Reading Time: 4 minutes

To separate yourself from the crowd, you must stand out in a sea of average. To stand out, do the opposite of average.

Getting better is hard. We all need help. Even the highest level professionals in the world have a coach. Use these tips and strategies to help yourself get better today.


What More Can You Do?

We all have a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves. To justify our actions and convince our self we are doing everything we can.

Then you come across someone like Cliff Devries. Devries was an up and coming diver with dreams of making the Olympics when his world was turned upside down.

A surgery to remove a large tumor left Devries paralyzed on the right side of his body. Doctors told him he would never walk again.

Not only did he prove the doctors wrong about walking, he became a diving coach at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Each year Devries celebrates his birthday with an inspirational dive to show everyone that “when you look below the surface, there is always more. More to you and more to what you can do.”

Confidence Connection: When you look in the mirror what else is there? What else do you have? What more can you bring out which is a little bit more than you think right now? There is always more inside of you. It is your job to dig deep and find it.


Bounce Back and Recover!

“If you could staff your daughter’s school with nothing but the most engaging, talented, and conscientious teachers, she’d have an amazing educational experience but would graduate without the skills needed to thrive in the outside world.” – Lisa Damour

Success requires more than natural ability and intelligence. If you want to be truly successful in life, you must also learn to be resilient.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back and recover from negative or stressful situations. If you never face these situations, you will not be very good at overcoming them.

Being emotionally challenged, having to deal with difficult people, and overcoming adversity are necessary components of a successful life. The only way to perform better in these situations is to experience them.

Your job, your marriage, and many other important areas of your life are going to require you to be resilient.

Too many people today expect these things to be easy and they give up at the first sign of difficulty. Don’t be one of those people.

Composure Connection: Everyone faces challenging and stressful situations in their life. Don’t shy away from yours. Face them head on and learn to be resilient. Recover and move on. That’s what it takes to succeed in life!


Eat Right to Perform Right

The other day, I was in the cafeteria during lunch and one of our starting varsity volleyball players was standing at the microwave with her friend. I asked what she was having for lunch on game day. She told me that was her friend’s food in the microwave, not her’s.

I again asked what she was having. She held up a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. I told her she needed more than that on game day and she replied, “Ya, maybe next week I’ll bring a salad or something healthy like that.”

That conversation started me out on a mission to help. I have a seventh grade daughter and just like this high school girl, she has very little understanding of what proper nutrition means for young athletes.

Poor Eating = Decreased Performance

Athletes will eagerly train their bodies for hours every day, but most simply don’t understand that poor eating habits will eventually lead to decreased performance. No matter how hard they train in other areas.

Young athletes body’s need high levels of calories to support growth and development simply based on their age. Being an athlete increases those needs even more.

Proper nutrition and hydration is essential for gains in strength, speed, and peak performance. It ensures adequate fuel for activity, improves muscle recovery, and boosts mental performance.

Here are the highlights of what I have learned so far:

  • Breakfast is the most important meal for young athletes. Most people use up their energy stores at night. Refilling these stores with breakfast will help ensure your body doesn’t borrow too much energy from your muscles throughout the day.
  • The majority of young athletes are simply under-fueled. Most go into practice on less than 1000 calories and in the early stages of dehydration. Symptoms of inadequate nutrition include the inability to gain or build strength, training hard but not improving performance, and always being hurt or injured. Underfueling also increases your susceptibility to colds and injury, and slows the recovery process.
  • Proper nutrition is not just about eating three meals a day. Healthy snacking is an important part of an athlete’s diet. Many athletes falsely believe snacking is bad, but there is a difference between snacks and treats. Snacks are nutrient rich. Treats are empty calories. Choosing treats can actually slow the fueling and recovery process.

Consistency Connection: If you want to maximize your energy and ensure peak performance, you must fuel your body correctly. Proper nutrition can make the difference between Winning and losing.

Quote of the Week:

“In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins. Not through strength, but by perseverance.” – H. Jackson Brown

Be excellent this week. Do the opposite of average!

Yancey Sanderson
Follow me on Twitter @YanceySanderson

Sign up for The Opposite Project to get more like this sent to your inbox each week.