This month I’d like to introduce the concept of the business athlete. What is a business athlete, how you can become a business athlete and tips and habits we can learn from professional athletes that we can apply to our everyday lives. 

What is a Business Athlete? 

I think we would benefit from seeing ourselves a little bit more like an athlete does. In terms of managing stress, improving our longevity, of being healthier and more energised day to day. Minimising our risk of burnout. 

An athlete will look ahead to their schedule and they will identify when their peaks are, when do they need to perform at their best? When’s the competition? When’s the event, when’s the tournament. And they’ll then make sure they really doubled down on sleep, mental health, energy, nutrition and hydration. All the things that are important for performance. 

How to Become a Business Athlete 

If we were to emulate that thinking and that approach to our own lives, we would do a lot better. If as business people we were to look ahead and think where are our Wimbledon’s? When’s the next big work event? Or even wider than just our business lives, when’s the next big family event? When is the next exam? Whatever it might be. Planning prior to that event, like an athlete would, so we doubled down on all the things that are important for health and performance. 

That’s the essence of the business athlete concept. 

Preparation for big events is vital, but also closely aligned to that is that is what we do after that event. It’s vital we get enough recovery. We need to de-load. Just like an athlete would, so they would take their foot off the gas a bit. Serena Williams, for example, would not be grandslam fit all year round. 

Post event athletes focus on massage, sleep, hydration, nutrition, a lot of the same things, but with a view to recovering rather than building up. So in the same way as business people, we need to plan in our recovery, make sure recovery is prioritised and we assign time to do so. 

Burnout Prevention 

The Business Athlete idea is that if we did more of that and we were able to plan and pace for the ups and downs, the peaks and troughs of life, that we would be healthier, happier, and more energised. We definitely wouldn’t be burning out as much. 

So my observation is that most of us expect to be at peak performance all year round, and it simply isn’t sustainable. So that’s the idea of the business athlete. 

Questions to Consider 

My question to you is what are your Wimbledon’s? What are your big events coming up? What do you know is in the diary, that’s going to be draining or demand a lot of your time and attention and how can you get ready for that? So that’s what I’ll leave you with.