Being an athlete in the Special Olympics is both an honor and a challenge. Sometimes people are under the impression that because the athletes have certain physical or intellectual disadvantages that their athletic potential is lessened. That assumption could not be further from the truth! It's because the athletes have to overcome such challenges that they reach beyond what others, or even themselves think is possible, to become champions.
When beginning your training for the Special Olympics you must first choose a sport or sports you would like to try. Once you have unearthed your interests, you can then practice each event and see if it is something you are passionate about. Get familiar with the rules of the event and remember you don't have to be the best at an event to join the Special Olympics. Sports greatness comes in time.
Now that you have chosen your event, it is time to get paired up with a coach. I mentioned earlier that you don't have to be a professional athlete to compete, but training with a coach will help sharpen your focus and refine your skills. Sometimes you can get together with other athletes and practice with them, reviewing the techniques the coach has shown you and maybe even learning from each other.
Another aspect of proper training is eating healthfully. Now, we all know that living a healthy life begsin with eating healthfully. So make sure to talk to your doctor about your training to make sure he or she approves of your efforts based on your personal health history. Then, ask him for recommends on proper eating habits. Different events need different nutrition. For example, a long distance runner needs plenty of carbohydrates in his reserve tank to keep his legs moving. However, if your event requires more strength than endurance protein is the way to go, but always follow your doctor’s advice because just like each athlete is individual, each diet and training program is as well.
Finally, all athletes need to carry with them the spirit of fun and fellowship as you go out to compete against others. Of course we all like to come in first, but from time to time we don't. So focus on enjoying yourself and making new friends because the point isn't to win, the point is to grow and learn more about yourself and your fellow athletes. Now go uncover the champion in you!