But what about that small percentage of the population, who spent their days working up a sweat, quite literally, as they proved their talent and determination at the Australian Open or the Ashes?
These athletes have shown their potential, we know just how incredible they are at what they do, but are we even remotely aware of what they must endure in just one single match?
Anyone who isn't used to such high temperatures, struggles just going about their normal days in this heat wave. I myself have to ensure I stay indoors just to ensure I don't pass out, my body clearly not coping well with heat despite the gallons of water I down each day.
Australian summers are known for its blistering heat, therefore athletes will be well aware of how much preparation needs to be done to optimise their performance competing in it. There are numerous factors involved when considering how to address competing in such heat.
Just like an athlete needs to train in the same setting as the match will provide – out on a court or field rather than in the living room for example, athletes also need to ensure they acclimatise to the weather, and can play to the same level when the sun is burning down on them. So not only have these athletes endured the heat during their competitions, they also endured plenty of it during their training.
This ensures that they're body is used to playing in such warm climates and that they won't collapse under the stress it puts on their body. Another important factor is their diet.
The body sweats to keep cool, so a lot of fluid and electrolytes are lost. They are also burning far more energy to compete in higher temperatures as their body works harder to keep pushing through. So as per any game, in any condition, an athlete needs to ensure they have energy to keep going by consuming food and drinks that can maintain the electrolytes and carbohydrate stores in their body.
Diet is probably the easier factor to have complete control over during competition, despite the fact that it is a lot more difficult to maintain during high temperatures. Mindset, however, is a factor that each and every one of us battle every day. The mind is a powerful tool, and when fed incorrectly, can cause the entire body to collapse. It can't just be strengthened overnight - it takes practice.
Not only technique, speed and endurance
Sport isn't just about technique, speed, and endurance, in this heat you could have the perfect skills under belt, but poor mental stamina won't see you through until the end. A positive mindset and a lot of determination is required to get just through one match, let alone a series of matches.
There a lot of resistance from the voice in their head alone. Then on top of that, they have a crowd with expectations and an opponent trying to get inside their head. A lot of their training is spent working with sports psychologists to overcome these mental barriers and improve their endurance during a game, and it is quite a difficult skill to perfect.
The way you view your opponent and an upcoming game will have a significant impact on your performance during it. Fear can quite often lead to reduced confidence, which in turn can cause an athlete to make mistakes. Athletes need to have a refined focus on their match, blocking out all other distractions – the crowd, the heat, their opponents threats and above all, that voice telling them that they can't do it.
So not only should we be impressed with the skill of these athletes, we should acknowledge their greatest asset, one not evident unless you're aware of it – their mental stamina.
It takes an extraordinary amount of talent to live up to the same standard of competition, when every muscle and organ in your body is screaming that the heat is just too much.
We have been provided with awe-inspiring entertainment over the past few weeks, and have been shown just what our bodies can be capable of if we persist and train it to do what we want. These athletes have shown us their greatness and should be praised for it!
Annemarie de Villiers is studying sports science and has a dream to be a sports scientist for a professional club. Born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand and tertiary professionally qualified in Melbourne Australia.
Annmarie de Villers' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/annemarie-de-villiers.html