Tonight, Yankees Closer Mariano Rivera will pitch his last game in Yankee Stadium. His Hall of Fame career is sadly coming to an end. It seems like he has pitched forever, and yet it is over all too soon. As a Yankee fan I still cannot conceive what it will be like to never hear “Enter Sandman”, and know that the game is about to be locked down. As much as I find “Greatest of All Time” debates in sports rather pointless, a case could definitely be made that Mo is going out as “The Most Respected Ballplayer of his Era”.
However, in any event like this we can still learn something from it. So what can Mariano Rivera teach you about reaching your goals? Considering his extremely humble beginnings, there really is no excuse to put a limit on your dreams. Now I don’t want to go all Tony Robbins and tell you that you can achieve anything, because YOU CAN’T. If you are 5’2” the chances of you making the NBA Hall of Fame are astronomically remote. That doesn’t mean I would discourage you from trying, but I might suggest you choose a venture that you have a better chance of success.
Ask any woman out there, All men are NOT created equal. We all have unique talents and weaknesses. The trick is the find a talent that you possess, that you are also passionate about. In order to kick ass in the gym, you have to literally kick your own ass. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing, chances are you are going to quit. While the chances of any of us finding a Million Dollar Cut Fastball in our arsenal while throwing the old ball around are remote; if you look deep enough you will find your ONE THING.
In the video above the late Steve Jobs was asked the secret to starting a successful business. What is interesting is, if taken completely out of context the question could have just as easily have been “How Do You Become a Successful Athlete?” What it takes to be successful, not surprisingly seems universal. Many of the most successful business people are borderline psychopaths in their approach. Likewise, many professional athletes are ego maniacs. Now someone like Mariano Rivera is an exception to the rule, and has managed to stay humble. But when you see him interviewed today at the end of his career he still LOVES what he does. That is the big take away from this. No matter which approach they take, humble or prick, that laser like focus is what makes them great.
A further lesson from Mo is that once you have set your goals, the most important thing you can do to reach them is BE CONSISTENT! I know that this isn’t some sexy secret shortcut, but it is the truth. So many people are looking for the quick fix. 12 week diets, 6 minute abs, shortsighted timelines for short term goals. The secret to long term success is taking a long view. You have to realize that “How much ya bench” today is the culmination of every workout you have ever done. It all adds up…
“Not all workouts have to look like a scene from “Pumping Iron.” In fact, I often argue that these moderate workouts …the punch the clock workouts …are the ones that make champions. Hell, everyone is willing to work hard the week of the State Championship: I think what separates champions is the willingness to just get “them” … the workouts …in.” ~ Dan John
So much of success whether it is in the gym, on the field, or life in general is to just show up. Obviously this is somewhat dependent on the programming, but you would be amazed at the results you can get from just eating, sleeping, and training consistently.
How many times have you fantasized about what it would be like to be a Pro Athlete like Rivera? You have your Mansion, because they all live in Mansions right? You have your personal chef, you have your own fully equipped gym, you have no responsibilities whatsoever, but to eat, sleep, and workout. How quickly would you make gains then? With a setup like that you would be a Super Hero in no time, right?
So how do you adapt this training utopia into your own 9-5 life? Obviously training is probably not your job. So the problem you have is more than likely a matter of time. Since you don’t have your own entourage making sure your every need is taken care of, you have to do that for yourself. This is simply a matter of planning.
“We must either find a way or make a way”
This perfect training scenario only requires consistent workouts, eating and sleeping. Simple enough right? So why can’t people seem to manage it? Because they are busy with things that they think are important, but really aren’t. “But I don’t have enough time.” That may or may not be true, generally that just means “it isn’t that important to me.” Truth is I think that people have a lot more time on their hands than they realize. It is similar to a person trying to gain weight thinking they eat a LOT of calories. When you have them write it down and do the math it is nowhere near what they thought it was. Instead of a food journal I would suggest a time journal. If you need more time in the day, you have to find time you are wasting.
How Much Time Do You Need?
- Meal Prep – 3 hours
- Training – 6 Hours
- Sleep – 1 Extra Hour a Night
Meal Prep – Without a personal chef the best way to be consistent is buy and cook in bulk. The most successful way to handle meal prep is to cook all your staples all at once. Once you develop this habit you can cook 3 days worth of food in an hour. Divide everything up in Tupperware and then you are always prepared.
Training – If you are reading this site then chances are you are already semi-consistent with your training. You may not need to find any more time in your daily schedule for this. 3 to 4 strength training sessions (1 hour long) and a couple HIIT sessions a week should be plenty. Again the key here is consistency.
Sleep – The funny thing is this one is the most important, and probably the hardest one for people to accomplish. With all the constant outside stimulus, people find it impossible to UNPLUG. However, getting enough sleep will do wonders for your performance. The sad part is, you already KNOW this and probably still aren’t doing it.
Ask yourself this, “Is my lack of progress due to lack of time or my poor choices?”
If you look over the list of time requirements and say there is no way you can find the time to do all that, that’s fine. However, if you KNOW what happened on the season premiere of “Sons of Anarchy” then clearly you have made a choice as to what is important to you. Much like you can go on a food diet, you can also go on a time diet. For the next week create TIME LOG, and find out where you waste yours. I am guessing you can find an extra hour or so each day. That will be the first step in being consistent with your sleep, training and diet. Once you have those three things covered, and the sandman is visiting you an hour earlier every day you are well on your way to being a Super Hero…just like Mo.