Handling Stress as an Athlete

Garage Strength
The #1 thing to becoming an elite athlete? HANDLING STRESS.

What's up, everybody? It's Dane Miller from the deign Miller's strength secrets. And if you noticed by the sound behind me, if you're an airplane extraordinaire I am flying in a seven 87 Boeing Dreamliner. So I just got done at the Tokyo adaptation camp before Thailand, to Bangkok, Thailand currently. I just wanted to talk about some of the biggest things that I noticed being around some of the best weightlifters in the U.S. At the camp Kate Nye was at the camp, uh, Chevy Rodriguez was at that the camp, Mattie Rogers, Meredith Alwine Jordan Wissinger, Jason Bonnick, Alex Lee, Alyssa Ritchey, Hunter Elam, Nathan Damron, Jordan Cantrell, Harrison Maurus, all these different studs, right? Just complete animals. And so we're in Tokyo and it's a different environment. It's a different situation.

There's not a ton of protein options around. There's not a ton of American style nutrition. The beds are hard and the rooms are small and you know, sleep adaptation is taking a little bit of time for some people. I think some of the biggest stuff that I learned from everybody involved in the camp is that no one really cares. Some of them do. Some of the guys are like the up and comers you can see are like struggling with certain things, But no one is really set back by anything that is out of the ordinary, you know, they're so set in their routines. These elite athletes are so set in their routines and if you watch Hunter Elam or Alyssa Ritchey warm-up or you know, Kate Nye warm-up and you see them, you know, Caine Wilkes is here and you see them warm up. They're setting their routine when they're warming up, they do these very distinct routines. But as far as their normal everyday life, they 100% have their routine set. But if things aren't going perfectly as planned, they don't care. They just roll with it. They're really, really, really good at adapting to that situation. And even to the point where before we left, We're sitting in Narita at the Tokyo airport, Jason Bonnick comes around the corner and he's got that bag just filled with sandwiches and I sort of picked on him. "You know while you're getting ready for the flight, cause it's about a six and a half hour flight". He just said, "yeah bro, just got to get my protein". And that's the big thing is that nobody gets flustered by the fact that a lot of them had 12, 13, 14-hour flights to get to Tokyo.

Now we've got a six and a half hour flight to Thailand after four days of training in Tokyo and nobody seems to care. I think that that's the biggest thing is that you know, even my guy Jordan Wissinger is getting off the plane and within two days he snatching, you know, 94%-95% of his PR and he's clean and jerking the same within two days. And it's like that's one of the biggest keys behind being a world-class athlete is that you do have your routines establish every single day. 

You have your routine established, you have your normal life established, you have your normal training schedule established, you have all these things that you're doing over and over and over and over and over again. Right? But, all of those things are extremely dynamic as well. That's where I've even seen this with business owners. Business owners have their morning routines. They have their work routine, they have their fitness routine. They have their routine with their family and all these different things, but when something gets disrupted, they don't lose their minds. They don't blow a gasket. They just handle it. They adapt to that situation. They find comfort in some situations. There is some aspect of the situation and they just roll forward. That's what I believe defines the elite.

The successful people, they're not getting hit with a change and then complaining about it to everybody else. What they're doing is adapting with the change and they're able to roll with it. That's what makes these weightlifters so good is that when they're in the back and they've got to sit for four minutes, they're ready to sit for four minutes. If they've got to sit for 45 seconds and they sit for 45 seconds, they can still hit that lift.

I think that having this overarching capability to adapt to stressful situations without being stressed is what separates the best from that next tier down. I just wanted to share that cause you know, we're heading to Thailand, we've got a long flight ahead of us here and we're going to be sitting on the plane for a while. And it's funny because the plane's not packed with people. It's probably 70% full. But the athletes, instead of complaining about the fact that they're going to be sitting on a plane for six and a half hours, they're more excited for the fact that they're going to be sitting on a plane and they don't have somebody sitting next to them or they have a whole row to themselves. So they're taking that situation and turning it into a positive.

I believe that that is the definition of success. When you can consistently take something that might be stressful to normal people and turn it into a positive, that's when you become a champion in the sport. That's when you become a champion on the platform. That's when you become a champion in life. And I think that just reiterating that over and over and over again as coaches and if you're an athlete as an athlete, practicing that. That's the other thing is that a lot of these athletes are born with this innate skill taught by their parents or, they've grown up to just be laid back and handle stress well. If you want to creep into that upper echelon, you've got to learn the skill of handling stress and just rolling with the punches. That's why somebody like Jason Bonnick who is 37 years old and he's still making a world team or he's just started to make world teams in the last two years because he figured that out. He figured out how to handle his stress, how to handle his work, how to handle being a business owner and how to handle being a world-class athlete. I think over and over again, it's just really important to learn how to handle stress, come up with those defense mechanisms and recognize that it's not always going to be perfect if you make the best out of every single situation, you're going to be extremely successful. So if you want any more of these podcasts, head over to our podcast, Dane Miller, strength secrets.

Head over to Dane Miller's strength secrets to listen to some more podcasts. If you've got any further information or any further ideas that you guys want to share with me, comment on my posts on Instagram, send us some email responses, comment on our blogs at garagestrength.com. If you have anything that you want to talk about, let me know. For further information just keep going to the blog. Head over to YouTube at Garage Strength TV, head over to Instagram, @Garagestrength to pick up tons of different information, learn what we're doing, learn what we're trying to improve upon in our own training system and how we've developed our own periodization model. So stay tuned for that. PEACE.

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