Article By: Reese Hoffa
Reese Hoffa is the owner of the Hoffa Throws Academy, an elite training facility located in Watkinsville GA. He is a 3-time Olympian, 2-time World Champion, and spent an unprecedented 10 straight years ranked in the top 3 in the world.
I worked as a professional shot putter for 14 years. I won two world championships, went to three Olympic games and achieved just about every goal I ever set for myself. As you can imagine, a lot of young athletes asked me what they needed to do to have a career like mine. I told them the truth, and I’ll share that truth with you now, but a lot of people didn’t want to hear it then and won’t want to hear it now. They hoped there was some secret, some shortcut that would help them be a professional without the effort. Being a professional means a lot more than just collecting a paycheck or having a sponsorship, so in today’s article, I’m going to point out a few of the things that I did to put myself in a position to succeed.
First, during the season I abstained from alcohol. Alcohol negatively affected my ability to recover and was a poor choice as a source for calories. I might have one drink the night after a competition, but I made a point to stay away from alcohol during the season. Second, I stretched every night. No matter what else was going on or how tired I was, I made time for my stretching routine. It helped me recover from the day and maintain the mobility I needed to hit positions in the ring. If I had an injury I was rehabbing then I added foam rolling, acupuncture, and stim to my nightly routine. It helped that I had (and have) a beautiful and supportive wife that would keep me company most nights while I did what I needed to do to prepare my body. Third, I abstained from caffeine. Caffeine is one of the few performance enhancers that are available to professional track athletes so I used it on meet days. However, to avoid building up a tolerance to it, I never had caffeine outside of meet days. That means no coffee with my wife on Sunday mornings, no soda with my popcorn at the movies, and no caffeine shot before a big lift in training. These are just three small things I did. They were time consuming, took me away from time with friends or time relaxing and only amounted to tiny little increases in performance. I was a professional because I made these little sacrifices constantly to give myself a thousand tiny little edges over my competition. If you’re serious about your goals and it matters more to you than anything else then you’ll do the same. You’ll track every workout, you’ll hire coaches that can get you closer to your goals, you’ll read articles like this one and actually start following the advice. Or you’ll decide that none of these changes make a big enough difference and do none of them and stay exactly where you are. I made my choice, and its time for you to make yours.