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It’s no understatement to say that Australians are renowned and proud lovers of the sport. Playing on or supporting a team boosts our personal and national identity, we love to get fit and healthy in our great outdoors and striving hard to either hear Advance Australia Fair on the podium or simply to get a slap on the back from a competitor is just plain addictive.
A big part of it, of course, is just bettering ourselves. Yes, we love teamwork, healthy rivalries and ‘having a go’, but we also love becoming the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be – whilst bettering that PB or beating an old foe to the line.
How do you get better? It’s all about practice, practice and practice – right? While that’s not wrong, it’s not the full story either. Sometimes, the path to becoming better at your sport, and training and competing at higher and higher levels, is not quite so clear.
So here are 5 ways to accelerate your sports performance that may surprise you:
1. Drink More Coffee
A Sunday macchiato may sound like a pretty lazy way to start a day, but it may well give your workout an unexpected boost.
And it’s not just about that caffeine ‘hit’. Two cups of coffee a day can slash post-workout soreness by half and boost recovery time, and another cup immediately after a session can actually pump glycogen to the recovering muscles just when it’s needed. Not just that, coffee has been shown to boost endurance by stimulating the release of adrenaline. So a lazy cup is not quite so lazy after all.
2. Get More Sleep
Many athletes will tell you that before a big game or session, it can be pretty hard to get a wink of sleep. But there are plenty of reasons to get an early night if you expect to perform at your best in the morning.
Firstly, sleeping well as a habit helps you steer clear of obesity. Next, it keeps the brain sharp so that we can remember the benefits of our training, focus better, and make smarter snap decisions in the heat of the game. Finally, sleep boosts your reflexes, keeps your motivation high, increases your stamina, makes your vision shaper, and helps you avoid injury by reinforcing those muscles with human growth hormone. (See also: 7 Ways To Get To Sleep More Easily)
3. Train with Music
For many people who work out, music is a great way to get you through that fifth session of the week. But it’s even more powerful than that.
We all know how music can trigger our emotions in a very powerful way, either to make us sad, happy or energized. So if you get that tune just right, you can work out 15% longer – but it seems like 12% less effort is actually being deployed. So plug in those earbuds to train longer and easier.
Not just that, you can get your body into a brilliant and rhythmic flow with the help of music to keep the beat, whilst subconsciously tell the brain to reduce your muscle fatigue. The mind and body work together in harmony, and music is the perfect bridge.
4. Widen your Training
We said earlier that practice, practice, and more practice is a key to getting better at your sport – and that’s no lie. But it has also been shown that widening your training beyond your actual sport can have amazing benefits.
What do we mean? Try signing up for a dance class, for a start. Footy players may balk at the idea of prancing around, but there’s no doubt that dancing improves your cardio whilst also working on your balance, flexibility, and dexterity. If you really don’t want to dance, try some martial arts for boosted body awareness, focus, mental toughness, and discipline, do some public speaking to boost your confidence, and get into meditation to teach you how to revel in those all-important sporting moments.
5. Enhance your Field of Vision
What do the most popular sports in the world have in common? When playing soccer, basketball, tennis, rugby, and cricket, it’s about spotting the ball from the corner of your eye – and to do that superbly, you need superb peripheral vision.
Still, a big number of Australians who play a sport or work out either try to do it while wearing their glasses or they take their glasses off altogether because of the risk of them falling off, fogging up, getting broken or hurting themselves or an opponent.
So one of the easiest and yet most underrated ways to accelerate your sporting performance is to grab some affordable, online contact lenses and start reaping the benefits. They mimic that perfect peripheral vision that is otherwise compromised by glasses frames, and they ensure your field of view is unobstructed and always clear. Not just that, buy contact lenses online and immediately remove that distracting vision ‘hop’ that glasses-wearing runners are so familiar with. Soft, disposable lenses are not just the safest and healthiest option for every sport, they’re perfectly compatible with all of the sports headgear and specialist eyewear that is so common these days. And as the cherry on top, caring for contact lenses could not be simpler or easier as long as you follow some basic care guidelines.
So there you have it: 5 ways to accelerate your sports performance that you may never be considered. Performance in any field is never just about the big picture, but about adding up all of those obvious and less obvious details that are always ‘the secret’ in a top sportsperson’s bag of tricks.
About The Author:
Dominic is a freelance writer based in Sydney, Australia. Technology and health-related topics are specifically what he enjoys researching and writing about. In his spare time, you will find him planning his next adventure getaway or exploring nature trails around Australia.