If you’re a serious athlete, you are most likely always working to improve your sports performance. Working out daily, doing practice drills, and following your coach’s instructions are all ways to become a better athlete and improve your performance in your sport. But what else can you do in addition to that?
A few minor changes to your routine can make a big difference. Try these simple tips to make new strides in your sports performance.
It Starts in Your Mind
As an athlete, your main focus is likely on your physical abilities: how fast you can run, how high you can jump, how agile you are, and the other specific skills your sport requires. But don’t forget about your mental state. You need to have the right attitude in order to improve. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities. And you have to be willing to push yourself when the time is right.
You can also train your brain to think faster so that you can react quicker on the field. Study plays and strategies, use mantras to help you remember things, keep a beat in your head to stay on the right rhythm. These are all mental strategies that can help you improve your physical performance.
Track Your Progress During Workouts
There’s no better motivator than seeing real improvements in your progress. The changes may be subtle, but shaving a few seconds off your running time or completing extra reps during weight training are signs of improvement that can help you see that your efforts are paying off. When you know that your hard work is actually helping you get better, it’s much easier to keep working hard.
There are a variety of tracking wearables, such as fitness watches, that can collect data while you move and create a visual representation of the data that you can see through an app. These devices make tracking your progress easy and are a great motivator.
Stay Well Hydrated
You’re probably well aware of the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated throughout the day and especially during workouts. But how much water you drink and what time of day you drink it makes a big difference. Most health experts suggest drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, someone who weighs 150 lbs would drink 75 ounces of water.
Does that mean you should chug 75 ounces of water right before your workout or sports practice? No, because you’ll likely make yourself nauseous. Sip water gradually throughout the day so that you don’t have too much in your stomach at any given time. Drink water in small amounts during your workout or practice, then drink more afterwards. Be careful you don’t drink too much water, which can do more harm than good.
Eat a Performance-Based Diet
Not everyone should eat the same number of calories each day. A serious athlete that trains for hours each day may require a bit more food than someone who doesn’t. But it’s not just about how much food. What kinds of foods you eat matter more.
Athletes need complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoid processed sugar, fried foods, and preservatives. Opt for all natural foods whenever possible, such as organic vegetables, non-GMO meats, and whole grains.
Try Professional Strength Conditioning
If you really want to improve your athletic performance, you may want to elicit some professional training. Strength conditioning by a sports medicine clinic or a physical therapy center can help you to strengthen certain parts of your body that may be weak for some reason. Whether you need to improve your upper body strength, lower body strength, core stability, or other areas, a sports training facility can help with that.
You don’t have to have suffered an injury to get help from a sports medicine or physical therapy clinic. Trainers and therapists can teach you exercises and strategies to improve your ability in ways you never thought possible. Professional help can make all the difference when it comes to achieving your goals.
Improve Your Sports Performance With Help From Matawan Physical Therapy
If you’re looking for ways to improve your performance as an athlete, Matawan Physical Therapy offers a strength conditioning program that can help you achieve your goals. Our programs are custom designed to address your specific needs in order to help you make progress in your sport or across many athletic endeavors.
Call (732) 970-7894 today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you reach your athletic goals through strength conditioning.