Posts Tagged ‘sports’

Understanding Sport

There are many people in society with the opinion that sports should have little relevance. Some argue that time, energy and money should be focused on more important things. Many think sport is a silly, money driven industry that provides unnecessary entertainment. Some condemn competition and others fear losing. Others just hold that opinion without much justification.

I have never understood this. Athletics have always been a big part of my life. However, please don’t confuse me as being a world class athlete. I was able to participate on athletic teams in high school because I went to a very small high school on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. Frankly, if I grew up in a city and attended a large high school, I would have never had an opportunity to play the games that I played. But thank god I did.

What I have understood and have always felt, is that sports teaches many life lessons. Examples could go on for days… Sport teaches things like working with others to accomplish a goal. Sport allows you to learn how to compete in a fair way, without stepping on someone to advance. Sport teaches you to accept defeat when you just aren’t good enough, yet motivates you to get up the next day and be better than the day before. Sport teaches effort, dedication and forms character. These things many people already know and understand.

But until last night (note this was written the night after the 2016 UNC VS Villanova national title game) I never understood why sport and athletics were so special. It took me watching my Tar Heels suffering the most heartbreaking loss in program history to teach me why so many people place such a high value on sports.

What I now understand, is that an athletic competition in which an individual is emotionally invested is an emotional roller coaster like none other. Life is an emotional roller coaster, but life’s up and downs usually occur over years, months, weeks and days. Sure, many decisions and events of life happen in the blink of an eye. But typically the emotions of daily life rise and fall much slower than those in sports. In sports, you can be desperate one moment, on top of the world the next, and then, immediately crushed. Many Tar Heel fans know this too well after last night. And for anyone else who loves sports, you too have similar experiences.

Now what we all must understand , is that life goes on. More importantly, we all must understand that these highs and lows in sports are unique. Strangely, the heartbreak should be cherished just as much as the glory; the success as much as the failure. These highs and lows in sport, as well as other events, ad texture to the adventure we call life. This my friends, forces us to grow and become better people. This is why sports matter!
R. Garrett Tandy Jr.
M.A.Ed., CSCS, Titleist Performance Institute CGFI
Personal Trainer
Highlands Country Club
Lost Tree Club
Follow me @GTandyFitness

Over the past fifteen years a huge emphasis has been placed on health and fitness. Most of us are very aware that we influence our health through diet and exercise. Usually, health professionals tend to encourage individuals to eat a healthy diet and improve upon fitness components such as cardiovascular health, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, as well as body composition. As a result, most of us who exercise focus on these areas and while they are all important to consider, these components exclude a few pieces to the complete puzzle of health.

Perhaps the piece of the puzzle that ties together all other components of health and fitness is the quality of movement. Some professionals, including myself, would argue that without good movement none of the components above are of much importance. I have observed very few people who move without compensations. Compensations often occur because we spend our day in less than ideal positions such as sitting, driving or using the same motion repetitively in sporting activities. While it is true that in order to be healthy you need to eat the right foods, have a strong heart, have strong capable muscles, and keep your body fat relatively low, if the movement patterns we use on a daily basis are compensatory, long term exercise may be deterred because of pain or a lack of desire to move.

For example, someone with knee pain who needs to improve their cardiovascular fitness may not be able to walk on a treadmill or ride a bike because of discomfort. While this individual’s pain may have come from an acute injury, it is also possible that this person’s knee pain could have been caused by movement compensations throughout their lifetime. None the less, this individual’s knee pain could prevent them from reaching their goals of improving cardiovascular fitness. Perhaps this highlights that our path to moving often should first include moving well.

The first step to moving well is to get out of pain. If you are in pain, you should consult a doctor or a physical therapist. Hopefully, you do not have pain. If you are not in pain, it may be a good idea to get a movement assessment by an individual who understand movement compensations and corrective exercise.

Understanding how people move and how to address movement dysfunction through corrective exercise can enhance an individual’s workout, athletic performance and quality of life. Corrective exercise programs can be designed to supplement an individual’s current workout program whether that person is exercising on their own or with a trainer and can also be designed to bridge the gap between physical activity and a return to every day movement in life and sporting activities.