In today’s society many people have this belief that more is better. Products are mass produced with little concern for the quality to maximize profits. People try to please everyone rather than develop a few quality relationships. Also many people workout to the extreme rather than strategically design a proper program that will not only maximize the results but also improve their recovery. At Acceleration Sports Performance, we use the latest researched-backed patent protocols and proprietary equipment to produce the highest level of results.
In this post we will discuss why it’s important for athletes to train smarter and not necessarily train harder.
1) Proper Recovery – Many people believe that an increase in strength and athletic performance comes during training. While yes a solid program is beneficial this is not when the athlete gets stronger or faster. Intense workouts, games, and practices actually break an athlete’s body down. By having an athlete workout constantly, in addition to practices and games the body is in a consistent catabolic state. The body needs time to rest and recover. During periods of recovery the muscle tissue will grow and rebuild, the central nervous system will recover, and the athlete can take his mind off the game for a little bit. When recovery is maximized an athlete will see the best benefit from their training and see a significant increase in performance on game day. If you’re over-trained you won’t have that extra gear you need on game day which will not produce optimal performance. A proper protocol will factor in recovery as a part of the program.
2) Reduces Risk of Injury – Today an ACL tear is about as common as an ankle sprain used to be 10 years ago. I see far too many young athletes with herniated disks, knee problems, and hips that are out of alignment. When an athlete is overworked, they develop muscle imbalances which leads to movement dysfunctions and overuse injuries. Athletes are specializing in sports at too early of an age and are getting improper training and coaching from coaches who know a lot of about specific skill but nothing about proper movement or training and it’s laying an improper foundation for young athletes. Just like a house built on a cracked foundation will eventually crumble, an athlete without a solid foundation will also crash and burn (literally suffer burnout). Proper programming will have athletes, especially young athletes working on a variety of things, developing multiple skill sets, and preparing the body for several different movements, rather than pounding the same ones over and over again.
3) Keeps the Athlete Excited – Whenever an athlete is overworked, they run the risk of experiencing burnout. For those unfamiliar with burnout, burnout is when a person experiences the same activities repeatedly to the point where they psychologically can’t bring themselves to do it. This causes a significant decrease in performance but also negatively effects them the rest of their day. Knowing they have to do this particular activity physically drains them because they are that tired of it. The only way to fix burnout, is for a person to take a significant period away from the activity. By bombarding an athlete, especially those who started at a really young age, with constant training, practices, skill camps, and tournaments, with the same sport, it’s very likely the athlete will grow tired of the sport when they get older. They won’t have the same drive they once had and will want to walk away from it. By mixing in variety to an athlete’s routine, it gives them a chance to miss their main sport, so the excitement is back when the season rolls back around. An excited and enthusiastic athlete will always perform better than the unmotivated athlete who is mentally tired and going through the motions. Just keep in mind when thinking an athlete needs to focus on just one sport to be great at it, Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders, and Michael Jordan, some of the greatest athletes ever played multiple sports even at the professional level.
These are the top 3 reasons why training smarter is better than training harder. This post isn’t to say that an athlete doesn’t need to work hard because that’s definitely not true. One has to keep in mind when developing a program for athletes, that breaking them down more and burning them out is not making them tougher or preparing them for battle. It’s actually wearing them out and putting them at risk for a decrease in performance. A proper program will factor in recovery, injury prevention, and scientific progression, so the athlete will see an increase in performance and reduce their risk of injury. Remember, doing unimportant things a lot, does not make them more important. Always choose quality over quantity.
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