Why a calendar is a critical tool for sailing athletes
Just as your sailing training and competitions have a distinct schedule, your body and mind also thrive on rhythm. Fitting in time to keep the rhythm for peak performance is key.
Finding time within the day, week, month for being an athlete as a sailor is often the first road block for sailors. We have complex lives and responsibilities as sailors, and managing time between all of the priorities can be challenging. I know from personal experience that fitting in the requirements of being an athlete can seem like a difficult task when everything else in a day must be considered (team meeting, boat work, campaign emails, fundraising, training, competition, debriefs, socialization, etc). It may be difficult at first to try and figure out how you are going to manage also adding in personal fitness and nutrition into the lifestyle, but once immersed into the higher order lifestyle practices of being an athlete, you’ll realized everything else become a lot more manageable.
When was the last time you scheduled in a gym session within your day? Food prep time each week? Time for self care and mobility? The time you are going to fall asleep and for how long? Scheduling these important events on your calendar is a simple act but it can make all the difference when it comes to an athlete’s success.
The thing is, too many sailing athletes overlook this simple organizational strategy, suggesting a lack of personal and team discipline, but worse: a lack of direction.
As an OPEX Remote Coach, I have witnessed many sailing athletes in our community have common traits when traveling, at a competition, or even at home; they’re reactive and scramble to fit in an athlete lifestyle when not only problems, but also when opportunities arise. Procrastination often follows where athletes will miss workouts, eat poorly, and perhaps have poor sleep quality, which spells disaster for the athlete. Indeed, it’s a vicious cycle with only two eventualities: limited performance in the sport and a higher risk of injury.
Break this cycle by managing your time more effectively with a physical or digital calendar you can adhere to. Creating a calendar is an exercise in planning and scheduling. You need both to accomplish things in an efficient manner.
Planning involves determining what goals you will accomplish and what path you’ll take to reach them.
Scheduling, meanwhile, is less concerned with what your goals are and why you’ve set them, and more with when you’ll accomplish them. In other words, scheduling is the act of setting a date and time for those goals to happen.
It’s important to plan, schedule and order this information in a calendar (that you, your teammates, and your coach can see) to keep you focused and working towards the athletic success you want.
Above is an example of my typical Sunday, a business focused working Monday, and a sailing training Tuesday.
There’s a secondary benefit to creating a calendar: planning and scheduling helps to reduce the costs of being a full time sailor.
A good plan includes solutions to possible obstacles, so you wont have to spend precious time and possibly money coming up with a solution to a setback. Moreover, when your coach and teammates are aware of your goals and schedule and how their jobs help execute it, they’re more likely to adhere to the deadlines that keep you moving towards a your athletic potential.
Creating a calendar is simple and is a helpful tool to create longevity in your athletic career.
Learn more about becoming an OPEX Athlete by scheduling a consultation today.