4 Keys to Sports Performance

Every athlete is interested in learning how to improve their performance. To achieve this, you have to know which factors come into play and how they interact.
4 Keys to Sports Performance

Last update: 28 February, 2021

All athletes are interested in obtaining the keys to improve their sports performance. Although they give it their all during training, sometimes the rate of progress isn’t what they were expecting and they need help to boost it. 

The keys to performance consist of a few simple tips that almost any athlete can put into practice. Elite athletes have a team of professionals who evaluate and advise them throughout the season.

Although amateur athletes don’t have those resources, it doesn’t mean that they cannot count on help to improve. Up next, we’ll review some essential keys to optimize an athlete’s sports performance.

1. Acquire a holistic point of view

Many factors contribute to athletic performance. Although some of them tend to go unnoticed, their contribution to improvement is very significant.

It’s a general belief that four pillars are responsible for sports performance:

  • Physical: physical qualities such as speed, strength, or elasticity.
  • Technical: the specific movements and gestures of each sport that allow one to achieve a better performance if they’re executed correctly.
  • Psychological: includes variables such as concentration, motivation, confidence, or control of emotions.
  • Tactical or strategic: it’s about the dynamic approach during a competition in order to obtain an advantage over the rivals.
Physical condition is one of the four pillars of performance in sports.

To get the best possible results, you have to work on these four aspects. Each one is as important as the others: all four are indispensable and interrelated.

2. Train with awareness: keys to sports performance

The old models of sports performance were based on the belief that the only way to improve was to repeat an action over and over until exhaustion. As a result, the athletes would master the task, but they didn’t know what they were doing.

According to a study published by the Journal of Sports Psychology, to master a skill, you have to practice it for 10,000 hours. However, not only the practice is important, but how it’s practiced also. For this to be effective, it has to have three qualities:

  • The skill has to be well defined and pose a challenge for the athlete.
  • The athlete has to receive performance feedback; reinforce what was done well and correct the things that were done wrong.
  • Offer opportunities to repeat and correct any errors.

3. Don’t forget that sports are fun

Sports have two main components: a competitive one with results and another one that’s playful and fun. Sometimes, the competitive component is more attractive and athletes obsess about it so much that they forget to have fun while training.

It’s not always easy to enjoy yourself during training since you have to push yourself and give it your best. Nonetheless, at the end of the session, an athlete should feel satisfaction and pride in what was accomplished.

It's important to have fun while training.

If you lose the playful component of the sport, you run the risk of losing internal motivation as well. If this happens, an athlete is more likely to find excuses not to go to training rather than reasons to go.

4.  Take advice from the people around you: keys to sports performance

Improving your performance in a self-taught way is a more complicated task than it seems at first glance. On the contrary, having the opinion of other athletes provides valuable information. Firstly, others can offer new solutions or perspectives to problems that arise. After all, the saying that four eyes see more than two is true.

Additionally, athletes can obtain information about how they perform the exercises by having someone observe and correct them. Hence, don’t underestimate what others have to say.

Optimizing your sports performance is in your hands

You don’t need huge resources to boost your performance. You just have to keep an open mind and think about all the factors that affect your improvement.

Lastly, one thought you should keep in mind is that the process doesn’t necessarily have to be linear. There can be ups and downs or periods of stagnation, and this doesn’t have to mean that you can’t give more of yourself. The road is very long and it’s better to enjoy it, the improvements will happen for those who are tenacious.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ruiz Pérez, L. M. (1999). Rendimiento deportivo, optimización y excelencia en el deporte. Revista de psicología del deporte, 8(2), 0235-248.
  • Riera, J. R. (1995). Análisis de la táctica deportiva. Apunts: Educación física y deportes, (40), 47-60.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.