Whether you are a weekend warrior, an amateur athlete, or looking to become a professional and break into the big leagues, it is always possible to get better at what you do, and simply become a better athlete. There are of course many ways to do this, and although you may know them, it is an entirely different thing to apply them.
That is why it is good from time to time to remind ourselves of how we can improve at the things we are passionate about. Here are five ways to become a better athlete.
Break Bad Habits and Replace Them with Good Ones
We all have bad habits, whether that is as simple as drinking too much coffee to overindulgence in alcohol or even smoking. As an athlete at any level, it is easy to understand why those things are bad for you, but it is hard to stay away from them.
One way to break a habit is to replace it with a new one. Instead of smoking, substitute vaping, or at the least use lower nicotine liquids such as those offered by VapeWild to wean yourself off of tobacco altogether. Substitute a nightly drink of whiskey with flavorful tea or another drink of your choice. Break yourself of caffeine and coffee the same way in the morning.
Replacing any bad habit with a good one can easily accelerate your athletic game.
You Are What You Eat
Fitness and weight loss are 80% about what you eat and only 20% about what you do. This means that in a large part your diet is the real key to becoming a better athlete. The diet you choose will depend a lot on who you are, what shape you are in now, and what your body type is.
For instance, if you are overweight, cutting out carbs or at least eating a low carb diet makes a lot of sense. At the same time, if you are working out, sometimes you will need the energy that comes from carbs unless you have developed a high-protein diet that provides you with enough energy to sustain those workouts.
Choose a diet that is reasonable for you and provides the nutrients your body needs without all of the junk it does not. Watch sugar, complex carbs, bad fats, and excess calorie intake. Stick with it, and if something is not working, feel free to change it up.
What You Do Adds Up
What you do is 20% of your fitness, but that is still a large part. You would not want to operate your car if it was only 80% in shape, so you don’t want to do that for your body either. This means you need to set up workouts that support the athletic endeavor you are trying to do.
For instance, if you are a cyclist, you do not want to bulk up, but you do want to have lean muscle. However, you do want your legs to be strong and have a lot of endurance, so weighted lunges, certain squats, and other exercises in the gym in addition to riding can be key to your exercise routine.
Just because it does not play as large of a role as diet, don’t neglect your exercise plan and your training.
Hire a Trainer
There are probably a lot of things you don’t know about your body and how best to get it into shape. Even if you are an experienced athlete, often a trainer can give you a perspective and workouts to do you may not have thought of.
A trainer also holds you accountable and can help you mix up your routines, so they don’t become dull and your body does not adapt to the same motion and not develop in other areas. You might not need a trainer all the time if you are good at what you do but hiring one every now and then to help you reset is a great idea. Even the best athletes all have trainers, so you should not be any different.
Skipping a day is easy and turns in to skipping a week or even a few weeks at a time. This can be a huge setback to your training. Even skipping leg or arm day can mean you lose muscle mass or a cardio edge you have gained.
Making the gym, your training, and even your diet into habits is essential to being consistent. Although many people will say that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, others say it takes 60 days for harder habits. Stick with it, and be consistent to improve your proficiency as an athlete.
There are many ways to become a better athlete but start with these five simple steps and build from there. Your body, your mind, and your athletic endeavors will thank you.
What are your best tips for training and staying motivated? Leave us a comment with your best advice in the section below.