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Training When You Are Sick

Excuses and flakiness comes in all shapes and sizes. When I think of the best and most hard working throwers out there, I realize a couple things. One, they never have random obligations that appear right at training time. Two, while at training they never talk about not having enough time to study. And three, they are never sick. Hard workers and good athletes don’t find excuses for why not to train, but find every reason TO train. It’s not that these athletes don’t have a million other things going on in their lives, or have loads of school work to do, or don’t actually get sick, but training is such a high priority to them that they find a way to train anyways. Especially for young throwers it is hard to see the long term vision of development and understand how critical consistency in training is. I cannot possibly stress enough how much difference training consistently and often makes for being a great thrower. There is a huge difference between a thrower that trains 5 days a week compared to one that trains 3 times a week. There is also an enormous difference between a thrower that trains 4 days a week every week, and one that trains an average of 4 days a week, but trains 6 days one week and only twice the next. Training when sick will maintain your consistency and help you make gains that your competitors aren’t tough enough to make.


The easiest way to figure out if you are too sick to train is to place yourself on the day of States or Nationals and then ask yourself if you are too sick to compete. It all comes back to having a sense of urgency in your training. We are all motivated to train hard and do everything possible to succeed the week before the biggest meet of the year. But training with the urgency of Nationals week in October will make you a champion. In fact, missing a couple days because you have a cold in October will probably impact you more than missing a couple days right before Nationals from being sick. However so few people make that connection because of how distant and delayed the satisfaction will be. In my last blog “Training When You Are Sore”, I mentioned how it didn’t matter if Grandpa was sick or not, he needed to work because if he didn’t his family would not have food on the table. His employer didn’t care. If he wasn’t at work, he didn’t get paid. The same is true in throwing. Your rival doesn’t care if you are sick. They are going to beat you because they pushed through aching and miserable training sessions because they wanted to win.


If you have a fever of 105, or are throwing up every 30 seconds, don’t come in to train at that moment. But as soon as you feel a little bit better, you better get to the circle and get to the gym as soon as you can to make up for that critical time that you lost. If you missed training on Tuesday, train by yourself on Saturday. If you have a runny nose, a sore throat, a cough, or a headache, we expect you to show up and do what you can. Don’t worry about getting other people sick, just stay away from them and focus on what you have to do. If you are really contagious, find a time to train by yourself. WebMD says 101 degrees is the temperature when you should not exercise for risk of raising your internal temperature even more. Other than that, throwing and lifting are not going to delay your recovery or make you feel worse, but once you get outside and start moving around you will most likely feel better.


If you are in the frame of mind where you are looking for reasons for why not to train, you are defeating yourself. Everybody goes through phases, whether they are sick or not, when it is hard to get out of bed and go throw. However, it is the people who do it anyway that are going to be the champions.


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