How to Be a Good Athlete

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:15
Being a good athlete is about much more than just being great at a sport. There is a mental angle as well, as you prepare your mind and attitude for being the best you can be at your sport. Combining a good mindset with good practice...
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Being a good athlete is about much more than just being great at a sport. There is a mental angle as well, as you prepare your mind and attitude for being the best you can be at your sport. Combining a good mindset with good practice habits and a healthy lifestyle can help you continue to improve your physical ability and become your very best.

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Practicing to be Great

  1. Step 1 Work with a coach.
    You probably know your body and physical skills fairly well, but it is always good to have an outside perspective. Coaches can help you set reachable goals, stay focused on achieving them, and find ways to help you improve if you fall short. There are a variety of coaches that can work with conditioning, technique, and any other aspect of your athleticism and skill level.[1]
    • Another great advantage of coaches is their work on planning your exercises and drills. With a coach, you only need to be concerned with showing up to your session on time, while your coach will have the equipment and schedule ready for you to work on.
  2. Step 2 Create an individual program.
    In order to improve your athleticism, you should focus on improving your particular weaknesses. Practicing with the team is important, but you’ll also want to make sure you set aside time to improve your skills. Mixing up your routine is also a good way to improve your overall performance and decrease the risk of injury. Talk to your coach or trainer about ways to work on your specific weaknesses and develop all facets of your game.[2]
  3. Step 3 Show up on time.
    When you are practicing, whether by yourself or with a team, your coach or trainer has a time set aside to work with you. Maximize your time by making sure you are there when it is time to begin. That usually means that if your practice starts at a certain time, say 9:00 am, you should be dressed and ready to go then, not just arriving.[3]
  4. Step 4 Keep focused when you practice.
    It can be easy to let your mind wander when you are doing drills and exercises. It is important, though, that you stay focused on what you are doing.[4]
  5. Step 5 Cool down after exercising.
    Once you have finished a workout or practice session, take some time to give your body a physical cooldown period. Some low-intensity movements and stretches are good to help restore your muscles and process metabolic waste. It’s also a good way to relax mentally after an intense practice or game.[5]
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Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Getting in Mental Shape

  1. Step 1 Find a sport you are passionate about.
    If you want to become a great athlete, the best thing you can do is to find something that really matters to you. This can be a sport that you enjoy playing and practicing, like soccer or basketball, something that will help you get through the tougher days. Plus, if you enjoy what you are doing, you’ll be less stressed, which helps you recover better from practices and injuries.[6]
  2. Step 2 Make your sport a priority.
    If being a good athlete is important to you, then improving needs to take up a lot of your time. You may not be talented or skilled enough to be a professional, but by making sure that you regularly have time blocked out for practicing and playing, you will be able to show regular improvement.[7]
  3. Step 3 Keep a positive attitude.
    Being an athlete is an opportunity to compete against others and be successful in something. Focus on the great things you can do, which will allow you to pursue excellence, not perfection.[8]
  4. Step 4 Set goals.
    When you start a practice or workout regimen, give yourself something to work towards. Great athletes are able to set goals for both the short and long term that are realistic and achievable. Part of improving as an athlete is your ability not only to set goals, but regularly achieve them.[9] [10]
    • Setting performance goals. These are goals for achieving specific milestones while playing. They can involve scoring a certain number of points, or reaching another statistical marker, like reducing the time it takes you do run a certain distance. These goals should be easily tracked so you can see how close you are to achieving them.
    • Setting habit goals. These are goals meant to change the way you play, focusing on your process rather than results. These can be things like making sure your head is up while making a pass, or going to bed at a certain time.
    Usain Bolt
    Usain Bolt, Olympic Sprinter

    Persevere through the challenges. "The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination."

  5. Step 5 Envision success.
    Preparing your mind for what you want and what it will be like when you get it is an important part of being a successful athlete. Elite athletes spend time visualizing their success before it happens. This can help them calm down before a competition, thinking about how good it will feel to accomplish their goals, rather than being nervous about not being able to achieve them.[11]
    • One way to help is to identify and focus on successes you’ve already had. Think about your greatest accomplishments, and how it felt to achieve them. This will help prevent you from dwelling on mistakes and errors, as that is a sure way to repeat them.[12]
  6. Step 6 Be humble.
    Great athletes don’t just take care of their bodies and develop their skills. They also respect the others involved in their sport, including their opponents. A good athlete will be able to control his or her emotions, not getting too angry when things go wrong. Not only will this help in dealing with coaches and supporters, but also in overcoming difficult opponents, or other things that can hurt an athlete’s self-confidence.[13] [14]
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Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Taking Care of Your Body

  1. Step 1 Stay hydrated.
    Whatever level of work you are doing, it is important that you get the right amount of water before, during, and after your physical activity. If you aren’t properly hydrated, your body can’t perform properly, and you’ll feel fatigue, cramps, and dizziness, if not something worse like heat exhaustion or heat stroke.[15]
    • The American Council on Exercise has recommendations for drinking water before, during, and after your exercise. Drink 17 to 20 fluid ounces (500 to 590 mL) of water 2 to 3 hours before you start, then 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) 20 to 30 minutes before or during warm-up. While exercising, drink 7 to 10 fluid ounces (210 to 300 mL) every 10 to 20 minutes. After finishing, make sure to drink 8 fluid ounces (240 mL) no more than 30 minutes later.
    • If the weather is particularly hot, or the workout especially intense, feel free to increase the amount of water slightly.
    • When working out, sports drinks can be helpful to maintaining hydration and energy. Look for drinks that are high in carbohydrates and electrolytes, as these will help you maintain your energy.[16]
  2. Step 2 Get proper nutrition.
    Eating right will help give you the nutrients necessary to grow muscle and maintain your energy throughout practice or a game. A good athlete will also be able to vary his or her diet before and after exercising to derive the best benefits from food. The specifics of your diet will change depending on the kind of sport you play and how much training you do, so don’t be afraid to consult with a coach, nutritionist, or doctor to get the best diet for you.[17] [18]
    • Before you work out, you need to consume foods that will help give you the energy to get through. These can be simple meals with lean proteins like chicken, vegetables, and whole-grain rice. If you need something quick, look for easily digestible carbohydrates, such as half a banana or a carb-heavy energy bar.[19]
    • After exercising, your goal should be recovery. You want more foods with protein and carbohydrates to help restore your energy. Foods like milk, which contain both, are particularly good. You can also consume things like trail mix with nuts or yogurt and granola to help the recovery process.
  3. Step 3 Get enough sleep.
    Sleep can play a major role in consistent and strong athletic performance. Sleeping helps to regenerate your energy and strength after exercising, which lets you be at your best the next day for the next practice or game. Regular sleep will also keep your stress levels lower. This will help helping you remain calm and focused during competition.[20]
    • 8 hours of sleep is generally ideal, but you can always give yourself a little more or less depending on your personal needs and habits.[21]
    • If you’re going through a period of increased training, or a tough stretch in your schedule, don’t be afraid to add a little more sleep to your routine. An extra nap during the day can give you a little extra boost of energy as you go along.[22]
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  • While many sports celebrate athletes who can “play through pain,” don’t neglect or ignore injuries. Sometimes you are hurt, and need to rest and recover. Continuing to practice or play could open you up to more serious injuries.
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