• Dr. Neal Bowes

Tips for all athletes during restricted activities

Updated: Jun 25

Structure, structure, structure!

While many of you and your peers have been over scheduled, this period is going to be a challenge in a different way. Human beings actually do much better with structure than without. While it may seem like fun to get up late, hang out and have the freedom to do whatever you want, it actually isn’t good for you! Please use the tips below to establish and maintain structure. For most of you, this is a repeat of what you are already doing because we have worked on it before. But you will need to adjust your week based on school, expectations, holidays, etc.

Get up!

It is super important that you get out of bed before 9am (and preferably before). As I

have shared with most of you before humans have an internal clock called a circadian rhythm. You have the main peak of energy in the morning, a natural lull after lunch and a peak later in the afternoon before the main peak late in the day that coincides with sleep. Don't mess with it! If you get up late, you will feel tired much of the day, will feel tired and behave as such and go to bed late because you don't feel tired as you haven’t one anything. Set yourself the challenge that you will not do his. Get up, work hard, and be disciplined

about going to bed on time (for most of you 10.30pm at the latest)

Your goals/future

Many of you are concerned about your future in sports. Don't be. Sports will start back up again and games and competitions will run. Your biggest risk in this period is

forgetting all the hard work you have done and what your goals are and being lazy during this period. Don't be that person! Instead do the following: write out your dream goal and put it somewhere you can see it very day, use your goals to set out a plan for each

week, put that into a planner, weekly calendar, and check off each day what you accomplish, go to bed each night and brush your teeth knowing you are still working hard towards your goals – you will sleep much easier for sure.


It is really important that you focus on what you can do, rather than what you can’t.

Sure, its easier if a convenient practice was set up – but it’s not. I’ve talked to all of you over the past two weeks about the importance of focusing on what you can do. Be organized, be

creative, find ways of doing what you can. You can build most of your performance pillars each week.


Humans love success. So do you! To keep being successful you need to account for your actions. Feel good about learning how to push yourself and getting things done. Put your weekly schedule up where it can be seen and check off each activity each day to

be accountable that you hit your goals. Feel proud about completing your progress reports and share with your parents and coach so you are accountable to them as well (believe me, this will save a lot of conflicts and nagging at home!). For your physical training use the running apps, weight measurements etc. to include in your progress reports. If you run 4 times a week for 45 minutes most of you will in 8 weeks-time have run close between 200-300 miles! Think of how you will feel stepping back into practice, games, tournaments, the pool in that shape. You can do it!

Watch outs

Watch outs include bad habits we fall into. There are many around you right now

and in future weeks. Set yourself the challenge to avoid them. Example watch outs are; getting up late, going to bed late, not organising a structured day/week, too much time on electronics, sitting around mindlessly. Put a list together of your main watch outs and set yourself the challenge to avoid all of them each week. Share your tips on how you are doing it.

Finally - remember, I’ve said many times before life is about Pay Now or Pay later. As always pay now – you don't want to be paying later. Paying now is doing all the things listed above, paying later is in 8 weeks-time realising you wasted a bunch of time, you are behind, your performance has dropped, and your parents are on your back…think about it.

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