Can You Be An Elite Athlete?

Watching Wimbledon on the television got me thinking.

What does it take to be an elite athlete? What do they have that most of us don’t? Or, in fact, could any of us be elite athletes if we wanted to be?

I think it’s probably a mix of nature and nurture. There must be genetic factors involved helping athletes have outstanding physical abilities, but they all have coaches, nutritionists and advisors, so I think the nurture aspect must be just as, if not more, important.

So, what do they do that makes them the best of the best?

Well, there’s the nutrition, the dedication, the routine, the passion, the grit, the determination, the pain and all the failures on the way. Cycling coach, David Brailsford likes to use the term ‘marginal gains’ – elite athletes make small continual improvements that lead to massive results, and success. And Clive Woodward, former rugby player and coach, believes that no stone should be left unturned, everything should be looked at when you want to be the best.

And this got me thinking again. Could we all be ‘elite athletes’ in our own lives? Becoming the best we can be and living our lives to the best of our abilities.

I believe we can – especially with Yoga and meditation to help us to learn more about ourselves and connect.

Everyone needs to start where they are now, that goes without saying, but by identifying our dreams and aspirations we can start to make our plan of where we want to go, what we want to achieve and who we want to be, and then it’s just one tiny step every day in the right direction.

And if we fail or something sets us back, we have to get up, dust ourselves off and carry on, one small step at a time. That’s just life – it’s full of knocks and setbacks. It tests you.

Regular practice is key – with everything in life if you want to be the best you can be. In your daily Yoga and movement practices, day by day, as you breathe into the poses your muscles will lengthen, you’ll be able to move in different ways, go deeper, reach places you didn’t know existed and connect with yourself. It’s just a case of getting started, meeting yourself wherever you are starting from, and moving from there. if you have bad days don’t worry, every day is a new day, a new start.

Elite athletes are always developing new skills to outwit their opponent and we should do that in our lives too. Maybe your opponent is stress, maybe it’s overwhelm. Then perhaps to achieve your elite status, meditation or cultivating deeper body awareness is the tool you need to outwit your opponent, giving you that sense of calm, peace and balance you need to push through the fog and out the other side.

Elite athletes, even if they’re individual sportsmen or women, are part of a team. In life, you’re not alone either, you can build your team, whether that’s your close friends, your Yoga Teacher, your life coach or your personal trainer. It’s often said that you are the average of the five people you surround yourself with most, so choose your team wisely to complement your dreams and aspirations. They will cheer you on when things get tough and celebrate with you when you reach your next goal.

Elite athletes are great listeners and communicators too, sharing, absorbing and processing the information around them, but if you want to achieve elite status in your life, for you, you must listen and communicate with yourself, connecting and nourishing yourself. Regular Yoga practice is a perfect way for you to do this, spending time with yourself, creating space and optimising your health and wellbeing.

Nourishment doesn’t just include food, although that’s very important. It includes self-care and self-love, making sure your needs are met so you can best serve those that need you, your family, your friends, your colleagues and people you haven’t even met yet.

Through my work as a Yoga Teacher, Doula, Mizan Therapist and holistic women’s wellness expert, I use a range of techniques and practices to enable you to achieve your goals for your health and wellbeing. I’ll coach and mentor you, I’ll give you strategies and routines to help you learn more about yourself and practices to help you heal, connect and find yourself. I’ll cheer you on and help you when you fall. And I believe in you, I believe that you can be an ‘elite athlete’ in your life.

Lara Heppell

About Lara Heppell

I use the incredible healing, calming, strengthening and restorative power of yoga to help you find the balance you need, no matter what stage of life you’re at. I couple this with Mizan massage, belly binding, birth preparation and doula services to support you as needed.


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