The element of earth is often symbolized by sands, rocks, and stones. These objects are solid, stable, strong, and constant. The earth provides the foundation upon which all living things dwell. In the physical body the earth represents the bones, muscles, and fascial networks. Willpower, confidence, strength, and endurance are the virtues of the mind instilled by a strong connection to the earth.
An athlete can not perform to their potential without a solid foundation to build upon. A properly periodized strength and conditioning program is essential to each and every athlete to reduce the likelihood of injury by improving the density of the bones, muscular power output, muscular endurance, and flexibility of the fascia.
A strength program can take many forms. The more tools that a coach has in his “toolbox” the greater his ability to pick the right one to get the job done and produce results from his athletes. Earth based techniques of strength training typically involve picking heavy things up, putting them down, carrying them around, or putting them over one’s head. Many people are familiar with free weights used to complete the above, or machines used to mimic the above. However this is where there is some crossover of the elements. Water can also be used as a potent form of increasing strength due to its great resistance against the body. Where water differs is that is also has a more therapeutic effect on the body and can be used for recovery or rehabilitative purposes as well.
Like training the body a strong mind is an unmatched asset to have during training and racing. Vast amounts of willpower are needed to complete what is required to reach competition in your peak condition. When the day finally arrives to compete an athlete must have confidence from their training and the mental fortitude to execute the plan accordingly.