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Reaching Above

Tips to Become Better at Your Sport

There are a few things you can begin doing today that will increase your productivity in a sport. Just so you know, I'm not just anybody, I have won three provincial championships in two different sports here in Canada. Taking the step to becoming a top athlete is a combination of many things, but a few things to consider include mentality, diet, practice, and training.

The two sports I was in were baseball and basketball. My first year I was cut from the AAA team, and then from the AA team in baseball. Playing on the A team, I was the starting pitcher and led my team to the status of provincial champions in A ball. My next year in baseball I played AA where I was also a starting pitcher/shortstop—I was one of the last cuts from the AAA team. But let me tell you what I did to get there. I would go down in my basement and throw the ball against the cement wall, sometimes for an hour at a time or more. I would blast music and continue to keep going. Catching ground balls over and over again. It will build arm strength and increase your ability to field a ground ball. But this does not limit to just baseball, you could do it with tennis, hockey, and many other sports.

So practice will get you better at the sport, but you need to search for the right teachers and the right drills to practice as well. I spent countless hours in the gym shooting basketballs, I would go home and do dribbling drills in my basement, and I'd lay on the floor and shoot the basketball straight up into the air. Trying to catch it perfectly and building muscle memory, so when a fan yells mid-shot my body knows what to do.

It starts with footwork. Your body will follow the feet and change the way your upper body is working and the motion it takes. I also won two provincial championships in basketball at the highest level. We had great teams and all of us were very talented. Your team is only as good as it's worst player. The best comes to you when you put the time into practicing and training. This feeds off your diet. Feed the athlete in you. Eat high protein meals to build muscle, and stay away from fast food and soft drinks. If you want to reach the next level combine all of these and a mindset with the confidence you will be the best.

It is important to remember once school is finished, you still have chances to excel. You will get better and you will have more time to practice and train too. You want to workout the entire body: Run, bike free weights, row, bench press. For basketball I did some plyometric jump training for a summer; I could get my entire head above the rim. For this, I did lunges, skipped 200 times, squatted, jumped 20 times straight in a row, and then backwards. I jumped around in a square clockwise and counterclockwise. You will need to eat a lot more food, as not to crash mid-season. Rest is important too, your body needs enough rest so you can go 100 percent in your next session—better than 90 percent body function.

Offseason training is important. It gives you an edge on the players that aren't practicing.

So search videos, search training, and you can get to the top even though you may not be there yet. Maybe you were cut; that's good, fall forward, get back up, and get in the gym. You can make the team next year, or get on a summer team.

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