Professional athletes can teach some incredible ways of improving your athletic performance. They are at the top of their game and can walk the talk. Before we get into my top lessons of improving athletic performance in sports history, I want to touch on some basics of the athletic performance and some key concepts. There are several aspects of athletic performance. Just a few are: strength, agility, speed, body control and endurance. Working on all of these aspects will help improve your overall athletic performance. It is important to stay focused and measure each of these areas. Your athletic performance will only improve if you know where you are at and where you are going.
Lessons from Top Athletes on Improving Athletic Performance
1. Donnie Teaches Us How to Increase Strength
Learn from Donnie Thompson – World Record Squat- 1260lbs/571.5kg
Donnie shows us that the body can have tremendous strength. Yet, it also takes tremendous dedication. In this video he squats 1,260 lbs breaking a world record. One key concept to building muscular strength is that you must workout consistently. And the workouts must be intense. In order to build strength you must tear muscle tissue. Once the muscle is torn, it rebuilds stronger. Over years and decades of going through this process, Donnie now can squat over 1,000 lbs. Very impressive in my book!
2. Usain Teaches Us How To Get Faster
Learn from Usain Bolt who ran the 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds (World Record)
There are two types of muscle fibers in your body. One is slow twitch which helps you perform better at endurance events. The other is fast twitch muscle fiber. This type of muscle fiber helps you increase your quickness. Usain has proven that your fast twitch muscle fibers can be developed. Research tells us that the specific ratio of fast twitch to slow twitch muscle fiber stays the same throughout out lives. Yet, research also tells us that we can develop both and improve our athletic performance by doing so. Usain is an inspiring example of how to get faster by training our fast twitch muscle fibers.
3. Michael Teaches Us How to Jump Farther
Learn from Michael Jordan who can dunk from the free throw line
Jordan is the master of athletic performance. Most people know that he was cut from his high school basketball team. Yet he is now considered to be the greatest basketball player to ever live. His life teaches us not only how to jump farther but also go farther in our life. He is the prime example of achievement in athletic performance.
4. Barry Teaches Us How to Shake and Bake
Learn from Barry Sanders who can shake any football player out of their cleats.
Part of improving your athletic performance is learning to be agile. Agility means to be able to stop or go, and change directions instantly. There is no better example than Barry Sanders. This guy is an animal. His athletic ability is unparalleled when it comes to football agility.
5. Randy Teaches Us to Endure
Learn from Randy Couture who is one of the top conditioned athletes in UFC history
One very important aspect of athletic performance is endurance. Endurance relates to the capacity of your heart to pump blood through your system. Your muscles need oxygen in order to perform. Your cardio-vascular system is in charge of doing this. Having a system that functions at top capacity is critical. Randy Couture is known in MMA circles as one of the top conditioned athletes. I had to include him as our prime example of how to improve athletic ability and endurance because he is a great inspiration in my life and embodies this principle perfectly.
6. Morgan State Player Teaches Us to “Reach For It!”
Learn from this Morgan State Player about always believing that you can do it
I had to include this in our list. Improving one’s athletic performance is not just physical. The mental side of believing in yourself is just as important. This video is of a Morgan State Football Player (I know, he’s not a pro) catching a pass with one hand that was way overthrown. The lesson here is that when life gives you things that don’t always fit into your mindset of how it should have gone, still reach for the catch.