What every serious athlete needs to know
A lot of friends ask me about training. They might ask which sports complement each other the best, or how to build up a certain skill. This blog post is going to address a few of these issues, so I hope you enjoy!The Benefits of Playing Multiple Sport...
A lot of friends ask me about training. They might ask which sports complement each other the best, or how to build up a certain skill. This blog post is going to address a few of these issues, so I hope you enjoy!
The Benefits of Playing Multiple Sports
One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that when you’re playing a bunch of different sports, you need to build up several different muscle groups. Because you can only really focus on a few muscle groups at a time, it’s harder to excel at every kind of sport at once. Instead I think it’s best to just play sports that complement each other.
For example, a friend of mine played soccer and ran cross country in high school. Cross country was great because it built up his endurance so he could run for miles and miles at a time without getting winded. Then during the soccer season he was able to outrun most of the team who had slacked off during the fall season.
Another good example is football players that run track. If you’ve ever seen a football practice, you know that they run a lot of sprints. Since that’s exactly what sprinters do at track practice, this is a perfect way to improve in both sports.
How to Train For Just One Sport
Only like one type of sport? No worries! It’s actually better that way because you can just focus on that one sport year round. Since I only played basketball, I focused a lot on increasing my quickness and vertical.
Things like endurance and speed are important as well, but personally I found being able to take off super fast and jump for those rebounds made the biggest difference.
You probably already know this, but the best way to improve certain skills (like your vertical jump) involves two things- repetition and building muscles. The repetition helps because it gets your body used to the motion.
This trains both your muscles and nerves to respond quickly and do exactly what you want them to do. This also builds up your muscle, but you should do weight training to build muscle further.
Having strong muscles is KEY to just about any sport. A football player who doesn’t build up strong quads won’t be competitive for very long. A basketball player without strong calves probably won’t make it past high school ball, as they can’t jump high enough. This is why any good sports program will incorporate weight training into drills and practices.
A Word of Warning
Even though weight training is very effective, it can also cause serious injury if done incorrectly. Just ask anyone who has tried to lift too much weight without a spotter. Make sure that if you’re using free weights, you always have a spotter nearby in case something goes wrong.
Likewise, always be sure to stretch before a practice or workout. Millions of people pull a muscle every year because they didn’t stretch enough. I know that stretching isn’t fun, but spending 10 minutes stretching is worth the investment!
Home fitness equipment is one of the best ways to stay in shape, JTX cross trainers are great for cardiovascular exercise as they really get your heart pumping but if you prefer something a little more sedate you might want to try experimenting with a power plate.