Losing a battle doesn’t mean losing the war!!

We have a day of Memorial to say thanks to those soldiers who sacrificed for us and have allowed us the freedom to pursue our dreams as an athlete no matter how big or small. So use this freedom to make the most of every opportunity.

Athletic training is full of battles; some big and some small but the end goal is always the same. WIN! Sometimes we are fighting battles we don't even know we are fighting. We see the practice as the main battle yet ignore the smaller skirmishes that set up the practice. This includes sleep, nutrition, and the management of stress. If we lose more skirmishes leading up to the main battle then we will go into that battle in a weakened state. That doesn't mean we will lose the battle just that we won't be at full force. These are a thing we have to understand and manage to give ourselves the best opportunity. There is nothing wrong with losing occasional skirmishes or battles as long as the eyes remain set on winning the war.

The other struggle of training is that many athletes train as if they are guerrilla fighters. They take each battle as it comes with no true goal or plan. They pick out a workout they read on the internet that someone says will make them faster and they do it for a week or 2 then move on to the next one. They may have success doing this at least for a while but eventually, you'll run into a professional army. One that is focused, and precise in its training. It has the ability to effectively respond to any issues that arise because it knows what the end goal is. This army will normally have an advantage over the guerrilla one because of these things. As an athlete, this doesn't necessarily mean joining a club team. Making yourself more professional can be as simple as having a plan. What are your phases of training? What are your goals within training? What meet are you trying to peak for and how are you managing that peak? These are all things you need to understand as a guerrilla army to compete with a professional army. As the saying goes "failing to plan is planning to fail" and this is often the main battle lost for solo athletes.

The most important thing to remember about all of this is that losing a battle doesn't mean losing the war. You are going to have bad days on the track. Whether it be practice, competitions, or the daily skirmishes we all face. We are going to lose at some point. But the best athletes understand that losing a battle; while it may be mentally debilitating; does not mean that you have to lose the war. Analyze the loss, figure out where things went wrong in training, and form a plan to address that in the future. This is the strength of the best armies in the world and the best athletes. Fail, learn, adapt, improve. Athletics can be a life long pursuit so 1 bad meet or 1 bad season does not mean the end as long as you live to fight another day. That loss may be the lesson you needed for a win in the larger battle to come. So use the lessons learned here and each day you train to become a better athlete.

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