Hulne: Athletes can sharpen physical and mental skills before the season

Published 5:08 pm Thursday, July 6, 2023

The fireworks have hit the ground and the days are getting shorter. While summer weather will stick around with us for another month or two, we are reaching the transition season of sports.

Summer baseball is entering its playoff season, summer athletic camps are winding down and calendars are clearing up for area athletes.

Now is as good a time as any for athletes to take a break in competition and focus on the mental aspect of sports.

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One difficult thing to accept in sports is that failure is inevitable. Most teams suffer multiple losses throughout the year, and even those who manage to go unbeaten certainly have to overcome a hurdle or two where things go wrong.

It’s not failure that determines a team or athlete, it’s how they respond to the letdown that shows what they are made of.

I would suggest any athletes who are looking to build up their persistence to try things that are difficult over the next two months. Add a few pounds to that bench press, run an extra mile, or learn a skill in your sport.

The challenges don’t have to be physical either, you can open your mind and explore the arts. Read a book, write a poem or learn to sing your favorite song. Sharpening your mental game will prove valuable when the chips are on the line this coming season.

But most of all, the biggest challenge I present to area athletes and readers alike is quite simple. Put down that phone and live your life.

I dare you.