The Athlete's Manifesto
When you walk into your gym, whether for the first time or the thousandth time, you expect certain things of your gym and of your coaches. You expect the place to be clean. You expect the equipment to be present and in working order. You expect to be coached in a safe, effective, and progressive manner. You expect to walk out of the gym a better version of yourself in some regard. I daresay that if such expectations are not met, that you are not particularly pleased.
But do you hold such expectations of yourself? If not, why not? How can you hold your training facility and your coaches to expectation if you do not reciprocate? It’s time to commit to being an active part of your own success.
I present to you the athlete’s manifesto. Please read through these with an open mind and be honest with yourself. Do you honestly strive for each of these every time you set foot in the gym? Are there points you could improve? There are definitely aspects of this I can work on. Correction - that I will work on, continuously. Commit to each of these. Commit to expecting more of yourself.
Previously, when putting together articles like this, I have received requests for a printable PDF version from athletes who want to put it in their training logs to serve as a constant reminder, or coaches who want to put it on the wall to show what is expected of their athletes. So here you go. Feel free to print it out, as you desire.
The Athlete’s Manifesto
I will be ready to workout at the start of the session - I will be on time to my sessions. In fact, I will be early and get myself ready in attire and attitude. I will warm up and mobilize myself beforehand to the best of my ability. I will go into the start of each session ready to be the best me.
I will keep a record of my training, every session - This is my job, not my coach’s. It allows me to gauge my progress and keeps me progressing. It saves me and my coach time and keeps us from guessing what has happened and what is fact. It is up to me to make sure I always know where I have been, so I always know where I need to be.
I will be confident - I will be confident in my abilities, but not arrogant about them.
I will be humble - There are always things I don’t know. And also plenty of things I don’t know that I don’t know.
I will do the work - I will work hard. I will do what is asked of me as best I possibly can. And I will work on my weaknesses in order to be a better athlete and person.
I will be courageous - I will encounter leaps of faith almost daily. I will take them with an open mind and a heart full of courage.
I will be ambitious - I will push myself day on day, week on week, and year on year. I will push beyond my perceived expectations and limits.
I will be open to change - I will be open to new ideas and concepts, whoever they come from, and even if they go against what I currently believe. I may not agree, but I will decide that with an open and considered mind.
I will be competitive - But mostly with myself. I will harness my competitive spirit in ways that are healthy, hearty, and contribute to making me a better competitor and a better human being.
I will put form first - Before weight, before time, before distance, before anything else. I know that compromising on form is taking a chance on my future. I will train for tomorrow.
I will respect my coaches - I know that my coaches do their best each day to bring out my best each day. I will respect and appreciate this and will treat them as such.
I will give constructive feedback to my coach - I realize that coaching is a two-way process and will give constructive feedback to my coach in a suitable manner. I appreciate this will help my coach understand me better and help us both improve. I understand that all feedback, both ways, is for our ears and our ears only.
I will question all assumptions - I will question all assumptions, respectfully and appropriately. Sometimes this will mean asking questions. Sometimes this will mean reading and researching. It will always mean filtering any and all information through my experience and drawing my own conclusions.
I will encourage, and take pride in my peers - I will take just as much pride in the success of my peers as I do in mine, if not more so. When I finish my workout, rather than gloat in my own success or wallow in my own pain, I will encourage others of all abilities, whether teammate or adversary.
I will make mistakes and learn from them - I know mistakes are going to happen, both in practice and in competition. I know I will lose sometimes. I will smile, learn, and take it all in my stride.
I will be accountable for my own actions - I will be proud of my wins and responsible for my losses. I will act graciously after both.
I will be a positive example - Positive words breed positive actions, in me and in others. I will be positive in my words and my actions. I will be the person I want to be.
I will be coachable - I will put faith in my coaches. I will commit to all of the above to make sure that I am open and receptive to coaching that is provided to me in good faith and often voluntarily.
I will be committed - I will make a commitment to myself, my teammates, and my coach to be the best I can be. And when I say I will do something, I will do it.
I will enjoy myself - Above all, I will commit to having fun, enjoying what I do, and spreading good spirit and good word.
These are not just one-time pointers. These are commitments to being better every day.
Are you ready to be a better you?
Photo provided by CrossFit LA.