Whether you are a professional athlete or an amateur one, everyone reaches a bottleneck where it becomes difficult to improve your performance. The days of breaking records every month are long gone and you wonder what went wrong; here are four things you can do as an athlete to break that bottleneck:
Work with a professional
Even as an amateur in your sport, you must surround yourself with professionals for their insight and experience as a well-established coach makes sure that you are not learning new techniques the wrong way. When you try to learn or imitate based on text or video, there are still nuances of your form that you will not notice. An outside perspective is essential in learning the right technique and it can help you nip bad habits at the bud, so if you find that you are not growing with your current coach, try switching to someone new. Their years of experience is useless if you do not get to absorb any of it because of differing styles or teaching techniques.
You should also work alongside a doctor who has experience in the field, as they can help you work old injuries. People like Dr. Kristofer Chaffin help athletes whose bodies have gone under too much stress and prevents further growth. They can also monitor your diet and exercise from a more holistic point of view. Working closely with a doctor is all about improving your fundamentals so in the case you are injured, they know your history well enough to create a seamless recovery routine.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Working hard is not mutually exclusive to spending long hours at the gym since you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which can be hard work in itself. You should follow a diet prescribed by a doctor or nutritionist and stay away from protein powder and other supplements if you do not have a go-ahead from your doctor. Randomly taking supplements does not compensate eating your vegetables and fruits.
Besides a healthy diet, you should also be well-rested meaning getting the right amount of sleep every night and take power naps when you are tried – take your rest days in your training seriously. Without proper sleep and breaks, you are not giving your body enough time to recover which ultimately prevents you from improving.
Have a regular training schedule
A regular training schedule means that you distribute the amount of work you do. Train your endurance and stamina along with techniques needed in your sport and make sure your training schedule covers everything from your arm to leg muscles with rest days in between for recovery. Your schedule should include warm-ups that prep all the muscles you will be using during your training, so don’t skip this step as it’ll make you prone to injury. After every session there should be a cool down routine as well.
Cross-train in a different sport
Another way to add variation to your training is participating in a different sport. Participate here is not just occasionally doing it on the weekends, but training as seriously as you would in your primary sport. Swimming, football, track, and field have rigorous workouts that put a focus on neglected areas.
Stagnation can happen to anyone, not just athletes. Artists and writers experience creative blocks and businesses can fail to grow; the only way out of it is to introduce change and challenge.
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