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  • Writer's pictureStefanie Rock

The downside of "do whatever it takes..."

The concept isn't new. Even when I was a 12 year old gymnast I knew the expectation-

do whatever it takes... at any cost."

Which is why I was competing with a fracture in both wrists and two fractured vertebrae.

At 12.

We rarely question when an athlete misses a game for an "upper/lower body injury."

We saw an outpouring of support for Jonathan Toews when he was out with an "undisclosed illness."

But, acknowledging the need to rest for mental health and we squeal the brakes with Wait! What?!!

More than ever, our athletic kids are receiving the message to "do whatever it takes... at any cost,"

even if that cost is their physical or mental health.

Yes, part of being an athlete (or really just human) is having the discipline to work through challenging times...

but it also requires the self-awareness & dedication to know the difference between

  • soreness and pain

  • choosing nutrient-rich foods over nutrient-poor "food-like" fillers

  • to understand the difference between whatever it takes and at any cost...

these aren't innate skills- they're learned.

Athletes trust their coaches, trainers, and organization, but they also have to learn how to trust themselves.

The legs may feed the wolf, but the brain feeds the entire body. If we aren't fueling the brain -both with nutrient-rich foods and mental health skills- performance and future health is compromised.

These aren't optional bonuses to player development, they're the critical foundation.

It's not about when you have time... it's about making the time.

The teenage brain is developing until mid-twenties. The last area to mature?

The rational, decision making prefrontal cortex.

Strength, focus, endurance, growth, and immunity are dependent on brain health.

What are you doing today to fuel it?

Need brain-fueling food ideas? Would stress-less tips be helpful?

Ask me about "Team Talks" and "Total Player" seminars.


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