When it comes to athletics, training is the key to success. Considering competitions related to throwing, running and jumping are some of the oldest in the world, there’s a nearly endless reel of advice for trainers and athletes to study. Modern training focuses on science and data to help athletes gain an edge, but not all methods are so straightforward.
Sometimes, variation can be a powerful tool to improve athletic performance. While it might sound simple, the concept of switching up the usual routines and training regimes can be a great way to foster improvements and develop new skills—even in terms of mental outlook.
Let’s cover an example from a more mental field: the world of poker, a complex strategy card game. Despite the fact that it isn’t a traditional sport, professional players like Lex Veldhuis must continually train to stay sharp. Veldhuis, who regularly streams online, recently decided to switch things up by heading to New Zealand.
This move from his native Europe has seen Veldhuis adapt to a totally new time zone and living situation. While neither seems concretely related to his poker performance, the change in living setups has infused him with new passion, perspectives, and even a strategic understanding of the game. While it might not seem like a move that would greatly change his outlook, this example highlights how unexpected variables can improve performance.
Moving back into the realm of athletics, let’s explore how the idea of simply switching things up and adding some variation can breathe new life into your athletic outlook.
More Stimulus Means More Progress
Whether you’re a long-distance runner or a poker pro, variation in training leads to more stimulus—and more stimuli provides new chances for progress and development. Even minor adjustments can lead to great change, such as training in the rain or inclement weather.
But this moves far beyond the realm of external circumstance. For example, runners who decide to start focusing on shoulder mobility are better prepared to endure for longer stretches. Though pairing shoulder flexibility with long-distance running might not seem immediately intuitive, adding this type of training variation to a schedule can improve and support the main focus of training.
Variation Prevents Limitations
Many people believe that to be considered an expert, someone must log in 10,000 hours of work. Whether a basketball player or a poker pro, this holds true….