What’s the best way Vincentian athletes can train for elite-level sports?
The most important thing as an athlete is commitment, to both your sport and yourself. If your goal is to reach high levels of performance and physical achievement, you need to realize that you likely will not get there with a part-time commitment.
A largely misunderstood aspect of athletic development is sports-specific training. Vincentians should not follow the path of modern North American and European athletes, where overspecialization is the focus of all training, particularly in early ages. The repercussions of too much sports-specific training are only now surfacing, and the world is seeing athletes who are supposed to be in their prime suffering from debilitating, career-ending injuries, those which would have rarely been seen so early (if ever) in an athlete’s career 20 to 30 years ago.
One of the key reasons for why this injury epidemic exists is because modern lifestyle weakens the human body, and young people are less and less exposed to elements that help build a strong body.
Joints deprived of natural movement and cells deprived of proper and natural nutrition, results of adopting a lifestyle of convenience, contribute to weakness in the structure. When you start sports-specific training without re-engineering the body to handle the physical demands of a sport, it is a question of when and not if an injury is on the horizon.
Sport-specific training will prepare you for the technical aspects of a game or event, but of equal importance is how you cultivate a healthy body and mind. You need to prioritize achieving peak physical health if you have an aspiration to compete at an international level. This means all of your free time should be devoted to training, recovery, nutrition, and physical preparation. Leave the liming, drinking, and smoking for people who don’t have the commitment to be an athlete.
Once you have the bases covered on athletic preparation and sports-specific requirements, then you will be well-positioned to enhance your athletic creativity and style. What separates great athletes like Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan from other high-performing peers is their next-level creativity, improvisation, and full involvement in their sport.
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