There has never been another time like the Coronavirus Crisis in our recent history. The cancellations and postponements are new to everybody, even the adults and the professionals.
This brings with it a time that no other person who was at one point a high school athlete, has ever seen before. Careers have been cut short and playoff runs have been stopped dead in their tracks. Three week long spring breaks and potentially no more meets, matches, games, or possibly even school.
So what can a high school student athlete possibly do during this time? Please don’t waste this time! There are an incredible amount of opportunities for you to learn something, or grow in some way each and every day.
1) Get Quality Rest
When I say get quality rest, I do NOT mean be lazy and sleep all day, every day while school is out. Quality rest means that you are going to bed and waking up at reasonable times, and getting the amount of sleep that you need in between those times.
You won’t have any 6 AM workouts for a while, and you won’t be staying late at the school for a game that will make you stay up even later just to finish school work.
This means that you have a perfect opportunity to be in bed by 10 and asleep by 11, and wake up between 7-8:00. I would almost bet that if you are a high school athlete, on average you go to bed around midnight or 1 am, and wake up at 6 or 7 am. 5-6 hours is not enough sleep. Use these next few weeks to get a quality 7-8 hours a night.
2) Exercise Your Brain
Keep your mind sharp by continuing to challenge it over the course of your down time. Just like the muscles in your body, your mind needs to stay active and be put to work in order to get better.
There are a handful of ways to do this, but reading and writing are two of the best.
Pick some articles from the internet about a topic that interests you or that you know you want to learn more about. There won’t be very many sports on TV to watch either, so this will also work as a great way to pass time if you are bored.
Open up your backpack and go over some notes from your classes so that when you get back, you are ready to pick back up where the class left off.
3) Exercise Your Body
Now that we know how important it is to make sure our mind gets a good workout too, we can talk about getting our bodies a workout.
Your school weight room will most likely be closed, meaning you won’t have access to weights or other workout equipment. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get exercise and stay active without a barbell and a squat rack.
Go outside and play some basketball, offer to walk dogs, go for jogs, or knock out some push ups and sit ups in the living room – your options are almost endless. If you are someone who says you want to play at the next level and be better than your peers, this is the time where you will actually become better (or worse) than your peers.
4) Good Hygiene
It might sound silly and I’ll admit, it kind of is that this even needs to be mentioned, but nothing bad has ever come from someone washing their hands or sanitizing a bit more often.
Whether you want to believe it or not, this virus is contagious and spreads quickly. It has been classified as a global pandemic and is impacting a lot of lives. It is important to protect yourself and your family during this time so please, stay clean.
5) ACT/SAT Prep
This ties in a little bit with #2, but it is more specific so I wanted to touch on it as well. If you are currently a 9th-11th grader, you will have chances in the future to take one or both of these standardized tests.
These two tests will have a large impact on your ability to get in to college and which ones you will or will not get accepted to. They are long, and they are difficult, so they require quite a bit of time and attention beforehand.
If you are out of school for another week or maybe even more, you really need to touch up on some standardized test prep at least for a couple of hours. It will all be worth it when you take it again next time and your score is a few points better, which essentially earns you money for college.
6) Talk to Coaches
Stay in touch with your high school coaches. Ask them what you can do to better yourself specifically for their team during this off period. It will be aching them while they aren’t able to be with you and be coaching you.
If you reach out to them and ask if there are any workouts or any drills you can be doing on your own, they will appreciate that and respect you more than you ever know. It will show them that it means something to you and that you are someone they can trust when times get tough.
Even if you are at home and no where near your coaches, there are still ways to hear from them and receive coaching.
If you are currently a Junior or maybe even a Sophomore, you might be starting to hear from some college coaches that are potentially interested in recruiting you or offering you a scholarship. Spring is a busy time for college coaches as that is when they are typically freed up to hit the road.
Due to current circumstances, I can almost guarantee that schools will keep coaches off of the road recruiting, meaning you might not get to see as many as you were hoping, or maybe none at all. This isn’t the end of the world.
Continue to use Twitter and other technology to contact college coaches and continue your recruiting. Ask for information on majors and campus life, get ahold of your GPA and test scores and be ready to communicate them as well.
8) Eat Right
More time on your hands, will mean that you have more time with your hands. Use them to cook some healthier meals at the house. If your parents have been to the grocery store and were able to get some food, give them a break and take over cooking.
It is a skill that will come in handy when you get to college and once you are done, so you might as well start learning. Cooking will also get you healthier and cleaner meals than eating out at a restaurant will.
Take control of your diet and give your body the fuel it needs. Pop tarts, pizza rolls, and sour gummy worms are not what you want to fuel your body with. If you expect it to do great things for you in sports, you need to treat it and fuel it right outside of sports.
The best way to handle things during the Coronavirus Crisis is quite simple – stay calm, use spare time wisely, and continue to improve yourself day by day. Find new things to learn and new stuff to do.
If you enjoyed this or took anything away from it I would really appreciate a share however you prefer. I made this free because I know a lot of people need to hear this stuff, so please get it to whoever you think may need it!
