By Amy Padilla//Contributor | Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Carson Tigerharks head coach Julie Hardt knows how important maintaining wellness is to herself and to other coaches’ overall success. She holds herself to an extremely high standard when it comes to sustaining various aspects of health and wellness.
Hardt is a former gold medal winner for the U.S. team in the women’s 4x200 free relay at the 2001 World Aquatics Championships in Japan, and was an eight-time All American and a top 10 finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year honors while attending the University of Georgia.
Hardt, originally a Carson City, Nevada native, thrives the most as a coach when she focuses on upholding her physical, emotional, and financial wellness. Hardt’s determination to make sure these and other areas of wellness are at their peak levels transitions to helping her young swimmers excel in fitness as well.
“Firstly, being physically active helps me keep my body physically fit and healthy,” Hardt said. “I love the sport of swimming, and being in the water has always been a safe haven for me. I train 4-5 swim workouts per week, and I get a number of benefits. I feel like I have more energy when I’m staying fit, and I tend to sleep better when I’ve worked out. Swimming also helps with my mental fitness.”
She continued, “I love the feeling of the water how relaxing it can be to glide through. I also love how I can let my mind wander and relax as I move in the water. There’s nothing better than the feeling of tiredness and accomplishment after working particularly hard. When I’m feeling well and my energy is high, I have more energy to serve my team. Coaching takes a lot of energy and attention, so the more energy I have, the more energy and attention I can share with swimmers and parents.”
“For my emotional fitness, I enjoy getting out on walks or hikes with my dog and my wife. Spending time outside helps me to connect with my feelings and to ground my emotions. The quiet and the fresh air helps to calm my mind, and long walks are great times to work out problems in my head,” Hardt stated.
“When I am keeping my own emotions in check, I am much better at helping my athletes learn how to manage their emotions. A clear head also helps me to connect with my athletes and to be able to find ways to push them to be better versions of themselves. When I am stuck in my own emotions, I lack the energy to properly lead the team I coach.”
“It’s important to me to be financially secure. When my finances are out of order, I get very stressed and it leaks into everything I do. I get very preoccupied with the stress and worry, and then I am not connected as well with my athletes. I make sure I keep a healthy budget and maintain knowledge of my spending habits. I also make regular contributions for retirement to make sure that my future finances are in order.”
Hardt’s passion for wellness is evident on the pool deck, a place where she shines and is an inspiration to those around her. Soon, other young coaches may follow in her footsteps to improve their own well-being and lifestyle, and share their wellness with those around them.