For some time now, I have become very interested in improving athletic performance, not only for my athletes, but also for myself. In order to take on this task, I first have to define what a great athlete is for me. Okay, so what makes a great athlete?
Goal Setting for Improving Athletic Performance
In order to be great at anything you first must have a plan, and in order to have a plan you first must have a dream. Dreams are important because they set our path, but dreaming alone won’t get us nowhere. Here is where our goals come in. Goals must be SMART and must have these 5 characteristics:
- Specific- Your goals must reflect exactly what you want. (Example drop 2 seconds off my time.)
- Measurable- You have to be able to quantify your training. “What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get corrected”. If you don’t track your training there is no way in knowing if it is working.
- Attainable- Winning a gold medal when you have just begun practicing a sport is not an attainable goal, but if you are Michael Phelps it is. When creating your goals make sure that they are not to far fetched (they will kill your motivation) or too easily achieved (they won’t produce any motivation). Maintaining motivation is a key factor in becoming an elite athlete. Motivation is the fuel that will keep your motor running.
- Relevant- This is probably the dumbest characteristic of them all, but make your goals have to do with your training or competition. They could be part of your nutrition, weights training, score or what ever else is relevant to your sport.
- Time-bound- Your goals can’t last forever. They must have an expiration date.
A good example of a goal would be, I will drop 2 seconds on my 50 butterfly by December 12.
Coordination for Improving Athletic Performance
I’ll define coordination as the communication between the brain and the body. This communication isn’t always great, which is why we miss baskets in basketball, puts in golf, have unforced errors in tennis, you get the point. Having good coordination helps us, not only become more precise in our movements, but it also helps us make faster decisions. Coordination is related to the amount of circuit wiring in our brain. The more complex and more connections our brain has, the faster and more precise I move. The great thing about our brain is that it can be trained to be more coordinated. We can actually increase the amount of connections in our brain with the right training. Now there are various ways to train coordination, a fun and challenging way is shown in the video below, another and more exhausting way is through TACFIT Warrior.
Try this mean while
Nutrition for Improving Athletic Performance
This is a must, and you would be amazed at how few professional athletes actually take care of their diet. I read a couple weeks ago that Ryan Lochte ate Mc Donald’s 3 meals a day during the Beijing Olympics because he didn’t trust Chinese food. He testifies to having gained 10 pounds during those 15 days- or however long he stayed in China. If you followed the Beijing Olympics Lochte only won a Bronze medal in individual events (won a gold in relays), not very good for a swimmer with such potential.
Food is the fuel that makes our motor run. You can’t expect for an F1 car to run at its best on crappy fuel, so don’t expect the same for your body. Good nutrition plays a vital role in your recovery and capacity to generate tension. As you probably know, muscle grow and adapt due to tension. They can’t distinguish between lifting a clubbell or a pillow, they just know the degree of tension. The more tension you can apply the bigger and stronger they become.
It is important to learn about nutrition especially before and after your training, due to the fact these are the moments in time that will affect your training or competition the most. As a basic rule just eat anything that spoils within a week. Anything else just stays in your body too long and diminishes your results.