Every day when athletes walk into the gym, we make a point to check in on them, ask how their day has been, ask about any games or practices they have had since we last saw them, check on any aches and pains we know about or new ones that may have come up. It is our job to be sure we know as much about our athletes as we can, in order to train to their individual needs to the best of our ability.
And each day when we ask this we have some common responses. Practice was good, or hard, or long. We hear about how many points someone scored, or frustrations with playing times. We discuss those aches and pains from the long or hard practice and multi-game tournaments and work through them. All of these are things as a coach, that we can help work through for a productive and successful session. However, there is one response that may seem simple, but is arguably the hardest to work through: “I’m tired.”
I had a mentor during grad school that refused to let his athletes say they were tired. He said, “You are not tired, you are fatigued. Saying you are tired is making a decision to let your mind defeat your body.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling the exhaustion that comes with a day of work, school, camp or practice, being able to push yourself to a positive mental state will result in a much more productive session.
So, next time you show up to get some work in and it is time to push a sled or pick up some weight, tell yourself you can do it. It is just fatigue. There will be time to be tired, but until then, it is time to get better. Positive energy not only helps yourself, but those around you. Trade “I’m tired” for “I’m ready” and watch how it changes your every day.