition; however you should have a general idea of kilocalories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Knowing what to eat will help you keep that equation in balance during your training season. Your food intake will give you the proper fuel to push your body to the limits and get you the best out of your work outs and recovery phase.
REST REST REST
Many athletes continue to over train and do not give their body enough time to rest. It is crucial to be getting a minimum of 9-10 hours of rest a night with power naps during the day. During the peak of my season, I would usually try to sleep 2 times during the day. I would try to take a power nap of 20-30 minutes after my morning session and again after my afternoon session. You need to give your body time to recuperate and replenish. Listen to your body and the rest will have a positive effect on your whole training regimen mentally and physically.
WORK ON YOUR WEAKNESS
As an athlete, you always have certain parts of your game where you are weaker and can always improve. Concentrate on areas that are your weaknesses and always work on them first in your workouts. Whether it’s with form improving drills, strength or speed training make sure to always monitor your results. You will build confidence going into a major competition knowing that you have worked on those areas.
FIND A MANTRA AND WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
When I knew I had a major competition coming up, first thing I would do is tape up a huge Canadian flag above my bed and simply written in black sharpie would be my goals or motivational phrases.
I would put my goals and motivational phrases in a place where I would usually see it at least 10 times a day. Those places would usually be in my gym bag, refrigerator and bathroom door. These places were usually the first places I would see when I woke up and there they were always reminding me of what I am suppose to do and where I want to be. Those were crucial times especially on most days when I was so tired and did not want to get out of bed or wanted to break my diet.
The flag was always right above my face so it was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes for training. It reminded me everyday what I was here to do. Knowing I am representing my Country and how hard I worked to get there, I always felt there were people counting on me and I could not let them down.
I remember when I was training with my partner for the Barcelona Olympics and one of the best quotes we had everywhere was NO PAIN… NO GAIN…NO SPAIN!!! It was even on all of our t-shirts.
One of my favourite quote that I often used was “If you choose to fight you may lose but if you choose not to fight, you’ve already lost.
The quote or mantra will not only inspire you when you are down but will help keep you focus on standing on that podium.
MASTER ERIC AH-YUEN
B.A COMM, PTS, TPI-CGFI, FMS, C.H.E.K
GOLF STRONG ATHLETICS
PGA TOUR STRENGTH & CONDITIONING PERFORMANCE SPECIALIST
WORLD CHAMPION ATHLETE
CERTIFIED GOLF TEACHING PROFESSIONAL
7TH DEGREE BLACK BELT