On the field, track, or in the gym, performance is everything. So, it is no surprise that virtually every athlete involved in competitive sports is looking to improve their performance in significant ways. Having the edge on an opponent could mean the difference between winning the game, or not. It could mean earning a more prestigious metal than a competitor in an event. Whatever your reason for greater performance happens to be, the following sports therapy techniques could help you to take your game to that next level.
Work with a Sports Oriented Physical Therapist
While it might be common knowledge that a physical therapist can help a person recover from a sports injury, what may not be so well known is that a physical therapist might also help to improve an athlete's overall performance. It is important to consider that different sports may require different physical skill sets. For example, a college football workout plan might be different from a triathlon workout plan. Depending on your goals, a physical therapist may be able to help pinpoint areas of muscle weakness that may be hindering an athlete's performance. They might also be able to introduce methods used in sports physical therapy for addressing these performance weaknesses to turn them into performance strengths over time.
Avoiding Muscle Strain
Muscle strain is a common cause of low or impaired athletic performance. One way to avoid issues with muscle strain is to utilize muscle relaxation techniques such as massage therapy. By loosening up tight muscles, before and after an event, an athlete might have better blood flow to muscle tissues.
Sometimes an athlete needs to be educated in lifestyle changes which help to prevent future injuries. Preventing injury is one of the best ways to keep the body strong and help with consistent athletic progress. This area of sports therapy can involve any lifestyle change from improving posture to not overworking certain muscle groups, for example.
Diet and Nutrition
As an athlete, you should begin to understand that diet and nutrition are key elements to deriving the energy necessary for higher levels of performance. Your muscles cannot give their all if halfway through an event your body is experiencing metabolic distress. Learning to cut back on certain foods and increasing others, such as switching out fast burning carbs for slower burning saturated fats, can make a huge difference in your body's sustained metabolic performance. This is especially the case when involved in physically demanding events like long-distance running.
Get Your Head in It
It is not enough to simply work on the body when improving performance. The body is only as functional as the mind driving it. If your head is not in the game or the event, then you might not push your body to perform at the level it needs to maintain a winning edge. Developing a mindset that helps improve your performance could be key to having a strong mental fortitude. Knowing what motivates you to go that extra mile and to be more alert could be a central pillar to developing a mind and a body.
Source: Fremont College School of Wellness