The Muscle: A new year and a new you?

WITH 2020 gone, we can now sit back and reflect on what a year it was. For a lot of people they will be glad to see the back of 2020, with lockdowns and restrictions having a huge impact on their everyday and sporting lives.

Many of us will look back on a year squandered on the field of play, with an early championship exit, or individually not fulfilling our potential. This leaves us with plenty of questions to ask regarding what went wrong and how to improve.

Every player and team set themselves ambitions of winning silverware at the start of the year. Most of these ambitions will be shattered and won’t go to plan, as only one team can lift the silverware.

Going forward into 2021 what will set you and your teammates head and shoulders above the rest this year?
Improve your mindset

Maintain a positive attitude and high level of self-motivation. ‘Attitude is a choice’ so choose a predominately positive outlook. Surround yourself with like-minded players or individuals that will help improve your game, or pick you up when you are down.

A lot of players fail to get themselves out of ‘cruise control’ over the period of a season. This season why not challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself and jump out of your comfort zone. Get that extra gym session in, mark the best forward in training, make one more run.

Over the course of the season, all of these small things can help you improve.

It is important to set yourself long-term and short-term goals which are realistic, measurable and time-oriented. Whilst setting and reviewing these goals, you should be aware of your current performance levels (we will touch on this later). You should also develop specific and detailed plans for achieving your goal.

There is no such things as the perfect season, or the perfect training program, and there will be mistakes made along the way from players, managers and coaches. It is important not to dwell on these.

Always try to learn from your successes and failures to raise your standards to the next level.

Overcoming the Festive Period

The holiday mince pies may have got the better of some athletes over the last number of weeks. Therefore, it is important to get back on track. You can do this by building a routine around good habits and choices.

If you have put a few pounds on, and if your goal is to lose weight, you should focus on cutting down your food intake. For example, to be in a calorie deficit, you could consider limiting portion sizes or skipping a snack, or full meal, such as breakfast.

There are various different diet plans and trends out there, but the one thing they all have in common is creating a calorie deficit. A technique which I like to use with some of my own clients is intermittent fasting. This strategy allows individuals an eating window of eight hours and 16 hours of fasting. What works for one individual may not work for you so it is important to find a plan that suits your lifestyle, activity levels and work.

Club Player Focus

The club season may seem like a lifetime away with rumours of a mid-summer start date. Even if this is the case, now is your chance to build the foundations for the months ahead. With the current restrictions in place and gym closures, it is difficult to focus on strength especially with limited equipment.

That said, you can of course try and maintain your current strength levels with simple bodyweight exercises. You can also use this time to focus on getting miles in the legs.

Try completing two to three runs over the next few weeks to help build your cardiovascular fitness levels. One example you could use is tempo runs. Example:

Using the perimeter of the pitch, this is how the run should look.
– Stride one length at 70-80%
– Jog across the end zone
– Stride opposite length of pitch at 70-80%
– Walk across the end zone
-Repeat four to 10 sets

For more information contact Sean Robinson on Facebook, Twitter or instagram.
Sean Robinson runs his own physiotherapist and training Gym in Tyrone.

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