The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Athlete Students

Training requires our best
Photo by Marisa Valdez

Each one of us has had our own interactions and experiences with sports, either on the field ourselves, or as a witness from afar.

I think regardless of our association with sports, we can all agree that in some way, shape or form, there is an obvious common mindset that comes about when we take part. 

Recently, I heard a discussion on a podcast about the differences between training and working out. At first glance, they may seem to be synonymous with one another, and yet I believe there is a stark difference between the two, no matter the similarities they might have.

Working out, whether in absolute dread, eager enthusiasm or somewhere in between, is an activity obviously done by moving and working our bodies with the hope of being healthy.

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Being fit and healthy is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves both physically and mentally. 

And yet, I have found that training is an activity with an alternative mentality that may not only be more rewarding physically, but can be integrated into other areas of life as well. 

The podcast I listened to was by Fr. Mike Schmitz, and it opened my eyes to what these aforementioned differences are. Throughout his message we learn, long story short, they can be boiled down to a single word:


He described training as being, “almost always oriented toward a goal.” A task that, in brief, means, “I am doing this thing, so I can do something else.” How simple and yet blatantly true. 

Say for instance, you are an offensive lineman for a university football team. Coaches are certain to push for exercises that revolve around mobility and strength. Why is this the case? 

I’m glad you asked. 

Offensive linemen require mobility to stay low to the line, ensuring an accurate, forceful hit, and they need the strength to protect their quarterback from the opposing team. In other words, they intentionally apply themselves in order to achieve a goal. In this case, the goal of winning the game. 

I have no doubt that there are countless necessary and common workouts that broadly promote essential habits of a successful team player. However, it is when they are intentional and focus driven that true positive transformation takes place. 

Whether you are a success-driven offensive lineman, or a dedicated ballet performer, there is no room for aimless practices or habits if you have a goal in mind. There is always an objective, ambition, intent and purpose that triumph requires. 

I think it is only then fair to say that as this new school year slowly gets going, we need a game plan of our own in mind. What are the steps we need to take in order to set ourselves up for academic success, and the attitude to refute failure? 

I think by looking at this semester with certain goals in mind, either academically, athletically or both, we are apt to chase success by implementing our very own strategies. 

Only you know what those look like and what it takes to get there. 

Why not make it happen? 

“WEISS” can be reached at [email protected].

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