Five things you might be neglecting that is affecting your performance:
• Training Balance
So many guys fall foul of putting all their eggs in one basket. Maybe in pre-season they hit the weights room hard and don’t bother about the cardio aspect of fitness, then once the fixtures are released it’s a race to get the lungs in order and there isn’t another weight lifted til the following December. Maybe it’s an abundance of upper body weights and a decision to leave the legs alone as they’re doing enough on the pitch, right? It can be a tricky business, but try your best to keep tabs on all areas of fitness across the board. Be it strength, cardio, speed, mobility, whatever, try your best to tick all the boxes week in week out and your body will thank you with the best performance it has in it once you take to the field!
Following on from the above, as there are plenty who still do maintain their strength training in-season, so this is a reminded that mobility work is massively important too. I mention it time and again, but if you have mobility issues you’re going to both increase the likelihood of injury and decrease your performance potential. We play a fast, multidirectional sport therefore you’re asking your body to twist and turn, sprint and stop and jump and land constantly. Look after your joints and they will look after you!
And quality sleep at that. How many of you look at your phone just before you turn over to go to sleep? The blue backlight on your screen will stimulate sensors which will affect how quickly you’re able to get into a deep sleep. Quality sleep is vital for fulfilling your athletic potential. It will directly impact how quickly you both physically and mentally fatigue, your efficiency of turning over fuel and your mood. In short, it’s too important not to be trying your very best to consistently get 7-8 hours of quality Zzzz’s!
Gym. Pitch. Gym. Pitch. Gym. Gym. Game. It’s amazing how many people follow this routine. Maybe not the gym each time, but exercise of some description. In-season I heavily recommend you take a less is more approach to training. Match day performance is always priority so you need to be going in fresh, rested and ready to rip it up. Quality over quantity where performance is a goal. Train hard when you do it, but allow for rest, repair and recovery!
Do you eat the same amount of food on the days you train compared to the days you don’t? Do you feel like you eat well during the week but you let it go at the weekend? It’s incredibly common for people to under eat during the week and over eat at the weekend. Both can potentially affect your energy levels for training and game day. The days you are training hard then you’re going to require a little more fuel to keep up your training output, the days you’re resting then there’s no real need for that extra portion of chips at lunch!
If you’re guilty of any of the above then you’re potentially sabotaging yourself from realising your athletic potential!
Try to take the above advice on board and apply it over the second half of the year to see some real positive differences!
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