Updated: Aug 24
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers.” – Nelson Mandela
In the above quote, Mandela focuses on the power of sport for changing and uniting the world. The other thing sport can do is change and transform the individual. This is part of why watching sport is so inspiring, as we are aware of the the personal change that the athlete must have gone through to get there.
Whilst there are many other pursuits that have the potential for great personal change, the idea of self improvement is central to what sport is. The daily practice offers a structured opportunity to work towards being better and athletes are encouraged into regular personal reflection and discussions that seldom occur outside the unique environment sport brings.
As a coach, this is my most treasured part of the job.
Of all things in sport, perhaps hard physical training offers the greatest opportunity to really test yourself. It is difficult and can be monotonous and sometimes painful. For athletes, it is a necessary reality that must be done and the relationship between the training and the outcome are clearly related.
But what about those who are not athletes, or not invested in the outcome of any competition? Is there still worth in going through those same training sessions?
I believe difficult physical training can prepare you, not only for the tests you face in sport, but for those you face elsewhere in life. Pushing your body and mind will help you develop the habits to succeed in whatever life throws at you and life will provide the most difficult challenges of all.
If you know a person, organisation or school that would benefit from working with an Olympic strength and conditioning coach please get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org