I read a great article this week by former New York Yankee's Director of Strength and Conditioning, Dan Cavalea .
In it, he talked about just how structured Derek Jeter was with his day, especially during the nine months of the season.
Everything important to Jeter's performance was scheduled and ritualized from training, to meals, to work, to rest and recovery.
To get and maintain this type of rigid structure, Coach Cavalea suggested asking yourself these questions:
What do I do in the AM when I get up
What do I do in the AM before lunch
What do I do after lunch
What do I do after work/school
What do I do after dinner
What I do right before bed
These questions will help you as an athlete develop the habits and rituals to become the highest performer possible. These should especially include improving and executing valuable practices in sleep, nutrition, and recovery.
Training in both skills and performance are usually the "easier" things to get done as a motivated athlete, but are only a part of what it takes.
Coach Cavalea quotes this years tennis great and US Open Champion, Rafael Nadal saying, "To win, you have to be prepared to suffer."
There's nothing fun about doing all these things consistently. But, this is the sacrifice that all great athletes and high performers will make to be the best for themselves and their teams.