Anyone can play sports, but only the very best can reach the top and, above all, remain over the years. Who are these outliers? And what does it take for an everyday athlete to improve athletic performance?
They are the ones we watch on our screens at the Olympics, the ones we marvel at as they set world records and write themselves in history. We all have our role models, those with a backstory that inspires us or the advice that motivates us. It could be a lifelong legend, someone who retired years ago, or it could be a modern competitor flying the flag for their country around the world.
What sets these athletes apart from the rest of the field? We are all born more or less the same, so what can we learn from the best of the best that applies to us that will help us perform better? Can we find hints and tips hidden in the words of the greats?
Indeed, we can, and here’s a selection to help you on your quest to become the best version of yourself.
Carl Lewis – Athletics & Field
Carl Lewis is a true Olympic hero, he won nine gold medals in an illustrious career between 1979 and 1996. He also won eight golds at the World Championship, so he understands exactly what it takes to reach the top when it comes to the improving athletic performance.
In a recent interview, he explained the most important advice he gives to young athletes. “I’ve always tried to tell them to focus on the basics,” he said. “They don’t change. Hard work, rest and supervised nutrition – those are the things you can easily control.” That’s a great tip for improving athletic performance – get the basics down to just being the best you can be, starting with elements like nutrient density and hard work.
Serena Williams – tennis
Serena Williams may go down in history as the greatest tennis player of all time – both among the men and women. Her achievements in the sport are simply astonishing, but the main highlights are 23 major singles championships, 14 major doubles championships (alongside her sister Venus), an Olympic gold medal in singles and three such medals in doubles. In addition, the “eye test” revealed that in her prime, Williams was one of the most physically ruthless athletes compared to her competition we’ve ever seen.
However, what’s fascinating about Williams in regards to performance tips is that she keeps things fairly simple! The tennis star shared her two “non-negotiable strategies,” which involved drinking a gallon of water every day and turning her brain off for a short time. These strategies help Williams stay mentally balanced and physically energized, and while we may not all be able to follow her tennis training regimen or her strict vegan diet, these are strategies anyone can follow.
Usain Bolt – track & field
Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt is arguably the greatest sprinter of all time. CBS explains how Bolt is responsible for a drought in Team USA’s 100m and 200m gold records, despite hitting nine out of 12 in the two decades before. Indeed, a Bwin article on the greatest track and field nations of all time shows that he won six gold medals in those events alone, giving him a total of eight medals.
When talking about improving athletic performance, it’s worth heeding his advice. “The more relaxed you are, the smoother and faster you run,” said the current 100m world record holder, who is known for being relaxed. “Your muscles get tight when you’re tense,” he added. Unshakable faith can also help you relax; how you achieve it isn’t relevant, but if Bolt says it’s important, it probably is.
Training heart rate zone
Do you have questions about heart rate training? Need help with your new & fancy sports watch? Ready to take your training to the next level?
Abby Wambach – football
Abby Wambach retired from football in 2015 as one of the greatest women the sport has ever played. She was a collegiate national champion, a World Cup champion, six-time American Footballer of the Year and in 2012 she was named FIFA World Player of the Year. At the time of her retirement, Wambach’s 184 goals in international competition represented a record (though it has since been surpassed by Christine Sinclair).
Over the course of her decorated career and in its aftermath, Wambach has shed countless nuggets of wisdom for athletes and people in general. But her best piece of advice for improving athletic performance is perhaps the simplest: “Turn failure into fuel.”
LeBron James – basketball
With four NBA Championships, four NBA Finals MVPs, four league MVPs and 17 All-Star appearances to his credit, LeBron James appears on a relentless quest to surpass Michael Jordan as the popular choice for basketball’s Greatest Of All Time (GOAT). ). Whether he gets there or not will be debated for decades, but his status as one of the greatest players of all time is beyond dispute. James has achieved this status through an almost unprecedented combination of skills and abilities. However, he’s also about as fit and healthy an athlete as we’ve seen.
James is known to work tirelessly to optimize his lifestyle, and according to some reports, he can spend as much as $1 million each off-season on nutrition and conditioning. But the guy who might one day become the GOAT of basketball also practices the little things. Just a few years ago, for example, he revealed on The Tim Ferriss Show that he prioritizes eight hours of sleep every night to maintain the energy he needs to perform. It’s extremely simple, but it’s something most of us tend to fall short of in our busy lives.
Elaine Thompson-Herah – Athletics
A five-time Olympic champion, 29-year-old Thompson-Herah is the fastest woman in the world and the second fastest in history. She has won golds in the 100 and 200 meters at the last two Olympics, becoming the first woman in history to do the “sprint double”, and only the second athlete to achieve it after Bolt. In fact, she has run the 100 meters four of the top 10 times ever, an astonishing feat. She has no training tips, but urges runners to avoid disappointment. “Disappointment makes you better and stronger,” she said in a recent interview. “I’ve learned how to use disappointment to motivate me, keep working hard, and get better.”
There you go; the next time you finish behind a personal best or lose a race, use that as motivation for the next challenge.
Also read: 5 inspiring female athletes and their powerful life stories
Tom Brady – American Football
Finally, there’s NFL quarterback Tom Brady, who is redefining what it means to “brave daddy time” in the sport. Brady started out as a quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is now 44 years old — well above the age at which most career quarterbacks have retired. He currently holds seven Super Bowl titles, five Super Bowl MVPs, and three league MVP seasons, and is well positioned to compete for one more championship. Brady recently mused that he could play until he’s 50 years old, and frankly, it’s hard to doubt him! As for how he does it, Brady is arguably one of a kind.
That said, he’s been open about some of his success strategies, even going so far as to package them and label them as the “TB12 method.” Those strategies largely focus on diet and exercise, but also involve various mental approaches that can help improve athletic performance, such as maintaining flexibility, focusing on weaknesses over strengths, and controlling your posture. However, the best advice of all could be Brady’s approach to setbacks and roadblocks. “You can make life a lot harder on yourself by focusing on negative things that come your way or making excuses for why things didn’t go your way,” he writes. It’s a point about overcoming adversity that we should all remember, in sports or elsewhere.
Alina Oliver is an aspiring sports blogger with a passion for following those at the top of their game. She hopes her articles inspire other people to aim high. In her spare time she plays tennis.
Did you find this information useful? Share the post with others using the buttons below.
Are you looking for top condition? Or are they preparing for a specific adventure? Maybe you want to develop a more resilient mindset and integrate training into a busy lifestyle? Whatever your goals, I can help you develop a balanced training plan and coach you to reach your full potential. Get in touch through this page and let’s get started.
This post Improve Athletic Performance With These Insider Tips From Elite Athletes was original published at “https://theathleteblog.com/tips-to-improve-athletic-performance/”