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The 24/7 Athlete by Michael Parkhurst

“How long do you work each day? “

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.) I knew these things helped me but I thought it was obvious or that all athletes did the same.  Basically, every activity I did impacted my performance --

I was a 24/7 athlete.

As my career progressed however, I became even more aware of the 24/7-mindset that elite athletes adhere to. I am always wary that most of the general population, and even many athletes, are unaware of this mentality and the sacrifices that goes along with it.

Fast forward to today and now I’m a retired soccer player working for a tech company called RippleWorx. “Why?” You ask.

It’s simply because I am a believer in its ability - through an integrated, data-driven approach  - to help athletes understand, incorporate and benefit from the 24/7 mindset.

The definition of the ripple effect is “the continuing and spreading results of an event or action.” RippleWorx is based on this and the idea  that each individual's performance is affected by a variety of different factors, thoughts, and/or actions by that individual. Furthermore, that individual’s performance effects the performance of the team as a whole. Thus, a team is bettered by focusing on the enhancement of each individual's performance.  

For an athlete, possessing the understanding that work goes far beyond 7:30-1ish is an important step for enhanced performance.

So, now whenever I speak to high performing athletes the question of a normal ‘work-day’ does not need to be asked. It’s obvious now that the 24/7 athlete-mindset generates the best results.

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll dive deeper into the realms of the 24/7 athlete.

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