HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

May 13, 2021

I earned a PhD in exercise physiology from CU Boulder because I thought I had to be the very best sport scientist in the world in order to work on the Pro Cycling Tour. While the education didn’t hurt, sometimes I wonder if it really helped. I say this, not to belittle my education or my love for science and knowledge. It’s just that the science was rarely the bottleneck.

In my experience with athletes I’ve worked with over the last 25 years, when the proverbial poopoo hits the fan, it’s usually because of something much simpler than whether we got the coefficient of rolling resistance correct in our modeling of the next time trial. It’s usually because of something much more human.

What I learned is that taking care of anyone - whether they are world-class athletes or a bunch of kids at the park - if and when there’s a meltdown, everyone needs to just HALT (It’s a technique I first learned from my friend Lori Ventura). And in that short moment of reprieve ask yourself and them if they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If hungry, eat. If angry, talk it out. If lonely, find the closest litter of puppies and spoon that cuteness hard. Or better yet, call a friend and share a meal together. If tired, rest. About 90% of the time, HALT talks care of most issues. It’s not rocket science. It didn’t require me to get a PhD. But, it is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in professional sport and in life.

- Allen Lim, Skratch Founder    

Art: Yappy Art 

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