The one question that many athletes ask coaches after a poor performance is that of “How do I take my game to the next level?” The answer differs depending on the athlete and the sport they are playing. Every athlete has strengths and weaknesses so identifying both of these is important. Turning weaknesses into strengths is a first step while not impacting your strengths negatively. If an athlete’s speed is their asset but they also need to gain weight or get stronger it has to be done tactfully. Gaining lean weight while testing speed is the perfect way to make sure a strength does not dissipate. The following are ways that you can take your game to the next level.
Video Your Technique
When technology was not as developed the only video that many players got to watch was that of game tape. This could be poor definition which could lead an athlete to think their technique is better than it actually is. With smartphones it is easier than ever to see how you come out of your 3 point stance or how your shot looks. You can slowly improve technique simply by videoing a practice to see how your technique looks especially when you are fatigued. This does not only have to do with your sport technique but you can also make sure that you are doing everything correctly when lifting weights. Something like poor squat form can lead to injury and straining portions of the body that a squat should not. For sports like track or swimming you can see what your stride or stroke rate was as well as how it felt. Small tweaks in technique can make a huge difference in overall performance.
Work With a Nutritionist
Far too many athletes think that because they work out for hours per day that they can eat anything they want. They might be able to keep their flat stomach or muscles but they are not eating for performance. The first thing that you need to discuss with the nutritionist is that of your goals so they can set up the right program that aligns with your goals. Meal prepping might be the best course of action as many athletes are busy and do not have time to cook every single day. Doing a meal prep day once a week can allow you to eat after a workout to maximize recovery and come back even stronger the next day. Ask a coach or another athlete about a nutritionist they recommend as they are not all created equal as some specialize in coaching athletes of specific sports.
There are a large portion of nutritionists that think if you eat correctly there will be no need to take any nutritional supplements. With this being said a majority of professional athletes are on a nutritional program but still use supplements on a daily basis. If you want to find a local store where you can pick the brain of the employee simply do a search of Protein King. The basic supplement stack usually consists of a protein supplement, BCAAs, a multivitamin, and creatine of some kind. Look up reviews online as well as check with your governing body about certain supplements as you do not want to test positive for a banned substance.
Get In A Small Workout On Days Off
Getting in a workout even when you do not have practice will allow you to maximize your reps for the week. Even something like getting up a few hundred shots on an outdoor court can help improve your game. Recovery is important so make sure you do not hit it too hard if you are in season. If you are out of season then making these workouts more intense will be more beneficial. Find a teammate or friend to do this with you as it will make both of you better. Practice your craft every single day and you will start to see better results than if you do it 4 or 5 days a week.
As you can see it is going to take a few tweaks to your routine as well as hard work to take your game to the next level but it is possible!