Performers—which includes all athletes, anyone in the performance arts, and many in business—frequently have packed schedules with no breaks and little chance for sleep or downtime. If this is true for you, you probably have come to realize that your energy is precious. You’ve probably found that it’s not always on tap when you need it—yet you need to keep on performing. It takes an abundant tank of energy to meet life squarely as it unfolds before you, both on and off the competitive field or the performance stage. Greatness happens for those who use their energy efficiently so that, when they’re called on to perform, they can do so at their personal best.

Here is what I observed watching a few of the greatest performers of their time.

When I was a ballet dancer in New York, one day I saw Margot Fonteyn during a daily class at the school run by the American Ballet Theater in Manhattan. This prima ballerina was a beautiful, petite woman who moved gracefully and minimally and who drew no attention to herself. During this class, she stood at the end of the barre, so utterly understated that I almost didn’t see her. She didn’t execute fantastic movements; she did what was necessary—the point of a daily class for dancers—to keep her body in impeccable working order. I was mesmerized. After class, she donned her mink coat, stepped quietly onto the street, and slipped away. Margot Fonteyn’s performances were always perfection. She was breathtaking to behold. She was able to do that because she had no wasted energy.

Another day, I witnessed Mariano Rivera close a game for the New York Yankees. He took the mound in the ninth and finished the game quickly with no extraneous movements, no drama, and no mistakes. Rivera is considered the greatest relief pitcher of all time. It’s said that he knew exactly how many warm-up drills he needed on any given day, and once he got to the mound, there was no wasted effort. He simply got the job done. His catcher, Russell Martin, once said that Rivera was so precise in his delivery that Martin didn’t have to move his glove. No wasted energy.

In observing another baseball giant, Derek Jeter, in batting practice, what I saw were perfect spirals of energy moving through his arms, his hips, and his whole body. His gaze did not waver during the entire session. Again, no energy was wasted.

So, what can you do to consistently replenish your energy in the most natural way?

Once a college athletic team I was working with came to their session with every player dragging their feet. Between their competitive schedule and their classes, they were seriously depleted. I took them through breathing techniques and an hour and a half of deep relaxation yoga postures. At the end of the session, one of the athletes thanked me. “I feel like I’ve just slept for eight hours,” she said. Meditation and yoga are essential in my program for performance readiness.

Energy-enhancing substances are tempting to many who are looking to boost their vitality. Such a solution gives you only an illusion of being energized and performance-ready. In the long run, these substances do not promote resilience and well-being—and some can eventually derail a career.

What else can you do?

I recommend also taking a good look at the ways you allow your energy to drain away in preparation for performance. Where is your focus during your day? Do you talk while warming up or banter with teammates while conditioning is going on? Are you watching a TV screen while you’re on the treadmill? Do you check messages on your phone when you are on the bench during a game?

I was speaking about this topic on a radio show when a top-performing college athlete told me he never talks while he’s doing his bench press. I was very pleased to hear this. This young man understood the value of a silent workout. It’s what I learned years ago when I began practicing yoga.

Being observant of how you put your energy to use is highly advantageous to you. Greatness happens for those who know the value of energy.