You’ve heard it before; maybe you’ve even said it yourself – that athlete you’re playing against was born with good genes. He’s genetically gifted and even if you gave the game your all, he’s predisposed to be better. Turns out, while being active in general at a young age is good, the gene theory isn’t exactly true. “There are a few things that are pretty resistant to training like flat out top speed, but almost every other athletic trait can be improved,” said David Epstein, author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Sports Gene. “These skills are all built up through practice that mimics game-time situations.”
Repetition through practice is key. “You want to train your body to perform efficient movement patterns specific to your sport or activity,” said Curtis Williams, NASM-CPT and former pro football player. “Your body will adapt and begin to do these movements naturally.”
Self-regulatory behavior is important, too. Going to a driving range and just hitting a bunch of shots isn’t as productive as being focused and making quality drives. Assessing your performance more frequently and wanting to better yourself is a necessary trait in a good athlete.
Ready to step up your game? Use our experts’ tips to help improve these athletic traits.