News & Events

How Do You Define An Athlete? It’s Not What You Think

Without fail, it happens about once every couple of weeks.  I meet a new patient and one of the first things they say is “I am not sure why my physician recommended me to come here. I am not an athlete.”
 
As the conversation progresses, the patient tells me about how they go to the gym and work out 3-4 times a week and how during the summer they regularly play in a golf league.  But, you’re not an athlete? I think maybe you are.
 
In this blog, I will explain three reasons why you fit our definition of being an athlete. 
 

Two men playing paddle tennis in wide angle shot image

 
I get it.  Normally, when we think about an “athlete”, we think about someone who participates in organized sports, are between the ages of 12-22 years old, or are paid, professional athletes.  
 
But what about the police officer who (injured his back on duty as a patrol officer) is on patrol?  
 
What about the (mother of three who is ready to get back to her pre-children fitness level to keep up with her family) stay at home mom who works out regularly at the nearby gym?  
 
How about the guy who can get a senior discount at most restaurants but lives to play tennis with his buddies three times a week?  
 
Or how about me? A 41-year-old (at the time of this writing) who enjoys working out a couple times a week, plays men’s league hockey, and has frequent wrestling matches with his kids?
 
In my eyes, everyone listed is an “athlete”.
 
Being an athlete is not defined by our age or whether we are in organized sports.  It is a mindset. It is a mindset that you want to perform at your optimal level, regardless of where you are in the cycle of life.
 
Every single person, traditional athlete or not, is on a performance continuum.
 

On one side of the continuum you have an injury or pain that is limiting your function and performance.  On the other end of the continuum is when you are feeling great and you are physically performing everything in life you desire to do.

How high your continuum reaches might vary compared to someone else, but you are still somewhere on it.  
 
I founded Athletes’ Training Center Sports Performance & Physical Therapy with that continuum in mind so that we had solutions for anyone who wanted to shift their place on the continuum to the far right. We don’t just see professional athletes or 12 to 22 year old athletes who are in organized sports.
 
We see so many more “athletes.”
 
Here are 3 easy ways to know if you are our kind of athlete:
 

1. You value feeling good and performing at your best 

2. You want to be challenged in a way that helps you reach your best

3. You want an environment where like-minded people come striving to get better
 
Help us continue to be the destination where athletes and their families could turn to get unmatched rehabilitative care, training, and service by commenting below in our feed or sharing this link with a fellow athlete. 
 
Thanks for reading! 
 
Written By: Travis Manners, PT, SCS, CSCS, President and Founder 

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Jennie A., Collegiate Track & Field Athlete

Athletes’ Training Center has worked to specialize workouts to fit my athletic needs. The strength coaches have a one on one personal connection to fix minor details that have had a major impact on my athletic performance.