Preparing your team for battle is the leader’s primary purpose.
Conditioning is a major part of all sports. Vince Lombardi said: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
Training your body and mind for the competition you will face is the best way to combat fatigue.
In the sports world, this requires a tremendous amount of physical training. Strength training for the muscles, cardiovascular training for the heart and lungs — those combine to train our mental toughness.
Every sport has a specific type of physical conditioning.
Football is a series of short all-out bursts of activity followed by a short rest interval and repeated over a 3- to 4-hour period of time. It requires speed and power combined with grace and a strength of will pitting one man versus another or one team versus another.
Basketball on the other hand is a contest of constant action that bounces between sprints and slower defined movements as the players execute the designated pattern of movement directed by the game plan.
Each sport will have its own unique pattern of activity for which your training regimen must be customized.
There are countless ways to train one’s body for the power and speed of football. Running hills is a great way to train for speed and power. Hill running is much more demanding than running a flat distance. Rather than run ten 40-yard sprints, some coaches have their football players run ten 40-yard sprints uphill. It is intense and grueling and will test your will and desire to pay the price necessary to accomplish your goal.
There are many times you wonder if it is worth it. For some players, it’s the hills that develop the heart. In other players, it’s the heart that inspires one to run hills.
It’s the heart and hill that combined to build a confidence and mental toughness necessary to win a championship.
The New England Patriots ran hills preparing for Superbowl 51. It wasn’t just the hills that prepared them, but the hills and the heart.
Whether it’s the hills that inspire the heart or the heart that inspires the hills, it is paying the price in the preparation process that determines who receives the prize.
Not all team activities require tremendous physical endurance. Most require tremendous mental preparation and endurance. An effective leader must prepare her team for the mental challenges that lie ahead. If your team is ready for the challenge on all fronts, then you have done your job in preparing your team for maximum performance.