Do you want a simple trick to take your performance to the next level? If I told you that all of us have easy access to it, would you do it?
It is that simple.
Many elite athletes read.
Big-time athletes are happy to share what books they enjoy most – Click here to see it! (plus we all know how much LeBron likes “The Godfather”).
We constantly emulate habits from elite-level athletes: How they train, what they eat, the way they prepare, their confidence, etc. All of it.
I believe reading is one of the last skills that young athletes add to their arsenal, and many times it is too late! Here are just a few reasons why every athlete should start reading right now.
Reading is good for our brain.
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” – Joseph Addison
Every athlete recognizes the relationship between exercise and performance.
If it’s true that every athlete ‘wants to win’, then every athlete ought to be seeking possible advantages, including the mental edge. Reading is one way of training the mental part of our game.
A Stanford study stated that “reading could serve, quite literally, as a kind of cognitive training, teaching us to modulate our concentration and use new brain regions as we move flexibly between modes of focus.” Our ability to fluidly change our levels of focus, areas of attention, and concentration is paramount in all sports. Training this ability, outside of regular scheduled practices, and within the arena of reading, may provide that subtle edge for an athlete, especially when it is geared towards sport specific skills…
Reading increases our skills in an area of interest
“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” – Abraham Lincoln
Beyond the ability to train the mind in a broad manner, reading allows us to gain factual knowledge in an area of interest. Through the author, we can learn from others’ experiences and mistakes. Reading will also introduce us to new ideas and invite us to solve problems. It stimulates analytical thinking, helping detect patterns, solve problems, and assimilate new information.
Finding the right books to read is as easy as searching Amazon for ‘books on basketball’, ‘books on jumping higher’, and everything we can imagine! After we have momentum moving in the right direction, reading will inspire us to continue on our educational journey, and it will help us connect one skill to another. What it will also do is help diversify us as people, and athletes, which is important for recruiting.
Reading can help you get recruited
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Suess
Through reading, we can be exposed to a variety of world views and convictions, increasing knowledge of history and culture, and challenging our imagination. It will also improve our conversation skills by enhancing vocabulary, giving us knowledge of correct word usage, and teaching us to articulate what we want to say. The knowledge we gain from reading also gives us a lot to talk about with others.
Tips for reading
- Make it a habit. Set aside time during the same part of every day or week to read. In the beginning, look to read in the same place/surroundings. The consistency helps strengthen the habit.
- Set the bar low. At the start, set out to only read one page, or five pages, each time you sit down. Cutting yourself off may make you want to continue to dive in even more! If you set the bar too high, it can easily become discouraging. Reading, and any other form of education, is a marathon process, not a sprint. There’s value in the small progress here.
- Use Goodreads. This is a fantastic website where we can look and see what books others find helpful, and begin to generate a unique booklist for yourself. FOLLOW THE MYC TEAM MEMBERS ON GOODREADS! >> Sam Davy, Jakob Gollon
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Master Your Craft,
And just for fun… here are 30 more reasons to read!
Questions? Comments? Know some that would be a great guest?
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The MYC Team