As an athlete, you want to do everything you can to improve. To perform at an elite level, you need more than mere talent. To gain an edge over other talented athletes, you can emulate what the great professional athletes do to succeed. Consider these tips to outperform your competition.

The NFL’s J.J. Watt

No sport gets more attention in the U.S. than pro football. The NFL consistently draws the biggest TV audience during the season. Even the spring NFL Draft gets huge ratings. The popularity is growing, because fans can now access every NFL game. A provider of Long Beach DIRECTV explains that the NFL Sunday Ticket lets viewers watch every NFL game, regardless of where they live.

Men’s Health quotes Watt as saying he enjoys doing mundane workouts that other athletes may skip in their training. Watt believes that he gains an edge by doing the less interesting workouts. Even though Watt is one of the best players at his position, he consistently trains hard to improve. He finds a way to enjoy the training process.

Train Rouge explains that athletes who get stronger relative to their body weight can produce and absorb more force in their sport. As Watt gains strength, he can throw off blockers and get to a running back most easily.

An athlete must also be mentally present when they train. If they go into a workout distracted and unfocused, they won’t get the maximum benefit from the workout. Focus allows the athlete to push himself past discomfort and make improvements.

Mike Trout’s training regime

Mike Trout has established himself as one of the best players in major league baseball. In addition to his physical skills, Trout is a student of the game. He studies his opponents and looks for trends. If he can identify a trend, he may be able to gain an edge on his opponent.

Trout plays the outfield, typically in center field. If he knows that a batter normally hits to left field, Trout can move over toward left field. If the ball is hit to left center field, he’s in a better position to field the ball.

As a batter, Trout also knows his own tendencies. Specifically, he knows his own strike zone. If a pitcher throws a pitch that is difficult for him to hit, he will lay off that pitch. Trout knows the types of pitches he can hit, and which part of his own strike zone is best for hitting.

Gaining focus and relaxation to perform well

All great athletes want tools to maximize their performance at key times. Here are some tools athletes use to perform during big moments:

  • Relax using self-statements. Like many things in life, what we tell ourselves can have a big impact. Great athletes are careful about what they tell themselves. They try to focus on key words that help them relax and focus.
  • Visualize a successful outcome. If you’re a high jumper, you can visualize yourself clearing the bar as you perform your jump.
  • Trust the process. If you trained and are prepared, relax and let your good outcome happen.

Again, to perform at a high level, and athlete needs more than mere talent. Use the preceding tips from pro athletes to outperform your competitors.