WIN ARTICLE #128 Cycles of Life that Mark our Improvements


Cycles of Life that Mark our Improvements
By: Ben Peterson

Life for a wrestler can get very intense. The pace of a season with daily training and tournaments can be very draining. A wrestler needs periods of life that refresh and heal the mind, body, and spirit.

Life has those periods of change and recuperation built into it. Our Creator knew we needed rest and recovery so from the beginning we have had cycles of life that change and refresh us. Let’s look at these cycles and how they can be used to add new energy for us.

Daily Cycles

Every night it gets dark and we just want and need to slow down and sleep. The daily cycle may seem obvious, but I repeatedly see young athletes live as if they are invincible and unaffected by their late nights. Some spend their late night hours partying and then strain in practice the next day. Both the substance and the lack of rest can limit the next day’s practice or competition. Others read, watch movies, study, or play games with friends late into the morning hours.

Studying for a class and reading books is good and healthy, and entertainment with good friends can be very refreshing to us. But if a pattern of this is done it will take the key sharpness and alertness from an athlete in his daily training. The best advice has always been a regular sleep time, going to bed early, and starting early in the morning. You will find extra vigor, a smile and enjoyment when you have regular sleep and early sleep.

Daily evaluation and planning sessions are always good for simplifying and evaluating for refinement. Each new class period can refresh a student. Lunch and mealtimes can reset things for a laborer on the job. Daily thinking of what is most important and essential, along with rest, will refresh and even excite our minds for action for a new workout and a new day.

I’ll give another comment about resting when two, three, or four workouts are done per day. My experience was to sleep between morning and afternoon workouts but not between afternoon and evening workouts. 10 to 45 minute naps during the day were essential for an Olympic Team level training camp with 2-4 workouts per day.

Weekly Cycles

Most of the world lives on a rotating cycle of seven days. Scripture says this cycle was made to give us rest and a change from what could be day after day of the same repetitive work week. One day needs to be different and needs to provide rest. I find when I don’t follow this pattern that by the middle of the second week I am stale and weary. It becomes harder to work with excitement and high energy.

Wrestlers need the weekly cycle also. If there are five days of school or work and wrestling on Saturday and Sunday there soon can be fatigue and burnout. A weekly cycle of evaluating to eliminate waste and to remember what is really important is needed. Simplifying and rethinking what is most important can excite all of us.

Seasonal/Yearly Cycles

My wife and I often comment how much we enjoy the seasons of Wisconsin. They are so diverse and can be so refreshing. Jan lived one year in Miami, Florida. She said her body and mind ached for winter. Winter had become a refreshing change to her. For her to thrive in the south she would have needed to identify with the more subtle changes in the weather of that climate.

I trained as a wrestler all year long for most of twelve years. Wrestling was continually on my mind and planning the next workout was a regular thought. Some will ask, how can you stay fresh and excited about wrestling all year?

First, you must have a dream, a goal to be looking toward. Then you must change your training during various periods of the year. There should be times of lifting emphasis, times of running and conditioning emphasis, times of drilling and refining technique and position, times of hard aggressive wrestling, and then times of intense competition. Including times of Freestyle and Greco can be especially refreshing as well. Mixing these during various periods of the year can motivate and refresh wrestlers in many ways while they continue to work and advance.

Our Creator put the seasons in the cycle of time. Even though the intensity of seasons will vary in different parts of the earth, we still all have some kind of seasons. Marking seasons and years of life give us long measures for growth and advancement. It is easy and common to put years and seasons on our records and our improvements.

In Conclusion

It is just logical to evaluate and reset ourselves in the daily, weekly, and yearly rotations of life. Wrestlers that thoughtlessly keep doing the same thing without evaluating how rest and enthusiasm are being affected will soon find something missing and others leaving them behind. Always stay thoughtful of your work and progress. And days, weeks, and yearly seasons are obvious and practical times to measure and compare our status and progress.

• Make tomorrow shaper than today.

• Make this week more mature than last week.

• Then watch each season and each year reveal significant advancements.

Find other articles and a new book called “ROAD TO GOLD” by Ben at: Today Ben & John Peterson run Camp of Champs Wrestling Camps. Contact them at: PO Box 222 Watertown, WI 53094 800-505-5099

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