How to Improve your Training for Better Results

Many athletes are unsure how to improve their training regime so that they can achieve better results in competition. Today, we'll give you some simple tips to help you improve.
How to Improve your Training for Better Results

Last update: 09 August, 2020

The two main components of an athlete’s career are training and competing. And training mainly focuses on improving your ability so as to maximize your performance in competitions… and ideally to win! So, if you’re able to improve your training, you’ll be more likely to achieve better results in competition.

But this journey isn’t a straight line. In any sports career, there will be times when performance suffers. However, working on the mental aspect, as well as the physical or tactical side of your sport, will help you to progress more and increase the chances of achieving your goals.

So, to help you achieve consistent progress, we’ve put together some tips on how to achieve improvements in both your training and competitions.

Organize your time well and be sure to get enough rest

One of the most effective ways to improve your training is to organize your time spent practicing and resting. Timing your training will help you focus better on certain objectives or the muscle groups that you want to work on.

But it’s just as important to get enough rest. Rest helps to consolidate your progress and is really important for your sporting performance.

In fact, the University of Seville carried out a review of the existing research and found that sleep is a key factor for athletic performance and that athletes should be encouraged to get more sleep if they want to perform at their best.

A man running up a mountain.

Prepare for your competitions using visualization techniques

Visualization is a very popular technique when preparing for a competition. Although you might try to replicate competitive conditions, it’s not always possible. What you can do instead is to try to recreate the conditions mentally to take into account all possible external factors.

Furthermore, visualization techniques can have positive effects on other psychological variables. In a study carried out by the University of Santo Tomás, researchers found that athletes who used visualization techniques in training had higher levels of self-confidence and performed better.

How to improve your training: the importance of positive reinforcement

Athletes often underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. In fact, many coaches even overlook the act of congratulating and encouraging the progress that their athletes make.

In psychology, reinforcement is the term given to any activity that increases the chance of behavior being repeated. Things such as looking better physically, being able to lift more weight, or winning a competition are all powerful forms of positive reinforcement.

But it’s important not to forget the power of social reinforcement. This is the reinforcement that you receive from other people, and they really have a powerful influence on our behavior. Words of encouragement, hugs, or simple affectionate gestures are things that all coaches should give their athletes to help maintain a positive mood.

Break your objectives into manageable goals

When it comes to training to acquire new skills, it’s best to set small, achievable goals. It’s easier to consolidate progress when complex tasks are broken down into more manageable ones. The things you learn will also stay with you for longer too.

A woman training in the gym.

In psychology, one of the most popular techniques is known as chaining. This involves breaking down a complex task into elementary steps that follow one after the other, just like the links in a chain.

Achieving small goals also has a positive impact on your motivation levels. By regularly achieving something, even if it’s a small achievement, you’ll have a constant source of encouragement and a clearer idea of how much progress you’re making.

How to improve your training: focus on the small details

You don’t need to make major changes to improve your sporting performance. Small changes can lead to new healthy habits which in turn can have a big influence on your overall performance.

Sport requires patience and you won’t achieve your goals overnight. It can take weeks or months before you see changes in your physique and performance.

So, the key is to be consistent and not give up. All professional athletes spend many hours practicing and competing, and they’re successful because of their ability to adapt and grow, whatever the circumstances they might face.

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  • Herrera, D. A., Gómez, Y., y Quiñones, D. J. (2018). Programa de entrenamiento psicológico en visualización y su efectividad en la autoconfianza en futbolistas. UstaSalud, 17(1-S), 58.
  • Sánchez Oliver, A. J., Domínguez, R., Carrera Bastos, P., y Mata Ordoñez, F. (2018). Importancia del sueño en el rendimiento y la salud del deportista.