Mindset and Recovery
As a former top athlete, Martin Hersman learned first-hand the rules of recovery, so that he could enhance his performance. These rules, nowadays softened and adapted to real life away from the racing track, help him and his family cope better with the extraordinary situation posed by COVID-19 and be mentally prepared for the long run.
Martin takes his inspiration from the Stoic philosophers and applies their teachings in practice: “I cannot control the situation, but I can control my response to it”. This approach and his tips for recovery highlight a mindset, and a practical way, to deal with the unprecedented situation we are now facing in a constructive and productive way.
Mind your mindset: The unprecedented situation we are now facing is beyond anyone’s control. How do you deal with situations beyond your control? You cannot manage them, nor steer them as you wish. But you can change your response to them. You can choose your reaction. This lesson is as valid for top athletes as it is for managers and companies. Use your mind to steer you in the right direction.
Performing is always together: Even as an athlete competing in an individual sport, you still need a team around you to succeed. The same is true for companies and, these days, for your family or whoever you share your home with. If we are to succeed in the current circumstances, it will be together, through joint discussion, agreement and cooperation.
Recovery is key: We normally assume that performance is about doing more. It’s counter-intuitive, especially for a top athlete, to stop and take a break. Yet these breaks, physical and mental, are crucial for our well-being and for our performance, even more so when we are all confined together in tight quarters. You only perform as well as you recover.
Create the conditions for performance: Sleep is the primary recovery tool, so ensure you get enough sleep. It gives the brain a much-needed break and helps stay calmer and less agitated. Agree on space separation in the home, so everyone can have their own quiet, uninterrupted corner. Set clear ‘Me time’ moments in the day, for some personal breathing space. And rigorously plan switch-off moments, however short.
Can you do what Martin can?
To help you keep your energy levels high and stay positive throughout your day it is essential to take breaks regularly. To help you get more out of your downtime, Martin Pet, a seasoned sport and performance psychologist and physiologist, will challenge you to perform a wide range of exercises that will do just that.
About the crew member
Martin Hersman • Managing partner Lifeguard, sports commentator, former Olympic speed skater
After his speedskating career as an olympic athlete followed by work experience at KPN and his role as manager NU.nl, Martin changed his business goals and started practising where he stands for. His ambition is to boost organisations on their vitality level. He focusses on facilitating team sessions to evolve the performance of the team, the people and the organisation.
Your journey until now
Mindset and Recovery
Former Olympic speedskater Martin Hersman on sustainable high performanceYou are here
Food Sense in Senseless Times
Nutrition expert Vardit Kohn on eating in support of your immune system
Former submarine captain Berend van de Kraats shares his underwater experience