What is Sports Performance Training?

People that regularly participate in a sport, regardless of whether they are top athletes or weekend warriors, understand how important training and fitness are. When it comes to improving athletic performance, training is not the same for everyone. This is where sports performance can be very helpful. 

Sports Performance

Sports performance has been designed to prepare athletes for peak performance in their respective sport. Sports performance helps athletes work on things that will lead to improved performance. For example, a soccer player may start training with more lower-body exercises, whereas a swimmer might work on movements that strengthen their shoulder’s muscular endurance. Sports performance differs from personal training because it focuses more on specific aspects of the athletes instead of a general goal of improving general fitness. 

What Is Sports Performance?

Sports performance is the way in which sport participation is measured. It’s a complex mixture of training techniques, emotional factors, and biomechanical function. In an athletic context, performance can represent the pursuit of excellence, where athletes can measure their performance as a progression towards an achievement or excellence. Sports performance depends highly on the athlete’s technique and level of competency in sport-specific motor skills. The skill and health-related components of fitness include reaction time, balance, power, speed, agility, and Body Composition coordination. 

The fitness components are dependent on the athlete’s body composition to an extent. When there’s an increase in lean body mass, there’s a contribution to power development and strength. Muscle size is directly related to power and strength, so an increase in lean body mass helps the athlete to create more force in a specific time period. Athletes that are more interested in sports performance are those competing at higher levels, like elite or competitive, than those that are just interested in working out to gain fitness or lose weight are recreational athletes who aren’t setting sports performance goals. 

What Is Athletic Performance?

Athletic performance is defined as the efforts that are made by athletes to obtain specific performance goals in a specific period of time. The performance is affected by the athlete’s natural fitness or talent levels, and each athlete is going to measure their performance by their own standards. Athletic performance is more than just about movement, and psychological and physiological factors play a part in athletic performance. 

5 Sport Training Principles

The human body is an incredible creation. It has the ability to adapt to many different situations, yet still resists changes as they happen. When you workout, you push your body to its physical limits to perform better. There are five sports training principles that include:

1. Overload

In order for the athlete's body to have positive changes, the body has to go through a process called exercise overload. The body likes to stay at homeostasis, so it adapts quickly to stresses and habitual levels. When this happens, the training load needs to be adjusted to go above the habitual levels. Modifications to exercises can be modified to increase or decrease volume or intensity, and new exercises can be added to target the same muscle groups. 

2. Specificity 

Because the body does such a good job acclimating to stress quite effectively, specificity forces the body through a specific type of stress in varying ways repeatedly. When an athlete is going through sports performance training, the training movements should closely relate to the specific kinds of activities in the sports for the training to be more effective. This will help to improve sports performance. 

3. Progression 

Since the body was built to adapt to situations, sometimes it may become almost immune to training, and the training has to be changed for the body to keep building strength. The training will need to increase in duration or intensity to help challenge the body and build more muscle. 

4. Variation 

In sports performance, you have to keep the body anticipating the next workout to achieve consistent gains. When the athlete adjusts their training regimen, they will have better results. Changing up volume, intensity, duration, and other important aspects of the workout is a great way to achieve variation. One of the most known ways of adopting training variation is doing training in phases: intensive sport-specific training, conditioning, off-season upkeep, and in-season maintenance. 

5. Consistency

While the human body is very resilient, it doesn’t take too long for the body to forget the muscle memory if training is stopped. The unfortunate part of this is that it often happens faster than the gains were made. Proper rest periods are important for the body, but taking too much time off is hard to recover from. It’s important that athletes stay in a training program to maintain a sense of consistency and peak performance. 

What Are The Five Types of Training?

At the base level, athletes train because the body undergoes specific changes when the body is placed under stress. There are five main types of training that are associated with the main stressors that are placed on the body during sports. 

  1. Strength 

When an athlete does training that is meant to improve their strength, it is referred to as strength training. The specific exercises cause a large stress on the muscles that are being used, creating small tears in the muscle. The body innately responds by increasing the muscle’s size to increase its strength so the next time it experiences stress, there won’t be as much muscle damage. One large benefit of strength training is that it can help prevent injury, and strength training can be a great training program for many sports. 

  1. Aerobic

The body’s cardiovascular and aerobic energy systems are targeted during aerobic training. Aerobic exercises include any type of cardiovascular conditioning that improves the removal of waste products, works to deliver oxygen to muscles and intensifies the muscles’ ability to use the aerobic energy system in the body. Altogether, these qualities help the athlete’s resiliency and allow them to perform at a higher intensity for a longer amount of time. 

  1. Flexibility 

Flexibility training’s focus is on increasing range of motion for a joint. There are two different types of range of motion: passive and active. Passive range of motion is when external forces like gravity are used. Active range of motion is the mobility when the athlete contracts their muscles, and flexibility training generally targets an active range of motion. Greater flexibility will allow the athlete to use correct techniques and help to prevent injury. After flexibility training, an increased range of motion should allow a joint to move through larger angles before it experiences a sprain or strain. 

  1. Anaerobic

Anaerobic training works on developing the two anaerobic energy systems, and it also helps improve speed, strength, and power in addition. This type of training involves short, intense bursts of physical activity where the demand for oxygen is more than the supply. Weight lifting and sprinting are two examples of anaerobic activities. The fuel for anaerobic exercise comes from the energy stored in muscles through a process called glycolysis. During this process, lactic acid is produced. As a result, anaerobic training improves the body’s ability to get rid of lactate and thus will allow the athlete to perform at a higher intensity workout for a longer duration. 

  1. Skills

In this training, specific movements that are required for specific sports are the focus. For example, a basketball player and football player will require unique skills to be able to do their respective sports. Skills training should be tailored to each individual because each sport and athlete’s skill levels are different. Athletes focus on their training to include sport-specific drills and techniques. A really thorough training program will incorporate all five different types of training and may also include additional services. 

How Does Training Improve Sport Performance?

A solid training program to improve athletic performance also includes an appreciation for the importance of rest as well. In addition to active training, athletes will need to incorporate rest time because the body needs time to recover. While it may seem like all athletes are going to be doing is training, sleep is also an integral part of the training program to replenish energy stores and repair muscles. During competition season, it’s very important for athletes to make sure they are getting adequate sleep. 

All athletes will see an improvement in their performance if they do any level of training instead of none at all, but athletes who follow sports training programs generally observe more gains. Some of the benefits that athletes will notice when they do training programs specifically tailored to their sport include:

  • Injury prevention
  • Faster recovery
  • Greater speed
  • More agility
  • Better balance and body awareness
  • Increased power and acceleration
  • More conditioning
  • Better flexibility
  • More strength
  • Improved endurance

Proper Sports Training is Important

If you’re an athlete wanting to compete competitively, following a good sports performance training problem is of utmost importance. Finding a good training program and following it can help you increase your strength, resiliency, and performance. Make sure not to push yourself too hard, and take rest days to allow your body time to recuperate and recover. With these tips, you’ll be competing at peak performance in no time!