Don't Neglect Your Strengths

December 25, 2012 | Lee Ness

Strong Kick

Athletic training places a lot of emphasis on weaknesses and curing them to get better. Though eliminating or significantly reducing weaknesses is important, where does this leave your strengths in terms of your training focus? (See 4 Motivational Tips to Help You Achieve Your Goals.)

You probably love your sport because you're good at it. Your strengths got you into playing, and working on your weaknesses isn't something you enjoy. That's why it's essential to take the time to work on your strengths and appreciate them—so you can continue to feel the way you did when you first started playing.

To be a great athlete in any sport, you have to love it. If you're a sprinter, you have to enjoy the feeling of reaching top speed in order to get through the grind of lactate tolerance training. The same applies to team-sport athletes. Say you're a quarterback who throws extremely accurate long passes. Even though you are already good at it, always include long pass drills during practice. They will get you through the other sessions, when you're getting hit. (Read our interview with softball legend Jennie Finch about her love of the game.)

As an athlete, you know there will be times when you have to dig deep and endure pain to get better. But you can't do that if you only do the things you enjoy the least. That might make you fall out of love with your sport. Lactate training hurts, and getting hit is no fun; so make sure you get the balance right by focusing on the stuff you enjoy.

Keep that feeling of enjoyment fresh, because it's what sustains you through the hard bits, the sub-par performances, and the most intense and difficult training sessions. The things you are good at, that you enjoy, are what other people notice and admire about you. Most of all, they are what put a smile on your face. Take a helicopter view of your training. Do you generally enjoy it? If not, then you need to find ways to get more fun into it, more things to enjoy.

Improvement is important, and curing weaknesses is where improvements are greatest. But it is your strengths that got you into your sport and that make you want to continue. Neglecting them can render the improvements you make meaningless.

Featured Videos

Adrian Gonzalez Rope Plank Adrian Gonzalez Rope Plank Views: 632,441
Ronda Rousey Shows Off Intense New Bag Drill Ronda Rousey Shows Off Intense New Bag Drill Views: 68,124
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 1,524,960
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,164
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,831
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,151,981
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,082,676
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,974,019

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

4 Tips for Building Confidence

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Tips to Be a Better Leader

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

How Mentally Tough Are You?

How Mentally Tough Are You?

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

A Coach Describes What It’s Like to Cut Players

A Coach Describes What It's Like to Cut Players

YardBarker