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No athlete can dominate in their chosen sport without the time, dedication, drive, and knowledge of it inside and out. It’s crucial to train in a way that is specific to an athlete’s goals and specific sport. Since no two sports are alike, no two training programs should be either. However, there are key elements that ring true across the board. The five methods below are universal for all sports and athletes of all levels and allow an athlete the potential to play and compete at the top of their game.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration

The body can only function at peak capacity if given the proper fuel. Staying hydrated to prevent dehydration and the complications that come with it is always a great start. However, all athletes need to take into account their nutrient intake and track their macros to ensure their body is getting exactly what they need to feel as strong or as fast as possible. The best way to go about this is to speak with a nutritionist who specializes in sports nutrition. Then, an athlete can receive a customized nutrition plan to keep them as competitive as possible. 

Compound Movements and Strength Training

The more muscles you use, the more strength you gain. The more muscle strength you have, the better you can perform. Adding compound exercises, such as deadlifts, squats, or power cleans, allows you to target multiple muscle groups at once, making training more effective. Many athletes tend to overfocus on cardiovascular exercises and ignore strength training. However, adding or increasing resistance and weight training can enhance your cardiovascular abilities and build the needed lean muscle to perform to the best of your abilities. 

Active Recoveries and Stretching

Muscles need time to recover after training, so they can rebuild and become stronger. When an athlete decides to ignore the body’s need for rest they run the risk of increased fatigue and overuse injuries that could keep them out of the game. Incorporate stretching and low-intensity recovery programs into workout regimens to maximize the body’s ability to restore itself.

Incorporate Sport Specific Technique Work

While athletes need to be well-rounded for any sport they play, there are always skills they can focus on to make them a force to be reckoned with during a game or competition. The old adage “practice makes perfect” may be cheesy, but it’s true. Find your areas of weakness in the sport you play and discover ways to improve your technique. Practice that movement hundreds of times until it’s not a weakness anymore and move on to another aspect that could use improvement. You’ll soon find yourself with many more strengths and enhanced abilities than your competitors.