As someone who grew up playing sports, I have always been fascinated by the pursuit of excellence. Whether it was in basketball, football or soccer, I would go to great lengths to improve my game. I remember spending countless hours reading books and articles on sports psychology and competition strategy in an effort to become the best player I could be. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t dribble or shoot a ball well; what mattered was that I wanted to become a great player.
This desire for excellence is universal among athletes. However, what makes some people more successful than others is their philosophy of how an athlete should prepare for competition. If you want to become the best you can be from a mental, technical and physical standpoint you need to possess specific beliefs about sports success and how it should manifest itself throughout your training cycle. Here are my top 5 tips on developing a successful philosophy as an athlete.
Athletes need to be mentally tough
If you want to be successful as an athlete you must be mentally tough. Mental toughness is a collection of psychological attributes that allow athletes to thrive in adverse conditions. In other words, it’s the quality of mind that allows you to keep going in the face of hardship. It’s not easy, but it is possible to train the mind to be mentally tough.
The key is to use mental training techniques, such as visualization, to help cultivate the mental toughness needed to be a successful athlete. Mental training can be as simple as getting into a routine of visualizing yourself performing your best and competing with confidence. If you’re having trouble visualizing things, try getting yourself into a zone where you feel relaxed and focused at the same time.
Athletes need to be technically sound
Technically sound is defined as having a basic understanding of the game of baseball, football, volleyball, basketball, hockey, or soccer. For example, a soccer player doesn’t have to know how to hit a baseball or golf ball, they just have to know the rules and technicalities of the sport.
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Technical ability is a combination of skill, strength, and fitness. Therefore, technical soundness can only be achieved through hard work and practice. Technical skills can be developed through training with the intention of improving it. Technical fitness can be improved by using training techniques, such as soft-tissue work and stretching, that increase the movement of muscles and tendons. Therefore, technical ability is a combination of technical skill and technical fitness.
Athletians need to be physically fit
Fitness is the ability to perform physical activities at a high level, for a long period of time, and with a low risk of injury. In other words, it’s the capacity to perform without pain or fatigue. Physical fitness is a broad term that can be separated into three components: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, and speed/power. Cardiorespiratory endurance can be developed through training that focuses on breathing and metabolic work.
Muscular strength and power can be developed through training that incorporates heavy weights, and light weights with high reps and explosive movement or through training that focuses on proprioception (knowing where your body is in space). Therefore, physical fitness is a combination of cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, and power.
You can’t win without good coaching and training partners
Coaching is the art and science of helping athletes achieve their goals. In many sports, such as football and basketball, two coaches are responsible for the development of a team. Therefore, there needs to be an alliance between a coach and athlete. In order to be successful, athletes need to believe that their coach has their best interests at heart. They need to trust that the coach knows what they need to do to reach their goals.
Athletes also need to have a group of training partners that they trust and have chemistry with. In many sports, athletes play with the same group of training partners each year. However, each year you need to select new training partners that you can trust and align with on a deeper level. Coaching, training partners, and chemistry are three of the most important things to achieving success in any field.
Sports Success Requires Persistence and Self-Improvement
Success is a relative term that means different things to different people. For instance, some people may look at success as making a lot of money, while others may be satisfied with winning a few tournaments every year. Regardless of what people mean by success, there are certain qualities that all successful people possess. Successful athletes are persistent and self-disciplined.
They are committed to improving their performance and rarely give up. Successful people also know how to take care of themselves and to put their needs before the needs of others. Successful athletes might drink too much water instead of having a few beers with friends on a Friday night.
That is self-discipline. Successful athletes also are not afraid to try new things and to make mistakes. Self-improvement is a way of life for successful athletes. It involves constantly working to improve your skills and to become a better person. You need to be willing to learn from your mistakes and to listen to constructive criticism with an open mind.
Every sport has its own special way of being successful. However, the tips provided above can be applied by athletes from any sport. So, don’t let the challenge of a new sport intimidate you. Instead, use these tips as a means of empowering yourself on an internal level. This will help you to acquire the knowledge you need to succeed as an athlete, regardless of the field you choose to pursue.