Below is a guest post from Dan Jansen Van Doorn a pro volleyball player for Tourcoing in France and former teammate of mine. He shares his story about a simple mindset shift that within a few months:
- fixed his knee pain
- added 6 inches to his jump
- helped him lead the TWU Spartans to back to back national championships
- earn a living as a pro athlete
- helped him lose 27lbs
I was always a kid who could eat whatever I wanted, and get away with it. I paid little to no attention to my nutrition…
My priorities when it came to eating were:
The nutritional value of the food I was eating was dead last,
That all changed sometime in my second year at TWU. I never realized it was a problem, until it was pointed out by a few people. At the time, I was struggling from a plethora of minor injuries.
Shin splints had plagued me for a few years already, and my knees had gotten exponentially worse recently. My back was starting to hurt regularly, and my shoulder and ankles were often injured.
I blamed it on a combination of over training, and bad luck. Looking back on it now, I was simply in denial and had nobody to blame but myself.
I hit my heaviest point at 235 lbs which was about 20 lbs above a comfortable playing weight, and 30 above my ideal performance weight as a 6’8″ middle.
I was sick of running jokes among teammates, but was more sick of being seen as a joke; a player whose injuries were so frequent that nobody believed me anymore. I wasn’t performing well, and was never feeling 100% healthy, or fresh. It was late in my second year and over the following summer that I decided it was time to change.
I started slow, as I still didn’t know how to eat healthy. There was way too much fat and sodium in my diet. I cut down bit by bit, and noticed a difference. It was never anything drastic, as I found that dynamic diet changes are hard to maintain. It started with a month without McDonalds.
Then a few months without fast food. Then it moved past simple rules for myself, and changed into me paying attention to every meal, snack, and beverage I put in my body. Salads were not just something I took instead of fries with my meal, salads could be a whole meal. I worked really hard to eat clean. I was lucky, and it was fairly easy (or at least it got much easier the more I did it).
My results paid off immediately. When we weighed in at the beginning of my 3rd year, I had come in at 208 lbs (down 27lbs), and had increased my spike touch by 6 inches!
It was literally as if I had been jumping with a dumbbell tied to my waist and suddenly lost it. What an incredible feeling, and even better was the difference in my daily life. I was feeling fresh when I showed up for training, and I didn’t have to pop a handful of ibuprofen just to be able to play!
I was sleeping better, training better, and overall living better. My improvements were seen in the weight room with regular PB’s in every exercise, and on the court as well.
For me, it didn’t have to be one drastic change. It was simply a change in my mentality. If i really wanted to be the best, that meant that volleyball didn’t stop at 8:00 when training was done. The better I was eating, the more of an edge I was gaining on everybody else. I realized that being an athlete was a 24 hour job, and an enormous part of that job was done in the kitchen.
I love Dan’s story since he went about things the right way…first he fixed his mindset, and then made a few small changes that end up in big results. If you need to fix your mindset, or need guidance on nutrition and training Request A Free Consultation ($97 Value):