16 habits that increase sports performance

Different aspects are involved in sport: diet and training, as well as what happens in our heads. Keep reading and we will tell you how you can manage these factors in your favor.

Last update: 04 October, 2022

There are different habits to increase sports performance. This includes paying attention to aspects such as food, training and what goes on in our minds.

In general terms, athletic performance can be defined as the relationship between the media employees and the result obtained, also taking into account previous performances. In other words, we must also observe if we improve with respect to what we have been doing.

Next, the best 16 habits that will make you progress in your favorite sport.

1. Adequate nutrition

For all the people, maintaining a balanced diet is synonymous with health. In particular, there are foods that are essential to include in the diet of athletes, since they supply them with the necessary nutrients to increase their sports performance.

Among these we have the following:

  • Proteins: mainly fish, chicken or turkey. To a lesser extent, red meat should be consumed. Other sources of protein to consider are eggs, dairy and legumes.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: vegetables and fruits.
  • carbohydrates: They are the energy source par excellence.

2. Adapted diet

Since the level of physical demand of a high-performance athlete is greater, their diet must often be adapted to the type of activity and caloric expenditure. According to research, the total protein intake for an athlete should account for 10-15% of the total; although this has to be calculated per kilogram of body weight and according to the discipline.

On the other hand, regarding the consumption of carbohydrates, it is also necessary to consume foods such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. This will help maintain glycogen levels, which is how glucose is stored.

For a long-distance runner or cyclist, who must compete for hours, carbohydrate intake should be higher than for a baseball player. To mention an example.

Cyclists need high doses of depot carbohydrates to withstand the long demands of their rides.

3. Meal times

Meal times should be adapted to training or competitions, so that digestion does not interfere with practice. This would happen if we eat a copious or abundant meal, high in fat and protein, on the eve of a competition. It is better to resort to easy-to-digest foods.

On the other hand, during long competitions, some athletes tend to consume foods such as bananas or dried fruits, as well as other sources of carbohydrates. This will depend on tolerance, of course.

Likewise, after a strong training session or the competition itself, glycogen replenishment should be done, with meals that are high in fast-absorbing carbohydrates. Easily digestible proteins are also recommended.

4. Maintain the correct weight

This might seem strange if we are talking about athletes. Nevertheless, people may have a tendency to gain weight, even if they are highly competitive athletes. A case that is always remembered is that of the Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo, whose overweight affected his knees.

Therefore, you should try to maintain the correct weight, according to the discipline. A weightlifter must sometimes gain mass, especially for a competition. On the other hand, in a long-distance runner, the extra kilos will reduce his performance in the marathon.

5. Sufficient hydration

If we talk about habits that increase sports performance, we must not forget this important aspect. With the dehydration performance is affected and even increases the risk of injury.

In this regard, we are always told that we must hydrate well before, during and after exercising. This means drinking enough water, as well as replenishing salts that are lost in sweat, such as sodium and potassium.

In particular, we have to pay attention to hydration when we exercise outdoors and temperatures are high. You don’t have to wait to feel thirsty.

As for the amounts, it is estimated that you should drink at least half a liter of water per hour of exercise. But this varies with the activity: a baseball player does not lose the same as a tennis player.

6. Never overtrain

Training is always the key to success in sport. But overtraining will not lead us to further increase performance, If not the opposite.

There are various situations that happen in the body when training is exceeded:

  • Muscle cramps.
  • Higher level of exhaustion.
  • Hormonal disturbances occur.
  • Increases the possibility of injury.
  • The body’s immune response is affected.

7. Rest and recovery

Between each exercise we must always make the corresponding pause. We must not overload the muscles.

Likewise, if a day off corresponds to the activity plan, we must give the body its time. Remember that rest is part of training.

This includes getting a good night’s sleep. For an athlete, who has a high physical expenditure, proper sleep hygiene is one of the most important habits that increase sports performance.

8. Pay attention to your body

When something is not working well and a lot of fatigue is experienced, the body shows signs what to pay attention to. Among these are the following:

  • dizziness
  • Headaches.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Missed period.
  • emotional disturbances.
  • Muscle or joint pain.

Given these signs, it is necessary to stop training and go to the doctor. It is better to waste a few days recovering than to ruin a sports career.

9. Gradual increase: realistic goals

When drawing up a training plan to increase our sports performance, we must consider gradual progress and realistic goals that are within our reach. This means, for example, that if we have been running 5 kilometers a day, we should not suddenly increase it to 20.

Likewise, if our average in that distance is 30 minutes, to mention a figure, we can’t pretend to cut time in half overnight. Yes we can manage to improve a couple of minutes; then others more; but gradually.

10. Work on the technical aspects

We can have great natural abilities, but we must know how to channel them. In this sense, each sport has its technical aspects that we must work on and improve.

Among the various examples we can mention the following:

  • The balance of the body in golf.
  • The way to hold the racket in tennis.
  • The way to stand and strike in boxing.
  • The movement of the wrist and elbow when shooting in basketball.

Only by training and training, constantly, will we master the body and the technique.

11. Pay attention to the coach

To achieve improvement in the technical part, we must pay attention to those who know how to do it best. In this case, we talk about the functions of the coach. He not only knows what he does, but can observe aspects of us that we do not see when we train or compete.

12. Discipline, perseverance and commitment

Of course, discipline and perseverance must be part of our habits to increase sports performance. This goes for professional and amateur athletes alike.

If we train irregularly, one day yes and two days no, if we do not comply with what is outlined in the plan, it will be difficult to see the results. Therefore, the level of commitment to practice and, in particular, to training is important.

13. Positive thinking and motivation level

in sports practice not everything is a matter of the body. mind counts too. In fact, psychological skills are always talked about.

Perhaps this could be one of the factors that explains the difference in results between two athletes with the same level of training. There is the motivational aspect, the hunger for triumphas it is said metaphorically.

During the competition we can experience fears and doubts. But you have to have faith that we have done everything necessary. We must believe that our training will pay off.

The motivation is to make a difference in all areas of life. Sports is no stranger to it.

14. Stress management before the competition

With a view to a competition, one of the biggest enemies can be the level of stress tolerance in athletes. Fear, the fear of failing, doubts… There are many things that go through our heads and that can make us lose concentration.

It is even possible that the night before, anxiety itself prevents us from sleeping. You have to learn to manage your emotions.. It is one of the main habits to increase sports performance.

15. Evaluate results and manage frustration

The results will not always be in our favor. The other competitor has also prepared. And sometimes, competition is defined by a factor in which chance can intervene.

Nevertheless, you have to learn from each experience, not be overcome by frustration, analyze what went wrong and, above all, be able to overcome it. We all fall down sometime. The important thing is to get up and continue.

16. Fun and distraction

To prevent stress from affecting us too much, from time to time it is good to disconnect a little, to have fun and be distracted. Of course, that should not mean missing training or competitions.

Similarly, you have to have fun in moderation, limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, as well as junk food and avoiding risky situations. The idea is to rest, not to spoil everything we have built.

The formula for success

In each athlete the balance is different in terms of physical, technical, tactical and psychological factors. They do not exist exact or infallible formulas to achieve success

What there are are good habits that increase sports performance. These are the tools that are within our reach and that we must know how to handle, to always give our best, in training or in competition.

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