If you’re a passionate athlete, and spend more time thinking about your sport of choice than you’d like to admit to your friends and family, then you’ll know it’s as much about being better than yourself as it is about being better than other players. If you’re finding it hard to meet the milestones you want to, here are a few tips to becoming a much better athlete.
Set Yourself an Example
It’s great to be a shining example to other people, but when you’re trying to hone your performance of a certain sport, it’s also very important to be an example to yourself. After all, you’re the one role model you’ll always, always be able to measure yourself against! Quit making excuses and pursuing your goals in half-steps. Be the person you want to be! Believe in your ideal strongly enough, act it out regularly, and soon enough it will become a reality. If you want to be one of those people who wakes up at 6AM and starts the day with a great session, then set your alarm, and do it. The more you can go above what you think you’re capable of, the more it will become part of the norm.
I’m sure you’ve discovered by now that there’s a big difference between “showing up” and “being present”. This is why you come away from some sessions with a mind that’s buzzing with tips and new information, and others where you may as well have never had a session! Whether it’s a practice match of the game you live and breathe for, or an extra session of speed and agility training squeezed into your Sunday morning, try your best to stay focussed and really stay present in your training. If it’s going to help with your game, then it deserves your full, undivided attention! Yes, I know it’s much easier to simply turn up, tune out, and go through the motions. However, the more you can bring yourself to the session the more you will learn – about yourself, about the maneuver you’re trying to master, and about the theory of the sport as a whole.
A lot of coaches would scoff at this tip. Traditionally, the coach is the thinker, and the athlete they’re training is the doer. However, this kind of attitude can hold everyone back, not least of all you, the sportsman. While everyone develops differently and for some people it’s easier to be told what to do, if you get too used to having that coach’s voice in your ear, you’re always going to need to be told what to do! Keep on turning up to sessions with your coach, but don’t make the grave mistake of blindly following whatever they happen to say. Make sure you understand each exercise they’re guiding you through, what it’s doing, how it will improve your game, and therefore how valuable it is to you as an athlete. Keep on questioning, and you’ll find the perfect regimen eventually.