Fitness vs. Sports – Balancing performance and personal goals.

I can’t be the only one struggling with this right now. Please tell me I’m not alone! Do you work out? Do you play sports? Do you do both? Well I do; both I mean. I’m a top level athlete but I also find myself constantly making fitness goals which don’t directly correlate to my performance as that athlete. To be straight forward – some of my fitness goals are more related to looks then performance.

The body is an amazing thing. There are many ways to manipulate it. All athletes, no matter the sport, try countless way to tweak their training to optimize their performance in their sport of choice. The challenge is when to push and when to peak. Additionally, when is it okay to care about looks over performance? 15137468_1129144327122165_4496474770962144735_o

I’m a volleyball player. In college, it was pretty clear. The off-season was the time to push and the season was the time to peak. The problem was I found myself peaking physically in August when I needed to be peaking in November. From January to July I was upping my lifting weight. I was jumping higher. I was balancing my diet. I was able to push myself because I knew I didn’t have to perform anytime soon. But physical training during the season is a different – it feels like it has to be. Lifting hard in the morning directly affects the body in practice in the evening. Then when I can’t practice well in full form it is difficult to find a rhythm during game performances. It’s a bit of a cycle.

In the US, it was a bit easier to balance because the in-season part of the year is fairly short – 4 months. Internationally, seasons can range from 2 months to 10 months depending on where you play.

As much as I would love to lift, eat and workout to only look good. As a serious athlete, performance has to come first. Now, I just have to try not to get caught up in the Instagram hype of the #FitChicks. And of course, working out and eating healthy to perform as a volleyball athlete isn’t like fitness suicide. Generally speaking – volleyball girls do okay as far as looking fit. 🙂

I’m curious what y’all think of this problem. Do any of you have problems with the balance? Do any of you have a preference about training for performance or training for looks? Write below: questions, comments, thoughts, concerns!