The world is full of “has been’s!” Washed-up out of shape former athletes many of which accomplished something remarkable years ago but have never done anything significant since. The majority of great high school, college and even professional level athletes fall out of shape shortly after their career ends. Many of them will try to relive their past glory through their own children and memories. Some will join recreational sports teams or leagues in an effort to relive lost days. Unfortunately most of these athletes find themselves slower, weaker and fatter. Rather than having the admiration and respect of their piers these people are often disliked seen more as over confident, hyper-competitive, ego maniac, “has been” than anything else.
Most of the popular sports taught and played in high school such as football, basketball and so forth are NOT lifetime sports and will not be participated in after graduation. A few athletes will continue to play sports in college athletic programs. After college the majority of athletes will NEVER return to their sport again.
The world of competitive sport is very seductive; promises of potential scholarship, popularity and recognition drive most of those who play them. After graduation, after hopes of scholarship are gone and the short lived popularity and fame has been replaced with the next up and coming star participation in these sports ends.
Most sports are too hard on the body to be played in a recreational or competitive setting into the later years of a persons life. American football, basketball and more rely too much on speed, power, quick stops and starts ect. to be realistically practiced and participated in competitively by someone of an older age demographic.
Unfortunately the benefit and great experience of being actively involved in a sport for the rest of ones lifetime is never known by most people. Lifetime sports are rarely taught and most athletes never learn how to actively participate in a sport throughout the span of their life.
Lifetime sports require more technical skill and less physical strength, power and force. This allows the sport to be practiced throughout a person’s life span despite the aging of the human body. Lifetime sports generally require more physical precision and control of movement than sports that are not lifetime activities. Examples of some lifetime sports are golf, surfing and martial arts.
Golf requires precise technique. The precision and accuracy of the golf swing is far more detrimental in determining the outcome than physical strength. The concentration and focus of an athlete participating in martial arts should result in leverage and control over physical strength. Surfing to most represents a lifestyle more than a means of competition.
In lifetime sports the focus is tipped more towards both physical and mental effort with an emphasis on self improvement than it is on a competition. Technique and skill are always valued more than brute physical strength and domination. If any sport is approached from this frame work over the competitive model it can very easily become a life time endeavor. It is this characteristic of lifetime sport that enables prolonged participation in the sport.
A fundamental key to maintaining a good level of strength and conditioning throughout a lifetime is to actively participate in a lifetime sport. This makes going to the gym to train easier. When you can take the things you do in your training and immediately get positive results in other environments; on the golf course, in your martial arts practice out in the water, at work and at home, exercise becomes more fun, rewarding and a lot easier to do.
As we age and grow older the importance of remaining physically active increases. Yet the ability of a person to remain immersed in sport diminishes. Engagement in a lifetime sport makes it much easier to maintain a physically active lifestyle well into the later years of life.
Good Luck and Good Training,
P.S. If you want to be able to train and condition yourself for a lifetime. I highly recommend considering my Martial Arts Life program. Here I only work with a limited number of clients in a small private studio setting. This is a complete program that can be participated in as a true lifetime sports activity. To get started contact me here.