The psychology of wind sprints is just as important as the physiology.
Every football season starts the same way – I have to re-adjust wrong attitudes toward wind sprints. Most rookies believe that wind sprints are punishment, ranking somewhere between actual torture and being forced to read a book. Mindset adjustment is the key – wind sprints are not punishment and not pain…they’re a huge benefit, the difference between getting clobbered and doing the clobbering. Change the focus change the outcome. What you focus on grows. If you believe sprints are a pain, the pain grows until you quit. If you focus on the benefit, your strength and stamina grow. You’ll never quit when you’re focused on what matters.
Wind sprints don’t need mental toughness…they build it. Wind sprints have strengthened the weakest of minds. Most rookies who I have coached come in with minimal mental toughness, ready to cave in at the earliest onset of pressure or discomfort from exertion. Wind sprints change that. But it’s not just about running aimlessly. Even though running sprints is relatively simple, there’s a science to it…the psychology of wind sprints. The key is to focus only on the wind sprint being run. Don’t focus on the next wind sprint or the total number that have to be run. Focusing on the big picture makes the mind think of more pain than it can handle. Thinking of anticipated pain is a leading cause of quitting. Anticipated pain is worse than the actual discomfort of sprinting. The mind has a vivid imagination, conjuring uncomfortable images that terrify instead of inspire. Changing the perception changes the outcome. Re-define what you don’t like to do and you’ll love to do it.
Sprints win championships. Sprints lose fat. Football is a high-risk, violent sport. It’s viscous. If you’re unprepared, you will get cut up to pieces. Work hard and get shredded or be lazy and get shredded. #choiceisyours #respectthegame
Gino Arcaro is a bestselling author who has transitioned from academic law enforcement textbooks to non-fiction motivational book. His first one is Soul of a Lifter. The book is a true story about how lifting is life-saving. Lifting lost souls is a two-way life-saver. So is lifting weights. Soul of a Lifter is about connections between lost souls who become souls of lifters. We all have the capacity to be a soul of a lifter, if we’re willing to lift others. Buy Soul of a Lifter here.
The cage in the above photo was designed in 1985 by an equipment company in Toronto. It became the central piece of equipment at our first gym. Every lift can be executed in this cage. An entire workout, every day without leaving it. Championships were built inside this cage starting in 1985. Student-athletes who started from scratch got recruited because of this cage. Indelible memories. The cage now has a place of honour at X Fitness. More memories built every day. And many more championships.
There are growing myths about the next big thing…new & improved magic equipment. But the truth is simple – ordinary equipment builds extraordinary athletes. Never ignore simplicity. Lifting fact – you can’t replace the basics. Those who try are attempting to replace the hard work. The basics are the core to next-level strength. The basics are irreplaceable.