Set Goals And Learn How To Adapt Your Body To Certain Sports

Editor’s Note: At age 42, Scot Hollonbeck is more of an athlete than ever before, even after his spinal cord injury at age 14. Hollonbeck has learned that if he continues to exercise and compete, he feels better, is happier and is more successful. If he knows what he wants to do and focuses on that, then he doesn’t have time to focus on what he can’t do or accomplish. Part 2 of a 5-part series.

Scot Hollonbeck is passionate about health and wellness.

Scot Hollonbeck is passionate about health and wellness.

Hollonbeck: Goal setting and achieving are critical elements to any fitness program. The goals have to be specific for the type of training you want to do. For instance, if you want to do a 5K, the exercise regimen to reach that goal is different from one for a 10K. The program for a 100-mile bike race or just peddling 100 miles is different from the way you’ll train for running a marathon.

Perhaps you may set a goal to swim a mile. However, before you start training, you must study what type of equipment will be necessary to reach that goal.  After my accident, I could swim, but I couldn’t swim a mile until I learned how to adapt my leg braces.

One of the requirements of reaching a goal once you’ve set it is to talk the people who already have done it. One of the problems I have is that the body must be flat on the water to swim correctly. My legs sink, so I’m pulling the front half of my body through the water and dragging my legs.  I couldn’t swim a mile and drag half my body. When I got my leg braces and added some floatation to them, I could flatten in the water and use swimming strokes to propel myself.

Scot coaching athletes at an Emory University Training camp

Scot coaching athletes at an Emory University Training camp

One of the things we forget is that we often have to adapt our bodies to fit the exercise, the sport or any new learning in which we want to participate. For instance, my daughter wanted to learn how to play the piano. Before the teacher would show her how to put her hands on the keys, my daughter had to learn how to sit properly on the piano bench. If she wasn’t sitting properly, she couldn’t play the piano. She had to learn to sit with her back straight and her feet on the ground.

If you want to get the most out of your exercise program, or the sport you want to compete in, you first need to know how to adapt your body for success.

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

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