Preparation for sports performance is what separates the athletes who had all the talent but never quite made it, from those who have the talent or good enough and excel. Today Payton Manning retired from the NFL, and one of the things he is known for is his preparation. Payton has been quoted and saying that while he may not have always been the most talented player his preparation was second to none.
Many athletes I work with haven’t realized that preparation is often more important than the talent you have, especially as you get older and into more competitive levels. Talent will take you only so far, but preparation will allow you to go a lot further than just your talent. It is important to understand that preparation goes beyond what you do just before a competition, it taps into what you are doing each and everyday, from the food you eat, to how much sleep you get, to how you take care of your body and mind. Preparation is looking at every decision and thinking about how it will impact how you play. Now there is a balance, and you can be over prepared so it is important to not go over board and prepare more than necessary because then you can just be adding more stress to your life than you need.
Sometimes it is hard to know the difference between preparation and over preparation, but ultimately if you are feeling stressed or find yourself too worried about how something will impact your performance you might be going to far. If you are really not sure than it might be time to get help from a professional who can help you in knowing what a good level of preparation.