Athletes, by virtue of being naturally competitive, are always on the lookout for constant improvement and peak physical performance. These thoughts pervade the average athlete’s consciousness: how do I mould myself into an elite athlete? What makes them exceptional? Do they have a secret formula or does everything boil down to training? Today, Team Azani delves into the various ways in which one can transform into a better athlete.
A common misconception doing the rounds is that professional athletes have all the time in the world to train and recover, as they do not have to juggle day jobs with their sports career. That’s actually quite untrue, as most professional athletes do work full-time jobs, and balance their training regimes along with their regular work. In fact, it is harder for the professional athlete to dedicate most of their time to betterment, as they are occupied with other professional commitments.
Now that is cleared up, it is important to understand what sets elite athletes apart. Elite athletes follow different structures when it comes to their training process, and gain experience in relevant fields in order to strengthen various aspects of their performance. Apart from effective training methodologies, exceptional athletic performance is also dependent on:
- circumstances in life at a certain point in time
- mental health and mindset
- the kind of sports gear worn during training/performance
Let us look at some ways in which you can transform into a better athlete.
1. Commence with Rock-Solid Foundations
Most amateur players tend to overlook the foundation, which might appear fickle and relatively unimportant, but is, in fact, an integral part of athlete success. Things such as aerobic base-building sessions, basic yoga postures, conditioning, injury-prevention and strength-building exercises are extremely important for laying the right kind of foundation for an athlete’s growth. While such low-intensity workouts may appear “easy”, they are essential for developing resistance to intense fatigue and providing significant fitness boosts while training.
2. Discipline Does Wonders
A fixed workout schedule is a seminal part of every athlete’s daily routine. In case longer durations are not possible, try and carve out 30 minutes from your daily routine and commit to it. Everyday. Even though you end up missing a few sessions due to untoward circumstances, the lull of the routine will help you get back on track. Here, consistency is key.
3. Sleep Should Be a Priority
Apart from being a mandatory part of human functioning, sleep helps immensely in recovery. It stimulates muscle tissue repair, imparts a calming effect on the nervous system and normalizes internal processes. You do not have to necessarily sleep for 8-9 hours daily - what matters is you obtain a good 6 hours of truly deep, restorative sleep.
4. Figure Out Your Goal and Stick to It
While ambition is the seed for success, it is necessary to tackle things one step at a time. It is crucial to have a long-term goal in mind, wherein you have a rough idea of what kind of athlete you aspire to be in the next 5-10 years. Once you figure it out, stick to it - focus on actualizing the goal, in small, subtle ways. It can be in the form of a workout, wherein you’re in your ultra shorts and performance shoes and you push yourself further than usual. This will allow you to gain clarity and steer you towards the direction you wish to explore.
5. Keep a Flexible and Open Mind
In short, mindset matters. Successful athletes are always hungry for constructive criticism and feedback. Also, at the same time, they are flexible to constant change, while carrying out consistent research and varying approaches for improvement. The best way to nurture an open mind is to listen to different perspectives, and take inspiration from the best. A humble attitude and a go-getter mindset help amateur athletes go a long way and belt out terrific, sustainable performance in the long run.
Are you ready to be an elite athlete? Azani is here with you, every step of the way.