I’ve written about this a few separate times before, but if you read my content somewhat regularly you’ll know that when something surfaces in my real life again I feel the need to reiterate it on my site.
You may remember that I mentioned at the beginning of this year my word to focus on for the next 365 days, or 301 days at this point, is build.
Today I took a step outside what has been my comfort zone and I attended a roundtable event to get some more information and insight on a subject I am highly interested in. It was at this event that I was smacked in the face yet again by the ability of what we say and think to become present in our real life..
On many occasions in 2020 I have sat down to journal and have mentioned how badly I would like to get paid to write content for other people or businesses. I make it a point to sit down and write out, and sometimes even say out loud, what it is that I want my future to look like.
When I sit down to do this the same things will usually come out. A happy marriage and a healthy family, a beautiful home, successful businesses, getting paid to write for others, an opportunity to build businesses, and a handful of other recurring visions.
I’m telling you this because today at the event I attended, I had a conversation with two other gentlemen who are both currently searching for somebody to write content for them.
Nothing has been agreed upon yet as we have hardly had any discussions about it other than a few minutes today – but the simple fact of this door presenting itself to me is the greatest part.
I don’t need handouts or guarantees. I don’t need other people doing things and setting stuff up for me.
All I need is a drive to move forward. My drive to move this very website forward and make it bigger and better is what brought me to the event I was at today. My drive is what showed me a door, or two, to an opportunity to be paid to write content for someone else.
When you consciously map out what you want to happen, it makes it all possible. Hardly anything great was achieved on accident…
I can assure you that almost all of the greatest companies and the greatest people on the planet set out to be great. They knew what they wanted to accomplish and they found a way to get it. Of course the plans will never work exactly as we lay them out, but even by only wanting something and imagining it, you can create it.
I’m not going to go in to it but please do not forget, speaking things in to existence still happens even if you are speaking negatively…
A very common trend on the internet right now is doing the whole, 30 things I’ve learned in 30 years.
Well, today is my birthday and I am turning 25, so what a great opportunity to create a 25 things in 25 years list! But I’m not going to do that. I’m going to go for quality over quantity.
Instead, I am going to list some of the most important things I can think of that have really stuck with me up to this point in my life, so here we go.
Scared money don’t make money
If you are going to be successful in anything, you have to just go do it. If you want to win, you have to play – plain and simple. Say yes to things you might not be ready for, and do everything you can to learn, learn, learn, along the way. Take chances.
You won’t actually ‘start tomorrow’
Too many times in my life I have employed the ‘I’ll start on Monday’ strategy. Too many times, I never did. I have been fairly disciplined and done what I know I have needed to do in order to stay productive and healthy, but part of having a drive to get better is exactly that – I always want to get better. From here on out I know for a fact I will do a better job of beginning something immediately, and committing to it with everything I have.
No two people are the same
Just because something works really well for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you – or that it is the only way to do it. We all know how unique we are, and this is no different when it comes to systems and methods that help us become healthy and successful. Find what works best for you and roll with it.
Coffee is great
I love coffee. Black coffee. I drink it every single day. It tastes great and it helps me in so many ways.
The secret to success is consistent action
All you have to do is DO THINGS, and do them over and over again. You can learn anything. You can accomplish anything. But you have to actually take action and continue to take action.
Find your purpose and motivation wherever you need to
And as I mentioned above, no two people are the same. What motivates someone else might not work for another person. This is going to be totally unique to you!
The power of the Universe (God) is so real
What you think about and focus on is what you will attract, whether it is positive or negative. Your thoughts have a great power that will bring whatever they create in to your life. If you want something, ask for it, and then go get it. Karma also plays a part in this. What you put out is what you are going to get! If you are polite and loving, you will see more of that in the world.
There are more correlations between football and real life than you can ever imagine
People tend to mock sports as ‘just a game,’ but I swear to you football is so much more than that. Teamwork, discipline, effort, intelligence, communication, and more than I can even name. Having been a part of this sport for almost my entire life, I can swear up and down that it is one of the best ways to develop someone as an entire person.
NCAA 14 is the best video game ever made
I love it and wish I could play it all day every day. I did while I was in college, but I am an adult now so unfortunately that won’t fly.
If you don’t look back at yourself on almost a yearly basis and think ‘Wow, I was an idiot,’ you might not be growing
Idiot is a little harsh, but you get my point. You should be getting better each and every year and when you look back on yourself, you should realize how much you wish you knew. If this stops happening for you, you likely are no longer getting better.
Do what you love and what makes you happy
This will be my last one, as it is probably the most popular and the most simple. If you don’t like what you are doing, do something else. Make changes you need to make to make your life what you want it to be. You are in control!
There is only one word I will be focusing on for the next 365 days.
I am extremely proud of where I have put myself as a young 24 year old man, but I am not anywhere close to where I want to be.
Towards the end of 2019 I let myself slip a little bit. Not a fly off the rails type of slip, but I have lost some discipline in areas of my life that I have previously been much more disciplined.
Instead of concerning myself with keeping some of the good habits I may have lost and removing some not so good habits I may have picked up, I am going to aim to build in 2020. All of those habits will eventually fall in or out of place.
