Athletes Winning Principles – 4 Secrets for Athletic Success


Throughout my many years as a competitive athlete and sports performance coach, I have read numerous articles, books and watched many videos with the intention to better my performance and master my craft. I will be honest with you, I got caught up with many of the gimmicks out there in the market. However, no matter what I did, I kept coming back to the same four things. The Four S’s is the secret formula to my success. If you perform them, you will see results and improve your performance.

What are the Four S’s?

  1. Strength Training
  2. Speed Training
  3. Stretching
  4. Sleeping

For the purposes of this article, I will just discuss the impact of proper sleep. But stay tuned because I will be providing upcoming articles on the other the S’s. Sleep is very important in the conditioning of athletes and it is something I preach as much as proper nutrition. Without the proper amount of rest, your body can’t recover from intense training sessions and therefore will continuously feel fatigued.

There are two types of rest. There is general rest, which is the amount of sleep you get each day and then there is the amount of recovery time or rest you get between training sessions. I typically recommend that you give at least 48-72 hours of rest for the muscle groups to recover. If the training is intense, make sure to use every bit of the 72 hours. Physical activity and rest are two very important factors. The greater the physical activity, the more intensive the process of self-recovery is going to be. It is during rest following fatigue that recovery takes place. Accumulation of new proteins, vital minerals and other body building components occur during recovery.

When we train, we make definite pauses in the course of the day. A part of the recovery process takes place during these pauses. It is known that recovery after muscular activity is faster if the work continues involving other muscles. Therefore, active rest implies mixing physical work with mental work in other areas of interest.

The greatest part of the recovery process takes place during night sleep. During sleep, the body is rejuvenated. Body characteristics such as perception, attention span, memory, abstract thinking and many other neuromuscular activities are affected. When rest and sleep are insufficient, functional overloading takes place. This results in exhaustion and wearing down the body. So, the ideal ratio is achieved when optimal physical activity is combined with rest. Studies show that optimal rest for activities is around 9-10 hours per day.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25 percent of Americans experience occasional sleep deprivation. For many, disrupted sleep can also lead to serious sleep disorders.  I speak from personal experience about how the lack of sleep can affect your life. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I experienced first-hand what type of effects that lack of good sleep can have on the body.  Fortunately, for me and many people, these disorders are treatable. I will end this article on a funny line we have all heard throughout the years. I am not just the president, I am also a client. Believe me when I tell you that sleep is an integral part of a successful routine.

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About Author

Dusty DeStefano

Dusty DeStefano has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and sports performance coach. He has combined his expertise with his personal dedication and philosophy of strength and conditioning, speed and agility development into a company concerned with getting results. See my profile page for more information!

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