There are many benefits to sports training. This may sound like a simple enough statement but what does it really mean? What do we mean by sports training and the benefits which come with it? Before you gain insight into how sports training can benefit you, you need to know a little about what it is. So, let’s start there.
What is Sports Training?
If you want to become great at a sport (or any other activity), then you need a lot of practice. Just like all human behavior, athletes need to partake in long-term development if they are going to become great at a sport. Sports training is all about improving the performance of an athlete by mimicking in-sport conditions.
Imagine that you are a baseball player. We all have the stereotype firmly ingrained in our minds of the dad and son playing catch (this could be a mom and daughter or any combination of adults and kids). The two people in the scenario throw the ball back and forth. This simple act is great for improving your performance, right? Well, is it? The simple act is great for improving your hand-eye coordination but does it actually help you in a game?
When you are in a game of baseball, the ball is not going to come at you as slow as it would when you are playing a game of catch – the ball is going to come at you fast. After multiple games of catch, your mind and muscles are going to remember this scenario and adapt to it well so when the ball comes at you quickly, you are not going to be as adept at catching it because your reflexes haven’t been conditioned.
Sports training aims to mimic the conditions of a game to condition your mind and muscles to deal with real-game scenarios. If you practice being able to catch a ball traveling at speed, then you are going to be better equipped to catch a ball during a game.
How Long Does It Take?
If you want to be a pro athlete (or an athlete who is competent in a sport), you are going to need to put in a lot of hours. Sports training takes time; it is as simple as that. You are aiming for maximum efficiency in your sport, either as an individual or as a team, and that exercise in efficiency takes time. You want to train your motor actions to be as efficient as possible.
In many sports, you are training different motor actions to come together and create the perfect athlete. This means that there are times where you cannot train the same motor skills at the same time. The only way to train these motor skills is by replicating real-game situations over and over until they are firmly ingrained in your body and mind.
The Benefits of Sports Training
Now that we have a little more insight into what sports training is and how it is done, we can begin to see how it can be beneficial. We know that training is an important part of an athlete’s daily routine, but is our training actually benefiting them when it comes time to compete? Are we sports training?
Sports training should form a part of every athlete’s routine. Without sports training, an athlete is not going to become the best that they can be. Sports training will target all of the areas which regular training will. With regular training, an athlete will begin to build up their skill levels in their sport and their motivation. Sports training does this too.
Sports training will build up strength and endurance; it will allow an athlete to gain knowledge of their sport in ways that regular training will not. For example, think about a running back. If you practice catching the ball from a long distance, you are going to improve your catching ability. But, if you start with a sprint before turning and trying to catch a ball, you are going to learn how to catch a ball in a game-like scenario.
Now, when you come to the game, you are better equipped to catch the ball when it is thrown. Both examples improve skill, but sports training will improve skill for your specific sports scenarios.
Sports training will improve your muscle tone, circulation, agility, flexibility, mental health, and overall fitness. When you participate in sports training, you are gaining all the benefits of a regular training regime while training your body and mind to be ready to anticipate any real-game scenario which will may pop up during the game. Just like breathing, sports training will allow you to respond during the game without thinking about it. Sports training trains your body, mind, and instinct.
So, what do we take from this? We know that sports training involves a training regime which works our entire body and mind while sticking to scenarios and events which will pop up in a game. Passing a basketball around between your teammates in practice is great for improving your passing, but without the threat of defenders, you are not learning how to pass during a high-intensity game.
You may be able to pass amazingly well when there is no one near you but what about when there is a defender breathing down your neck?
Sports training is about replicating the scenarios which are going to happen in every single game. Once you can train your body and mind to react on cue, you are going to become a well-rounded player.
The benefits of sports training are obvious. If you can train your body and mind to react on instinct while still gaining all of the benefits from a regular training regime, you can see that there is no comparison. If you are an athlete, pro or amateur, sports training will have an immense impact on the way you train for or compete in a sport.