I have sat down and locked in on four areas of my life that I will build this year.
I have also sat down and categorized almost everything I do on a regular basis, and filtered them down to either being a builder, or a destroyer.
It may seem a little extreme, and maybe too black and white, but at the end of the day, everything you do either helps you or hurts you.
I found the things that I need to do more of in order to build certain categories, and things that I need to do less of to prevent myself from destroying certain categories.
For example, something that builds my body is getting a lift in, and something that destroys it would be In n Out for dinner.
I’m sure you get the picture.
But if you haven’t seen or heard from me anywhere else, I will be having my first baby girl in May of this year. She still has a little while longer inside momma’s belly, but she has already lit a fire underneath me that will not burn out any time soon, or ever.
If I can successfully build the four categories I am aiming to build, she will be looking up to an incredible father. She will be surrounded by parents that love each other to the ends of the earth, and parents that will do anything to help her become the best young lady she can be.
Less about me, and more about how you can use the word Build to shape the beginning of this next decade.
Pick four categories that are important to you, I would highly suggest Body and Mind being two of them, because if you are aiming to build yourself in those areas alone, you are sure to tighten up in many other areas as well.
Some examples may be:
Knowledge in a certain subject
A particular skill
If the four you choose are Mind, Body, Community, and Painting, let’s break down things that categorize as either a builder, or a destroyer.
Builders – trip to the gym, yoga, walking, stretching, a full nights rest
Destroyers – fast food, no sleep, smoking, drinking
Builders – reading, writing, drawing, listening to a podcast, meditating
Destroyers – too much social media, video games, porn, complaining
Builders – volunteering, community clean up, organizing life groups
Destroyers – being rude, staying home all day, littering
Builders – taking a class, practicing, visiting art shows
Destroyers – negative self talk, comparing your work, wasting time on other things
This was a pretty short list obviously, and if you truly sit down and choose your four categories, there will be plenty of meaning behind them. You will know exactly which categories you need to do a better job of building, and you’ll be able to pinpoint the destroyers pretty quickly.
It was actually easier for me when I did this to come up with the destroyers, because as I mentioned at the very beginning of this post, I have started to let some aspects of my life slip. I knew right away when I came up with the four categories what I need to do, but more importantly, what I may need to stop doing.
I hope this helps you set up the right track for your 2020.
Also, another builder I have in mind, is that I will start posting here much more consistently again.
One of the truest signs of intelligence is the ability of a person to understand that there are things out there in which they do not know about or understand.
This quote here is one of my absolute favorites in regards to this;
The wisest know most what they know least
It may seem confusing on first read (much like the title of this post), but as you dissect it a little bit deeper you can finally put a pin in the meaning.
Intelligent people know that there is limits on their knowledge, and they also understand that there is truly an ever expansive amount of knowledge to be had during our lifetime. There are so many elements of our lives that are changing on a day to day basis, even down to the hour and the minute at the pace which we live in this modern age.
With more things happening faster than ever before, it is crucial that you understand this..
YOU DO NOT, AND WILL NOT EVER, KNOW EVERYTHING
Harsh? A little. True? A lot.
Accepting that there are things you do not know will allow you to open up to those things. If you convince yourself you know all that there is to know, you will want nothing less than to learn more. You view yourself at the top of the mountain already, what more about climbing a mountain does someone who is standing at its peak have to learn?
The difference between you and said mountain climber is this, the mountains we face in our lives have no peak.
Can Tom Brady learn more about football and playing quarterback? Absolutely. Even though some may place him at the top of the quarterback mountain, does he continue to try and climb higher? Absolutely.
There are people below Tom fighting hand over fist to replace him at the top of the mountain.
Can Jeff Bezos learn more about business and building wealth? Absolutely. Even though some may place him at the top of the business mountain, does he continue to try and climb higher? Absolutely.
The point is that these two men understand that even though they may be considered the best at what they are doing, there is an endless amount of knowledge and potential for them that they must nail down to stay at the top and continue to raise the roof on expectations for their respective professions.
Understand that there are things out there that you do not know, but they are there for you to know. When you find this knowledge and apply it, understand that it will make you better at what you are doing than you are right now.
A great thing for you to remember, is that the opinions you have of yourself, and what you know about yourself, are the only things that matter. What other people think about you and what other people say about you mean absolutely nothing.
The only time we truly get upset about what someone says about us is when we deep down agree with them. When someone says something about you and it hurts you deep down, it most likely hurts because what they said really exists in you; you just don’t want to accept it.
Accepting it is the beginning steps to becoming who you want to be.
If you can find things deep down inside you that you don’t like, then that means you can change them. If you are aware of them, you know how to change them.
Once you begin to realize who you truly are and what you have to offer, you will never be bothered by what someone else says about you or thinks about you.
Your ability to love yourself and know yourself will prove a great deal of importance when it comes to your confidence as well.
If you know you stand in solidarity with who you know you are, you will know that you can do anything and handle any situation. This is when we can truly separate ourselves from our egos and eliminate the external negativity.
So just remember that next time someone says something about you that may hurt you, or you hear something upsetting;
As long as you know who you are, it doesn’t matter who other people think you are.