At the latter end of my career I saw many young players try to break into the team. Year after year there were new teenagers, all the “best of the best” in their age groups throughout their lives. And for every one player that made it to a second contract, there were five who were cut within two to three years. For most, it was not a lack of talent but rather the lack of a strong mentality and professionalism that kept them from progressing. These players were unable to correlate the factors of the 24/7 athlete to success.
When I was playing soccer professionally, this was a common question I was asked. Young athletes and their parents frequently wondered, how much time does it take each day to play in the pros. Early in my career I would answer with something standard like - “typically about 7:30/8am until 1pm-ish and then I’m free for the day.” I’d then see the joy on the kids' faces imagining such a ‘work-day’ while I would simultaneously see the envy on the faces of the parents. What I didn’t tell them about was my frequent afternoon gym sessions with my roommate, or healthy eating habits, or the daily 9 hours of sleep. (In other words, no binge-watching until 2:00 in the morning.)