Many professional athletes only care about one thing and one thing only—and that’s winning. It may have been for the love of the game when they were playing youth sports, but now they will do anything to walk away a victor in the professional ranks. These five creative ways professional athletes train their skills help them experience the thrill of victory more than the agony of defeat.
1) Set the Pace
Every professional athlete must be able to withstand a grueling season, but that’s only half of the battle. While endurance is integral for success, professional athletes must also perform with such ferocity that no ordinary person can duplicate it. Fartlek training allows them to reach their maximum potential for perseverance and tenacity.
Fartlek is a Swedish word that translates to “speed play.” It combines continuous and interval training to incorporate aerobic and anaerobic exercise simultaneously, boosting an athlete’s recovery rate. Fartlek training forces athletes to adjust to varying speeds to ensure they can overcome any obstacle. Professional cross-country runners and soccer players could benefit from this unique form of preparation.
2) Find the Mindset
Along with their body, an athlete’s brain must be at its peak condition to be triumphant on the playing field. At first, cognitive training may seem a tad far-fetched, but certain technology strengthens your mental abilities that are paramount in sports.
Quarterbacks make split-second decisions every time they drop back to pass, reading the defense accordingly to find the open receiver. Without attention to detail, they may find themselves on the sideline quicker than anticipated.
3) Simulate Reality
Another way technology significantly improves an athlete’s performance is through a virtual sports simulator. What might be fun and games for you and the family is a valuable tool to sneak in training sessions at any hour of the day. Baseball players—like 2022 NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt—gush about the admiration of their sports simulator, proclaiming how much it helps based on how realistic it is. Goldschmidt doesn’t need to head to the ballpark and hit the cages when he has a simulation that emulates it.
4) Active Recovery
When your muscles are tight and aching, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, experts agree that being stagnant is the worst thing you can do for your body. Professional athletes do brief, low-intensity exercises to speed up recuperation to keep the juices flowing; even a 15-minute walk increases the blood flow to limit pain. An active recovery ensures you aren’t as vulnerable to an injury the next time you train or compete.
5) Put Some Ice on It
In addition to active recovery, taking a polar bear plunge is another way to help the body recover. Ice baths are excellent for healing, so seeing athletes jump in after a laborious contest is no surprise. Chilling in ice-cold water decreases inflammation while increasing blood flow. Because sitting in freezing water constricts your blood vessels, your body will remove any metabolic waste after a quick five-minute dip. Ice baths aren’t for everybody, so if you feel uncomfortable or are averse to cold temperatures, it may not be in the cards for you.
It’s clear from the five ways professional athletes train their skills that a vital component of training is healing your body after active training. If you want to be an MVP like Paul Goldschmidt, you can get your own sports simulator in your home today with HD Sport Suite! Master your skills in your preferred sport, or participate in one of the many others on our all-sports simulator.