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.

Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 5,073,746
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 4,232,968
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,344,447

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 187,099
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 12,178
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 220,234
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

Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,842
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,378
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,865,919
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,784
Johny Hendricks Workout Overview
Views: 822,554

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive AffirmationsIn our day to day lives it is easy to just go through the motions or get caught up in the stress and business of everything we have...

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Tips to Be a Better Leader

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

How Mentally Tough Are You?

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

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

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

4 Tips for Building Confidence

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

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

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

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

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

A Coach Describes What It

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts