The Solid Female Athlete

I’ve had the honor of working with some local high school basketball athletes this summer. We’ve worked on strength, speed, quickness, and agility to enhance their sport and build their confidence in overall health for their body and mind.

The reason I began, or should I say restarted, this journey is because I see too many athletes getting hurt, but also because I see so many broken hearts in the game of sports and the game of life. The comparison trap among women is so ‘in your face’ that so many of us ‘wish’ we looked different, did more, or did better… and more like “her”. The biggest missing link in this trap is that we devalue ourselves and therefore our performance in sports and life is subpar at best.

The thing we all need to have as solid females is pride in who we are individually made to be and how our individual looks, talents, and contributions impact the world around us. Why be like anyone else when we already have all we need to shine too!

Where Does the Solid Athlete Begin?

Honestly, that journey is different for everyone and today I’m going to take you through an approach that will make females of all ages and activities levels solid physically and mentally.

If you follow me on social media you’ve seen that this week has focused on injury prevention. As I put together my thoughts for this blog I realized that the same steps to improve performance and reduce injury risk were the same steps that I’d tell someone to begin unlocking their full potential and self-love. Lift heavy stuff, run fast, laugh with friends, and discover the power of pushing through physical challenges to become your most solid self.

As an athlete myself, I know that the work I do for my physical health gives me the opportunity to practice hard things. These things, lifting heavy weights and long runs, teach me how strong I am. They help me realize my potential to handle difficulty and make me proud of myself. Life and sports have their share of difficulty, but because I practice doing hard things my mind is sharp enough to say “If I can single arm clean and press 20 lbs multiple times, I can do anything” :).

Personally, I discovered my inner strength in my very first triathlon about 14 years ago. The entire time, I thought I was going to die. I thought about ways I could just sneak out of the race and no one would know… except for the haunting truth of the fact that I would know. So I told myself, I will finish this stupid race and never ever again do anything like this. I totally believed myself, until I crossed the finish line. That moment made me a different person. Stronger and most importantly so dang proud of myself.

I went on to do many more triathlons of much longer distances and compete in many races. I become hungry for making myself proud, even if other people thought it was crazy.

See, I discovered what I want all women to discover – lifting heavy things, running really fast or really long… pushing myself one step or one rep further than I thought I could – made me the most solid female – the most Anchored Female – I could imagine.

Preventing Injury of Soul and Body

The topic of injury prevention is a very important one. As a female physical and emotional injury prevention starts the same. Working on you, when no one is watching.

Pain is unavoidable. The quicker we realize that pain is what helps us grow, the better all areas of life are. People will hurt you, and your love of your sport will break your heart sometimes (especially if there is an injury). The quickest way though this pain is to embrace it, lean into it and know that you’ve got all you need to come out on top of anything that crosses yor path.

Here are my tips to reduce your risk of injury:

  • Do Speed and Agility work: Research states that this will help reduce the risk of sports-related injury in the lower extremities as well as improve sports performance. This work will also teach you the power within you to push when your body says to quit. Digging deep within yourself to muscle through a few more seconds – helps reduce injury to your soul.
  • Lift Weights: By lifting weight your body adapts by strengthening tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, and connective tissue to reduce your risk of injury. Strength training will also create a firm and strong body which increases confidence and self-love. That confidence and strength will transfer to life and sport in a very powerful way.
  • Work on Things You Aren’t Good At: Comfort is the enemy of success. If you want to be one of the best you have to embrace and work on the things you suck at. I think about basketball – if you aren’t good at dribbling with your left hand – don’t stop practicing it till you’re great at it. Conversely, don’t continue to only do the things that you always do – that will not make you better, it will leave you behind. Speaking of other hard things – One that I’m working on right now is not always ‘proving’ myself with my words, but letting my actions and character be how I prove my worth to myself and the world.
  • Journal & Goal Set: Journaling will make you one of the most solid women in the world. You will have a place to get your thoughts out and, for me, answer your own questions. We are much wiser than we think and this realization makes us solid in our identity. And set goals to try one hard thing a day, to reach deep and trust in yourself, to add a new move to your sports tool kit… There are so many options her.

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