What Does It Mean To “Train Like An Athlete”?

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One of the most important things to consider when learning to train like an athlete is that the demands are not all physical.

There are a few things to be aware of as you work to become the best athlete you can be. 

The Top Three Aspects Of Training Like An Athlete

The physical side of training like an athlete improves muscle mass, strength, body composition, bone health, coordination, movement, balance, and an overall sense of athleticism.

Training like an athlete centres around sports-specific movements—with a steady diet of regimented gym time—but not having the mindset of an athlete is where most fall short.

#1 – Mindset

An aspect integral to athlete training is embracing the programmed failure that you will inevitably encounter along the way. Hours and hours of defeat and frustration in the gym, in practice, and on the field will, eventually, pave a road to success – helping to heighten your awareness and concentration.

Nobody likes to fail, of course.

But with the right attitude and approach, failing enough times can help bring about a calmer, more logical mindset. In addition, experience dealing with failure will propel you to persevere and overcome obstacles previously perceived as impossible. 

It may seem frustrating at first, but the mindset of an athlete can be conditioned to reach a level of concentration that emphasises calm breathing, being present, and living in the moment. 

The importance of being present, as you own the process of achieving greatness – can also be said about accepting and overcoming defeat.

If you don’t strive to be the one who wants to take the game-winning shot because you’re scared to fail, then you haven’t yet fully cultivated the calm, collected mindset of a pro athlete.

#2 – Goals

Experienced coaches will work with athletes and take the appropriate steps to set short-term and long-term goals.

The SMART approach is taking the time to plan out your goals – including everything you hope to accomplish. Then, as you set and begin to chip away at your short-term benchmarks, you will discover important things about yourself and what it takes to achieve each goal. This process will give athletes a sense of control, enforcing positive self-direction. In addition, setting and meeting goals will help athletes gain confidence, enhancing their ability to succeed. 

The bottom line is simple: becoming a great athlete requires setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely – for both the short-term and long-term.

But remember: with the right mindset, every failure along the way can become a stepping stone for greatness—as you move through your short-term goals and begin to reach long-term stretch goals.

To reach your full potential – and become an unshakable athlete – you’ll want to use this process and embrace the successes and the failures. 

#3 – Sleep & Nutrition

Another thing to note about training like an athlete is to focus on the 24-hour-day. 

This notion is important because you are not just an athlete when you’re on the field or at practice; you’re an athlete from the time you go to bed to when you wake up and through every meal you ingest to nourish your body.

Sleep replenishes you after a long hard day, and it can recalibrate you – providing an opportunity for the body to repair, rebuild, and recover. Likewise, your diet fuels you for performance, giving you strength and assisting in muscle tissue growth and repair – readying you to attack the day and prepare for the next one.

Getting the right amount of sleep, and taking in the right kind of food, are two of the most commonly overlooked aspects of training by eager young athletes.

When busy schedules demand every waking moment, we are prone to missing those much-needed meals—and much-needed sleep.

Final Thought

By paying attention to all these factors—from cultivating a positive mindset to setting goals to improve your on-field performance—you can embody the spirit of what it truly means to train your mind and body like an athlete.