3 Ways to Become a Better Athlete

By Steve O’Brien – Goal: College Athlete 

You want to be a great athlete? There is only one place to look: Straight in the mirror. Every single day is a chance to get better at your sport and it is on YOU to make a plan and execute it to build your skills, make yourself a more intelligent player and get your body in the best condition possible.

Your coach, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, i.e. all the people around you, can support you OR be a detriment to your development but in the end you have to make up your mind, day in and day out, to get better. Excuses are used all the time in sports: “I don’t get along with the coach”, “I don’t play enough”, “We play a bad system”, “My teammates aren’t that good”. You have to be a person of strong character to overcome making excuses like this when the going gets tough and your goal is to compete at a higher level. If you can keep your motivation and work ethic level high during these periods, you are not only getting better when others are not but you are also training yourself mentally to succeed under adverse conditions which is a great life trait to have.

It’s on you to not only work hard but also to work smart, especially in these 3 areas:

Practice Habits

  • Are you doing things after practice (when people are not looking) to build your skills?
  • Are you changing up your skill drills and practice habits, forcing your body to adapt and also get your brain working at the same time?
  • Are you working on skills that are out of your comfort zone to help you improve and not just the easy things that you are already good at?

Strength and Conditioning Training

  • Do you have a plan or program in place, prior to arriving at the gym, knowing exactly what you are going to do (and accomplish) that day?
  • When you are training your body do you have the proper form?
  • Are you doing the right sport specific exercises?
  • Are you getting the proper rest?
  • Are you eating properly?

 Student of the Game

  • When you watch the pros or players at a higher level, are you watching the game as a fan or focusing on a player that plays your position and watch how they play?
  • Are you watching the little things they do that make themselves better?
  • Are you implementing those things into your own game?

Getting better is HARD. It takes planning and will power. Accepting that fact is sometimes the first step if you want to seriously improve and get to the next level. The great thing is the choice to get better is completely up to you, it’s all in your control and no one else can stop you.

What things do you do on a daily basis to make yourself a better athlete?

About Steve O'Brien
Steve O'Brien is the co-creator of Goal: College Athlete (GCA). The website was built to inspire young athletes to reach their goal of playing college sports. Information includes a pro-active plan to get the attention of college coaches and also insight from college coaches on what qualities they look for in a potential recruit. Steve played College Hockey at the University of New Hampshire, graduating in 1999. Questions? Send Steve an email at [email protected]

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