By now, you must already know that in order to be successful in life you have to be disciplined. But when it comes to sports, you need to double that. Because being an athlete doesn’t just mean you have to train regularly, but also accommodate your whole life around your chosen sport, and when planning your day or your week, you have to take into account your training, your nutrition, and your rest time in between.
In order to become more disciplined, you need to take responsibility for yourself and your life. For instance, you need to start showing up at places on time, and that includes practice. It doesn’t matter if your training is first thing in the morning or later in the evening – being responsible entails being on time everywhere, whatever you’d been doing previously! Having a good sense of time and how you spend it is important, so I recommend having a good-looking watch on you at all times. Don’t rely on your phone, your phone is not a watch, trust me.
You’ll also need to cut down on your late nights at the bar. My teammates and I struggled with this at first because we thought we were tougher than the beer we’d drank, and that because we were athletes we would handle it better. But we were wrong. I can safely say for all of us that we’re feeling much stronger since we stopped going out late so often.
That said, swapping partying for nights in might make you grumpy at first, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the long term benefits. You really need to take your training seriously, or you’ll end up disappointed and wishing you’d have done better.
This also includes discipline with your nutrition. You’ll have to learn to plan your meals. Keeping a meal planner is a very useful way to do this, and it’ll also help you when you go shopping for groceries. You have to be mindful of the food you eat and educate yourself about all the necessary nutrients you need as an athlete.
Discipline also means to be persistent and strengthen your mentality in general. That means never giving up and working through any obstacles that might come up, especially when you’re pushing your physical limits during practice.
And lastly, make sure to set enough time for resting. Go to bed on time, don’t stay up past midnight, and try to be in nature as much as possible.