Wednesday, March 30, 2011


For a successful professional athlete, there is no such thing as being a “natural”. Everything they have accomplished is due to their training, hard work, and consistent desire to improve.

Ray Allen, who has had a slight form of OCD since he was a kid, goes through the same, meticulous routine before each game. He begins his preparation for a night game by taking a nap from 11:30 am to 1 pm. At 2:30, he enjoys a meal of chicken and rice. He then enters the gym at 3:45 to begin stretching. He shaves his head right before he walks out onto the court at precisely 4:30 pm, and then proceeds to take shots from the baseline, elbow, and top of the key. Although some of these tasks may seem silly or pointless, they have allowed him to become the all-time leader in 3-point field goals in the history of the NBA.

For a 5’7” 180 pound second basemen, Dustin Pedroia is used to being told he isn’t good enough. Throughout his life, and playing career he was typically much smaller than everybody else. However, he makes up for it with his tenacity and heart. He approaches every at bat, and every pitch with the mentality that he is going to hit the ball as hard as he possibly can. He puts all his weight and body into his swing to generate more power, and ultimately it pays off. On defense, he may not have the longest legs or arms to get to every ball, but he always dives to try to prevent even the hardest hit ball from getting through the infield. If you ever watch him play, you may notice his uniform doesn’t stay clean for very long.

You can’t become a four-time MVP, 11 time Pro Bowl Selection, Super Bowl champion and MVP, and all-time leader for your team in touchdowns, passing yards, completions, and wins overnight. Many fellow professional athletes, hall of famers, college students, and even pee wee football players dream of attaining just one of these feats, and yet Peyton Manning has them all (and many more). His rigorous off-season training plan is just one aspect of his preparation. He performs a daily schedule that balances work on his Core, Flexibility, Agility, and Strength. In addition to personal preparation, he also works with his receivers constantly. He performs repeated reps of different routes until they are performed perfectly, and the football doesn’t touch the ground. One of the most noticeable traits Manning has is his mental capacity. Even during a game, he is going over plays with coaches and receivers, and deciding what sequences to use for the next series.

Written by
Hayley Zedeck

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