Friday, September 6, 2013

A physical therapist's take on toughness

I recently wrote about toughness after reading Jay Bilas' book and meeting him in April. Since then, I've been looking deeper into toughness and strength sports by asking teammates, friends, colleagues and clients a simple question:

What makes a strength athlete "tough"?

They've given great answers, so I'll be sharing them from time to time on the blog. 

I think the mental toughness comes through routine, in that you’re willing to put the time and effort in at the gym even though it’s nice outside, your buddies are doing other fun activities that seem at the time more appealing, other excuses that can get in the way (ie homework, job, etc.).

Physical toughness comes from knowing when to push that extra bit thru muscle soreness, not joint pain and to focus on what you’re doing as opposed to just going thru the motions. 

- David Roskin

David's a renown shoulder guru. He's worked with hundreds of throwing athletes and helped me tremendously with my own shoulder issues. Eight months after surgery I was having all sorts of issues, and David convinced me to step away from the barbell and let the shoulder heal. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but it was exactly what I needed.

After several weeks of fixing my posture, improve my breathing and rediscovering normal range of motion, I returned to training and never looked back.  

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