The health benefits of sport make it a worthwhile pursuit for any student. You are healthier and fitter, exercise relieves stress and playing a post helps you to learn how to work well with others and introduces you to new people. Being an Olympic athlete, however, requires a far greater commitment and you will have to work very hard to achieve your sporting and academic goals.
Find your strengths
Olympic athletes are blessed with talent and good genes. Everyone has a talent, and you should find yours. Try out a number of different sports to find where your strengths lie. There are so many Olympic sports to choose from, so be open-minded. You have to enjoy the sport you select because you will be doing it every day for many years to come.
Getting to the Olympics is a very long road, so set goals along the way. Ask your coach to help you set goals for each stage in your progress. Your coach will also help with diets and training programs that will help you to perform at your peak.
Don’t forget the academics
Even though you will be training for a couple of hours every day, you can’t afford to let your academic career suffer. If you are having trouble finding the time to do all your homework and assignments and keep up with the class, then consider getting a tutor. A tutor will help to set out a study schedule that fits in with your training. They can also help you to keep up with your schoolwork and excel in academics. Training is expensive and you may need a scholarship to get into the best universities where you can have access to the finest coaches and facilities. If your academic performance is not up to standard, you will not be eligible for a scholarship.
No pain, no gain
Most Olympic athletes need between 4 to 8 years to develop the muscle and lung capacity to compete. During this time, 2 to 3 training sessions, 6 days a week will be required. You will have to sleep for 10 hours a day to help your muscles to recover. Athletes in peak training consume between 5 000 and 9 000 calories a day (depending on their sport and the length of training required).
Sport is as much a physical as it is a mental challenge. Your coach will help you to visualize your victory and may suggest meditation to relieve stress and help you to stay calm under pressure. Olympic athletes have to be able to handle pressure as millions of people across the world watch them perform.
If you have what it takes to be a champion, speak to your parents and teachers to get the best advice on how to start your Olympic career. It’s never too early or too late to have an Olympic career! The youngest Olympic athlete at the 2012 games is only 15 years old while the oldest is 71.