Making Smarter Decisions Off the Field

1 May 2013
Mental Edge
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Making Smarter Decisions Off the Field

There is a deep truth to the law of cause and effect. The world exists as a large group of interconnected systems. Rain occurs with the accumulation of moisture in clouds; the effect or rain is a healthy forest, potential flooding, and difficult driving conditions. Rain can also lead to erosion and other long-term repercussions. One entity — rain — leads to many results, some evident and others unknown.

In other words, for every action, there is a reaction.

The law of cause and effect governs athletics as well.

Athletes and Decisions: Cause and Effect

On the field, cause and effect is easy to discern. The action of bad mechanics might result in poor performance or injury. The cause of a tightly thrown spiral leads to the effect of a football being easier to catch.

But what about the law of cause and effect on your actions off the field?

Much like some of the intangible results of the rainfall example, your off-field decision making will influence on-field performance.

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

First off, consider your sleeping habits. Sleep matters. You should never expect to stay awake into the early hours the day before a game and perform optimally.

Studies indicate that sleep deprivation has a harmful impact on carbohydrate metabolism (the rate of breaking down nutrients to create energy) and endocrine function (the secretion of hormones into the bloodstream).

In other words, lack of sleep negatively influences performance through a loss of energy and a slower recovery time.

Choosing the Right Fuel

What about your eating habits? When hunger pains call the loudest, eating an entire pizza or grabbing a Super-Sized fast food meal seem to be the east way to satisfy.

But proper nutrition matters. As the WINForum’s “Gameplan for Losing Fat” has suggested, nutrition effects performance. If you are eating too much, not eating at the proper times when energy is needed, or skipping meals to lose weight, you can expect your on-field results to dip.

The Choices You Make Off the Field Will Influence Your Performance on the Field

The law of cause and effect never fails. Every action has a reaction. Rainfall brings creates verdant vegetation; it can also bring dangerous and unknown effects.

Sleep and nutrition are merely a couple of examples to point out this important fact: the choices you make off the field will influence your performance on the field. It’s important to recognize that there’s no division in your body between on-field and off-field activity. Whether it is sleep, nutrition, focus, preparation, etc., make smart choices to stay balanced!