Many people have a strongly held belief that youth can erase the effects of bad habits – insufficient sleep, junk food, poor movement. I (Coach G) specialize in coaching athletic teens across the US and Mexico. I am often confronted with a level of misinformation surrounding the topic of adolescent health that has helped me to clarify key lifestyle tips for athletic teens. First and foremost, know that no person can outrun bad choices. You are what you repeatedly do.
This past year my life I have been turned upside down and shaken on so many levels: as a woman, as a competitive athlete, and as the daughter of Rose (and Ampelio) Isetti. And oh, has it been dramatic.
I appreciate Thanksgiving, simply as a day to remember gratitude—always good as a concept, but even better as a practice. Gratitude as a daily practice is mind-expanding and heart-expanding, and research has shown that subjects who practiced daily gratitude had higher rates of cancer recovery than those who didn’t. But sometimes it’s hard to be grateful because it’s unseasonably cold, or because my hair doesn’t look right, or because I’m running late, or all three on the same day, plus… sometimes bad things happen, like divorces and car crashes.
The last fitness regimen you will ever need is not about doing the same thing every day until you die. In fact, the last fitness regimen you will ever need is not a training program—it is a lifestyle.
When you learn how to create lasting changes in small daily habits, you have found the last fitness regimen you will ever need. Habits create rhythm and routine and are two key components of the last fitness regimen you will ever need.
Why Coaching? I (Coach Tia) get this question a lot from family members and friends. I first fell in love with fitness and sport at a young age. The second I figured out I was a fast runner, I always wanted to race people every chance I got! My best friend knew this about me and when we got to high school she pushed me to join the track team. That was all I needed to do to know that fitness and sport would be a part of my life forever. My love for running track took me to college, which was a big game changer, especially the first time I stepped foot in a weight room. Seeing movements such as jerk, power clean, dead lift and snatch had me terrified and uncomfortable. I had never picked up a bar before and was scared at the thought of performing the exercises I saw performed so well by the upperclassmen. Although I was scared out of my mind, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, stuck with the training, and slowly but surely got better at performing the lifts. As I got comfortable in the weight room, I knew I wanted to be around this environment for the long run.
Mental toughness training for athletes is a topic that comes up frequently. Athletes and parents of athletes are interested to know what can be done to improve focus, attitude, and ultimately, results. So often a person comes to me for a training plan with goals for changing their body-get more muscle, lose fat, get stronger, faster, and so on – and the first thing I ask them is “How is your sleep?” and “Do you have a mindfulness practice?” There is no training plan that will get you any of the above if you are not sleeping 8-9 hours every night, making room to listen to yourself and eating healthy food that you cook yourself.
Mari Wolkstein is a competitive hockey defensewoman. She is small but mighty. It has been so much fun to watch this young athlete develop physically and emotionally. Mari has grit. She is determined with a deep sense of purpose. She is an athlete who needs no external motivation, because her engine is fired deep within. That level of motivation, a strong inner force that causes behavior, is a rare quality in anyone – but especially someone of Mari’s age. Her athletic achievements are astounding. She is not only training with Coaching by G 4-6 days a week, but playing hockey as much, traveling to tournaments, a rockstar in the classroom, an avid reader, guitar player, and much more. Mari is an example to everyone in the gym: she is not waiting for her life to happen, she is actively engaged in designing the life she wants. (Are you struggling with designing the life you want, specifically when it comes to diet? Here’s a whole bunch of nutritional know-how to help you harness the power of your biochemistry.)
The road in training from injury to recovery can be long and arduous – and yet it is always an opportunity for growth. Injury is a great equalizer, because as human beings we all experience something that sidelines us. Whether you workout a lot or sit too much for your job, your body has to adapt to what you do. Sitting all day does not prevent injury, in fact we know the opposite is true. Regardless of how you get injured, though, I am sure that it is not part of your plan and yet, injury is an opportunity to learn new ways to be in your body. How to get from injury to recovery is as individual as anything you do. While every injury is different, it is likely that there were signals along that way that you ignored
Change is at the heart of coaching and that can be pretty scary for most people. Once a client decides they are ready to embark on real transformation, they can experience a sense of vulnerability which can be a valuable tool if it is managed in an atmosphere of trust and is respected above all else.
The Coach-Client relationship is built on mutual honesty, respect, and transparency and is the vehicle used to move the client forward. And as in any healthy relationship, both parties must be fully engaged and ready to do the work.
The coach has to believe in her client and the client has to trust the coach to guide him toward his loftiest goals.
A strong motivation for many clients is that they may be struggling with important transitions; sometimes wrestling with very deep personal transformations and are left feeling vulnerable. But it is at this point of authentic vulnerability that will allow clients to embody their own capacity for self-reliability and responsibility, and ability to achieve.
“Lots of students are suffering from depression, anxiety and A.D.H.D., all of which can be symptoms of sleep deprivation or worsened by it.”
There is a plethora of information now about why we sleep; it is the most important thing that we do. Here is a link to a recent NYTimes article detailing some of the pitfalls college students face by not sleeping well.
Sleep is not just about quantity. It is also very important to get quality sleep. Our world is governed by lunar cycles and as humans so are we. As the sun “rises” so should we. As the sun “sets” so should we. Fighting this natural rhythm is a way of life for some people. As a coach, what often surprises me is the amount of false pride people have about their self-diagnosed need for less sleep. No one needs less sleep. All people, regardless of their age, need sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep can kill you; it can make you sick, depressed, anxious, angry, slow, legally “drunk”, and clumsy.
Being sleep deprived will not make you better at anything. Get sleep. Take pride in your ability to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time every day—not just work or school days-everyday. Through creating healthy habits, you are setting yourself up for success. Good sleep habits will serve you well in every aspect of your life. It will help you in school, work, sport, and social situations.
Create healthy bedtime rituals of no screen use 2 hours before bed (or using blue-light blocking glasses available on Amazon), having the bedroom dark and cool, no WiFi, and heading to bed well before midnight. You will not only feel better, you will be happier and be more productive. If you have trouble falling asleep, start a meditation practice. There are several apps available that offer fantastic guided meditations. One of my favorites is 10% Happier. It is also important to engage in evening activities that are calming and relaxing like taking a hot bath before bed and reading an actual book, you know, the kind with pages you turn. If you master sleep, everything else will come much easier. Have questions about how to create the best conditions for great sleep hygiene? Schedule a free consultation with Coaching by G today online or by phone (708-267-7173).