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How to Improve Your Game in 2020

How Athletes Can Enhance Performance

Although we are over a month into 2020, that doesn’t mean you still can’t work on your athletic performance goals and resolutions. Whether professional or amateur, you may have looked back on your last year’s performance and have decided to improve certain areas and take your athletic capabilities to the next level. If you are looking to improve your game this year, here are some things every athlete needs to know:

Get Proper Sleep

Getting proper sleep is paramount to peak performance. Not only does sleep help your body recharge and refresh, but it’s also vital to mental stamina when you need to be focused on your game.

Lack of sleep can affect your performance in the following ways:

  • Alters reaction time
  • Slower muscle recovery
  • Increased chance of injury

Take Rest Days

When athletes push their bodies over the threshold of what they can physically handle, it can cause an injury and hinder muscle development. When training, it’s essential to take rest days so your body can properly recover. When your body heals, you can reap the following benefits:

Improved Performance

Using all your energy during a training session, workout, or game can deplete your energy, as well as decrease agility and endurance. Rest days allow your body to recharge your “battery,” and you can operate on a full bar for your next game.

Prevent Muscle Fatigue

When working out, glycogen levels decrease. When you rest, your body has time to replace it. Giving your body enough time to replace glycogen levels will keep soreness and fatigue to a minimum.

Injury Prevention and Less Soreness

There’s no doubt that after a long, hard workout or game, you’ll have soreness and, in some cases, extreme muscle fatigue. Without a rest day, your body won’t have ample time to repair itself, thus leading to further tearing and other injuries.

Stay Hydrated

Whether you are in training or are in the midst of a game, it’s critical to stay hydrated. When not properly hydrated during your training workouts and games, it can have the following detrimental effects:

  • Increase in core temperature
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Water loss through sweating - sweating reduces body weight, thus resulting in a decline in performance as a result of a decrease in body weight.

Before any game or working out, it’s crucial for your body to be already well-hydrated. Keep up with your hydration during practice and throughout your game, as needed.

Strength Training

Strength training is most likely part of your training routine. Proper strength training can help you achieve optimal performance and the following benefits:

Reduce the occurrence of injury

When it comes to sports competitions, it’s probably safe to say that at some time during an athlete’s career, they will sustain an injury. While this is a high probability, strength training can reduce the occurrence and severity of an injury through improved muscle and connective tissue strength.

Improves Flexibility

Improved flexibility can give athletes better speed, quickness, and agility. Making strength training part of your workout routine is one of the best ways to improve your game performance.

Better Bone Mineral Density

Proper strength training can result in better bone density — and better bone density means stronger bones that may be more resistant to sustaining an injury. Female athletes may benefit from strength training due to their increased risks in developing osteoporosis as they age.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

For athletes, keeping their ticker in tip-top shape can keep their endurance high. However, with much talk in the news about athletes succumbing to sudden cardiac arrest, athletes who train properly can reap the benefits that exercise can have on their heart, such as:

  • Decreased risk in developing heart disease - The American Heart Association recommends that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. The good news is, most likely, if you are training and competing, you are already meet this recommendation.
  • Prevent high blood pressure - even athletes who have a regular workout routine should keep an eye on blood pressure and keep up with well visits.
  • Regulate blood sugar - high blood sugar can put you at risk of diabetes, which can be a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Decrease LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood - LDL cholesterol is fatty buildup in the arteries and can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Improves sleep - As mentioned above, athletes who get proper sleep can increase their performance, but getting the right amount of sleep can also reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, which are all health issues that can be related to cardiovascular disease.

How Sports Medicine Can Help You Improve Performance

When people hear the term sports medicine, typically, they think of getting care for an injury. However, sports medicine is also an avenue for preventing injuries. Whether you want to improve your form or enhance performance, Methodist Sports Medicine is here to guide you and help you have your best season in 2020!

Sports Medicine Services Near Dallas and Fort Worth

Whether you are looking to prevent an injury or want to treat a current one, Methodist Sports Medicine is here to help you get back to peak performance. See the full list of services we offer or to make an appointment, or contact us today!