Sports Performance Training: Taking Care of Your Muscles
Athletes log tough workouts, long runs and difficult games multiple times in a single week. Throw in practices in between matches, and it's very easy to damage or strain your muscles.
One of the best ways to take care of your muscles, and your mindset, is by adding performance training to your routine.
Sports performance training may sound similar to most basic fitness programs, but there is a big difference between the two that could determine whether or not an athlete achieves their potential. Basic fitness programs are designed to improve overall fitness. Sports performance training programs are designed to improve each athlete's skills in their specific sport.
5 Reasons Every Athlete Should Include Sports Performance Training In Their Routine
- Targeted workouts - Workouts are created for each athlete with their sport in mind. Different sports place different demands on the body. A trainer will develop a regimen for you that will prepare you to excel in your sport.
- Fine-tuned technique - Contests are won by fractions of an inch or hundredths of a second. Sports performance training focuses on developing techniques for your sport that will give you the extra edge.
- Conscious recovery - Sometimes the best way to recover after a challenging game or competition is to workout. A trainer knows how to balance recovery workouts with competition schedules to optimize your performance and keep your muscles and joints healthy.
- Avoiding injury - Training primes the muscles and joints used in competition. If an athlete's muscles and joints have been specifically conditioned to participate in their sport, risk of injury is reduced.
- Increased confidence - Time spent on athletic performance enhancement builds an athlete's confidence. When an athlete has experienced the targeted demands of a sports-specific workout and honed their skills, they will have confidence to achieve the challenge before them and will be mentally prepared to compete.
What kinds of benefits can athletes see when participating in sports performance training?
Aside from overall improved levels of competition in their dedicated sport, athletes who include sports performance training in their workouts typically see athletic increases in power, endurance, core strength, vertical jump, overall strength, speed/agility, and flexibility.
How are muscles specifically impacted by sports performance training?
Sports performance training enhances muscle flexibility and strength. Muscle strength is crucial when it comes to athletics and has benefits beyond just being strong. Research shows that greater muscle strength is related to better force-time characteristics that improve an athlete's overall performance. Greater muscle strength is associated with increased ability of overall sports skills including sprinting, jumping and changing direction. Increased muscle strength is also credited with reducing risk of injury. Improving muscular strength through sports performance training improves your overall athletic ability.
How old do you have to be to participate in sports performance training?
Sports performance training can help all athletes, from the budding middle school basketball player to the elite college runner. Participation in sports only continues to increase, creating a growing field of competition for every athlete. An estimated 60 million youth between the ages of six and 18 are involved in some form of organized athletics. Sports performance training can keep young athlete's growing bodies healthy and give them the edge they need to compete at the next level.