The following post is by our founder, Chris Krause, who regularly contributes to this blog. Chris, a Vanderbilt football alumnus, founded NCSA Athletic Recruiting to help talented student-athletes just like his teammates at North Chicago find the right school to play their sport.
Physical, mental, and social health. These are three areas I deep dive into when it comes to being the best I can be and thriving as a father, son, brother, leader, and friend.
I recently learned that there is an actual term – The Triangle of Health – for focusing on these three areas as a balanced approach to staying healthy, happy, and leaving the world a better place.
It sounds pretty stellar to keep our physical, mental, and social health in harmony. But it’s not always easy.
I would actually argue it’s a daily challenge for most of the world. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard for me. While areas these areas seem pretty simple, why does it feel so hard to get them right? As you prepare for college as successful athletes, students, friends, sons and daughters, I urge you to consider these three ways to keep your life in harmony.
Listen to and respect your body.
Your passion for your sport can fill your lifetime. My passion for football has, and will continue to, last a lifetime.
The ability to play football? Not so much.
Finishing up my football career at Vanderbilt meant it was time to find new ways to stay in shape, which actually lead me to a passion I never even knew existed, something that has since become a driving force and way of life for me: surfing.
Between a good run and a great surf, I never knew my 40s would be the time I’d fully understand the importance of physical health and hit my stride when it comes to the right regime.
But maintaining physical health can be much easier said than done.
Just over a year ago, I underwent neck surgery in my C5-C6 vertebrate. Being in the thick of a rocking year at NCSA, and with two kids under the age of seven at home, to say I was disappointed to be benched at the time doesn’t even begin to cover it.
But I had to do it.
I made a decision to not only suck it up, but to come out of surgery and recovery stronger than ever, because what is worth having without our health? Which leads me to the next point in the triangle…
Take care of your mental health.
To me, physical and mental health really go hand-in-hand, because the better I feel physically, the better I feel in my head. It’s a widely known, scientific fact that exercise releases all kinds of feel-good powers to our brains, but mental health is a serious challenge and issue for millions, and to just exercise is simply not enough for most.
We’re in the midst of a wonderfully progressive time as Americans. Even so, there are still stigmas associated with seeking help in this area.
I encourage people of all ages, but especially our youth and their parents, to embrace the idea and practice of being proactive when it comes to mental health. Whether it’s trouble with school or friends, with a spouse, uncertainty about the future, money – seek out a professional and attack these anxieties head-on.
Every single college or university’s student health center has an outlet for this kind of support, and if they don’t have the actual professional on campus, they have places to refer you to in the area.
Meditation and exercise have been what I lean on when it comes to mental health and clarity. Start the search to find what works for you today.
Remember that the best college will have a good social fit.
The bottom line is this: spending time with the right kind of people, doing fun healthy things you enjoy, is good for the mind, body, and soul.
This seems like a no-brainer. However, being really conscious of where you’re choosing to spend your time and with what people can open up a ton of doors for your physical and mental well-being, too. If you’re still considering which school is right for you — or which career — remember that it should fit you not just athletically and academically, but socially, as well.
Would you still be happy on campus if you didn’t play your sport?
A book I highly, highly recommend, The Charge, devotes an entire chapter to examining the people in your life and how you can foster the most positive and worthy relationships with them. It was an incredible eye-opener for me and made socializing and the decisions that go along with it much, much simpler and fulfilling.
Maintaining balance and health in your body, mind and soul is tough. We’re not saying our scouts can do it all for you. But when it comes to preparing you mind, body and soul for playing in college, they can definitely help. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.