Article Written By: Taylor Valentine
Asst. Coach, Centre College
Top 10 Training Tips For Athletic Performance
Training for athletic performance is different for every athlete. Athletes are not cookie cutters; each athlete is another in their way. No matter how much or how little you participate in sports, you should be concerned with your athletic performance. You aren’t just competing with kids in your state, you're competing with kids worldwide.
Athleticism is just as necessary in the gym as outside it. Take the steps needed to maximize your performance in the weight room, on the field, or in the pool. Too many people go through the motions without considering how much better they can do.
The better you train, the more successful you’ll be in your athletic efforts. Don’t train for the show. You need to show and go. You’ll look better, feel better, and kick significantly more butt.
Basic Training Concepts
Whether you are a new exerciser or an elite athlete, it’s essential to be reminded of basic training concepts and get some advice from time to time. Your training time needs to be well-spent to develop your fitness and specific sports skills. Let’s dive into these top 10 training tips for athletic performance.
These basic training concepts are the foundation of the advanced college style training at an EXACT national showcase camp which is unlike any college id camp experience in the country with the largest nationwide network of D1, D2, and D3 college coaches.
1. Match Your Abilities With Your Interests
You must enjoy your training program, or you probably won’t stick with it long enough to see results. Rather than picking a generic program or doing what your friends do, adjust your workout time and intensity, so it fits your lifestyle and your current fitness level and allows you to push yourself as needed.
Most importantly, find a workout routine that meets your personal goals. If you don’t know where to begin, working with a personal trainer is highly recommended. If you’re more advanced, using a personal trainer is a great way to fine-tune your fitness plan.
Training is primarily about consistency and focus. While a technical training program of heart rates, charts, and graphs works for the most dedicated athletes, it may not be necessary for you. If you feel overwhelmed, simplify your training to alternating hard, easy, long, and short workouts and practice skills needed in your sport. Beyond that, try to enjoy your workouts and listen to your body.
Vary your workouts, pace, and intensity to enjoy a well-rounded fitness routine that is less likely to result in burnout or plateaus. Alternate training intensity and time from day to day. No matter what your pace or goal, your training days are.
Even the best training programs will gradually lose efficiency if you don’t vary your routine. This may be fine for those who simply want to maintain fitness or keep healthy, but if you want to improve, you need variation. Ideally, workouts should be modified every month. Cross-training is another excellent way to vary your routine and improve your fitness.
4. Set Realistic Goals
It’s essential to find a balance between what you want and what you can do when you are setting goals for exercise. You may want to put a personal best in every race you enter, but it’s probably unrealistic. Be honest about your current fitness and your potential.
You may want to run a marathon next year, but if you don’t have time to train more than an hour three times per week, that goal is unrealistic. If you're new to a sport or fitness routine, be conservative in your estimates until you know what you can accomplish. Otherwise, you are more prone to injury.
5. Get More H2O
Drinking enough water is critical for your muscles to function optimally during exercise and sports.
“Fascia is aqueous and largely comprised of water, so if an athlete lets himself get dehydrated, it can have huge implications on his performance,” says DeFranco.
“When dehydrated, the sliding surfaces between the fascia and other structures become glued down.”
For high-performance athletes, DeFranco recommends multiplying your body weight times 0.6 to get the number of ounces you should drink each day.
6. Time Your Reset
“Paying attention to rest intervals and allowing full recovery will improve maximal outputs, which enables them (athletes) to operate at the higher level,” says DeFranco.
“Maximal output is the maximal force that you’re able to produce when conditions are optimal. And rest periods must be complete to ensure quality,” he adds.
Let the speed and quality of your athletic performance determine how long you should rest between movements.
7. Fuel Your Body the Right Way
For some, improving athletic performance can be as simple as eating the right foods. Peak athletes are on much stricter diets than your average Joe. To push your body as far as it will go, you need to eat healthy foods at the right time.
It all starts in the morning. Instead of chowing down on sugary cereals and an unhealthy supply of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A hearty breakfast in the morning provides plenty of fuel for your muscles while also giving you the energy to start your day.
8. Train Your Brain
“The mind is the body’s most powerful muscle.”
While the brain technically isn’t a muscle, that powerful saying has a lot of truth. Training your brain is one of the most effective ways to improve your athletic performance and gain an advantage over the competition.
Mental toughness training plays a key role in the camp curriculum at an EXACT Sports national showcase camp which is unlike any college id camp experience in the county.
9. Track and Measure Your Performance During Training
Hard data is an excellent motivator and will let you know how much progress you’re making. You can keep track of your progress for a specific activity or workout. Use that data to set small goals. Before you know it, you’ll be miles ahead of where you were before. Modern technology has made it incredibly easy to measure your performance. Fitness watches can act as an information hub, constantly recording different parameters of your movement.
10. Consider Adding Some Supplements to Your Diet
There’s no shame in introducing supplements to your diet. Sometimes, you can’t get all the essential macronutrients you need from your meals alone. Supplements provide those crucial vitamins and minerals to keep your body functions in check.
You can’t perform well if your system isn’t running optimally. So, supplements are a great way to ensure that you’re as healthy as possible to do what you need to do.
Wrapping up - improving athletic performance doesn’t have to be complicated. The most effective methods are relatively straightforward. Using these tips as the foundation of your training strategy will yield significant results no matter what.