A new challenge in life can seem like a daunting task. While that feeling is definitely normal,, challenges should also be viewed as something to overcome and as a tool for growth. This blog is for any parent who is signing their child up for their first exposure to the weight room and for the athlete who is about to challenge themselves in order to get better at their respective sport. Although there will be many lessons learned along the way, these five tips will certainly help shape expectations and create positive long-term physical and mental changes.

1. Success Takes Time

You don’t become faster after a few weeks of training and you don’t gain ten pounds of muscle from a few weeks of training. Goals like this take a combination of two things; time and discipline. Any athlete must be prepared to put in consistent work and effort whenever they step into the weight room. It can be frustrating to not see immediate results, but it’s important to stay patient and trust the process. Along with being consistent with your training, it’s helpful to understand that most adaptations from training take time.

2. Be Okay with Making Mistakes

In the weight room, there are countless mistakes that happen during a one-hour workout session. It is important to realize that it is normal. Failing and mistakes, however, are two different terms. A mistake is an action that is misguided while failure is a lack of success. It is important as an athlete to understand the difference. Mistakes pave the way for learning. If every exercise was completed with flawless form, where would the learning come from? There must be feedback from your coaches and yourself. You must be made aware of the mistake for you to learn how to not make that mistake again. Rather than thinking of mistakes as something bad, approach it as an opportunity to learn and become a better athlete from it.

3. Consistency is Important to Learn Early

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to the weight room. You could have the best coach in the world, and he/she could write the best program in the world, but the inability to follow the program makes that program useless. There’s a great chance you’re going to get better if you stick to that formula. Don’t learn this lesson after 1-2 years of on and off training. Have discipline early on and you will see the results in the future. Consistency doesn’t just mean showing up either. Consistency means showing up with purpose and intent. Try and learn something new from each session. Rather than showing up and going through the motions, show up with a desire of pushing yourself to get better.

4. Don’t be Afraid to Let Out Your Personality

Some characteristics that most strength and conditioning coaches see from young athletes are shyness and a fear of saying the wrong thing. We, as coaches, aspire to get to know you as much as we can so that you can feel comfortable in the weight room. As a young athlete, don’t feel like all the pressure is on you. Don’t be afraid to ask the coaches questions or get to know fellow athletes who are sharing the same space as you. We want you to enjoy your time with us and feel excited about coming back.

5. Leave the Ego Behind Before You Enter the Gym

Leave whatever notions or opinions you have about how good you are and just be prepared to work hard. Too often, athletes come in with over-inflated egos and are worried about being the smartest person in the gym or being the most athletic person in comparison to their peers. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that does matter is trying to accomplish your goals and trying to get better at your sport. Usually, the athletes who see the most results are those that consistently ask questions, work hard, and act as a novice. The athlete who thinks he or she knows it all is typically the one that stays around the same level they did once they started the training program. Have a different mentality once you step into the gym. A mentality that enforces growth and challenges your mind and body.

For more tips and tricks in-person visit your closest FAST location for a Free Fitness Assessment!

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).