American native Patrick Mekari is a professional offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL).Standing tall at 6'4" and weighing in at 308 pounds, this 22-year-old truly epitomizes what it means to go big or go home.
Today, he tells us about the keys to success on the field: inspiring and relatable advice for everyone!
Patrick Mekari: routine & keys to success
A few words about Patrick Mekari
Mekari's parents, who both made their way to California after having to leave Lebanon and Iran during the war, instilled values of perseverance and hard work in both him and his two brothers. Learning about sacrifice, priorities, and focusing entirely on what is in your control have been pillars of success in Mekari's football career and every day.
Coming out of high school, after accepting a recruitment offer from Berkeley University of California, Patrick quickly learned how important hydration, nutrition and sleep are to performing both on and off the football field. Football camp meant lots of long hard days, late nights and early mornings.
Every day meant a fresh new opportunity for Patrick, showing up and working hard to prove himself and to outwork everyone else around him. Mekari sat down with Polysleep to talk about the role that sleep and recovery play when our main goal is to have a high performance to overcome the obstacles faced throughout our careers.
Eating right, drinking enough water and sleeping a full eight hours per night are tasks that have drilled into our subconscious – for a good reason. These three elements can be game-changers, although unfortunately, we tend to put sleep at the end of our to-do lists. Sleep plays a key daily role, especially with our physical (and emotional) wellbeing.
Sleep & Recovery
Mekari stresses how sleep and functional recovery have the advantage of helping you feel revitalized and energized to face the day. During his childhood and high school years, Mekari did not pay much attention to this or how it might affect his life. Early in his career, he quickly realized that sleep is crucial and cannot be overlooked.
Being able to work hard for hours and having a high level of concentration would not be possible without the mental clarity that comes from a good night's sleep. Sleep, hydration, and nutrition are so closely related to an athlete's performance that one cannot exist without the others and keeping all three at the same level of importance act as a ripple effect on peak performance.
Proper sleep can provide you with an advantage – whether you are a pro athlete or not – it plays such a vital role in our daily lives and our overall wellbeing. Mentally exhausted? Sleep. Physically drained? Sleep.
Feeling under the weather? Sleep. Low energy? Sleep. Achy muscles? You get the point.
For Patrick, his top priority is to focus only on situations he can control, striving to put aside opinions, comparisons and external factors that may affect his results.
Being able to prioritize what is important and knowing when it's time to let go of the things that do not serve you requires a lot of mental clarity and mindfulness.
Achieving that can feel near impossible if you are anxious or overwhelmed by what we call life. Lack of sleep causes mental fogginess and can make us more emotional than usual. When those emotions start to run rampant, it can be hard to keep cool and not let anxiety creep up. It is well known that that sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety disorders, and once this happens, the rest becomes harder to handle.
If the goal is to tackle life head-on and resolve problems one at a time, a tranquil mind is more than necessary. Sleep has a significant impact on performance and success. Shorter bursts of sleep can also become problematic as the body doesn't get a chance to repair from physical exertion and regenerating cells. Our bodies need rest to repair our cells and to integrate and retain information into our brains.
What should the kids know if they are aspiring to be professional football players?
Keep working hard. Show up every single day and work hard. There will be a lot of people out there who will tell you you are not big enough, not fast enough, not strong enough and that you cannot make it.
Work hard at blocking those voices out, even when those voices were coming from you.
Mekari explains that he is the proof of what it means to work hard, and have it pay off. He may not have as much natural ability or talent as some football players do, he may not have the arm length or measure up in size compared to some of the other players, but he also understands that these circumstances are out of his control. The only thing he can control is how hard he works and how badly he wants it.
At the end of it all, that's what matters most. Live in it and do whatever you have to keep going.