Everyone is looking for the Holy Grail of improved athletic performance and maximum success. You can read articles with titles like "Why The Clean Pull Is Perfect For Athletes" and "3 Techniques To Improve Squat Strength," and they can help you iron out a few details in your training program. However, for athletes to achieve the goals they set for themselves, their training programs must have a solid foundation—and that foundation is consistency. Consistency means never ceasing in your training. It means getting out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to practice. Consistency means whatever will push you up to a new level of successful performance on and off the field.
What Defines Consistency?
With respect to training or practice for a sport, this definition is ideal when it results in a schedule. A consistent training schedule is one that is maintained even when other things come up.
There will always be opportunities that promise more enjoyment than grinding in the weight room or performing hundreds of repetitions of a sport skill. Consistency means showing that long-term goals and success are more important than short-term gratification. Choosing to train and practice when other opportunities arise is the secret to becoming elite. Like the saying goes, "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
Consistency: Avoiding Injury
To be consistent, you must be able to stay on the field or in the weight room, and out of the training room. For some athletes, that's much easier said than done. If you are often injured, consistency comes into play in another way. Many times in sports, injuries are soft tissue-related, which means they are preventable.
A consistent flexibility and soft tissue manipulation program is vital to injury prevention. Without a solid plan to prevent injuries, minor issues can set you back and major issues can sideline you.
The goal with injury prevention is to go as long as you can with great results. If you incorporate all aspects of flexibility, your injury rate will hit a sharp decline, and you will be able to improve your consistency in training and practicing your sport—and achieve new levels of performance.
Athletes often view training as a quick fix to a problem. But more often than not, training is a process that takes years to develop an athlete. For your training to pay off, you must stay in the weight room and on the practice field. There are no other options. The key to realizing your aspirations, whatever they may be, is to be consistent.
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