Summer is almost over, and soon we will all go back to school, university or work.

So, let’s make sure that this is your best year of training and performing to date. Here are the 5 things considered to be the most important in training.

1. You are what you eat (and drink).

I’m sure you have heard this saying before, but it’s so true. Our performance is influenced by what nutrients we consume, and a well-balanced diet should be your ultimate goal. Consider seeking advice from a sports performance nutritionist who can help you create the best diet plan for your body type, time, discipline and current condition. A well-organized diet will help you the most in the beginning, and you will see your performance improve very quickly. Another factor that will help you is very simple… Drink more fluids! And make sure you record how much you drink each day – most people don’t even know how much water they take in. Aim to drink 2.5 litres of water every day and 2 glasses of sports performance drinks to replenish my vitamins and electrolytes after intense training.

2. “I love training hard, but I don’t have time to stay and stretch.”

For your own sake, never say these words again! We are all busy, but 10-20 minutes of stretching exercises really should be part of your training routine. Read that last sentence again — you really must stretch! It will help you recover faster, grow stronger muscles, improve your overall performance and avoid injuries.

Remember, stretching is NOT an optional part of your exercise regimen. I don’t stretch much before training sessions, but I always make sure to stretch my muscles after working them. There’s no need for a full-body stretching routine each day, but definitely stretch the muscle groups you’re using. I’d recommend learning sport-specific stretching exercises, so ask your coach for ideas (or simply search YouTube).

3. One of my favourite things to do is work on my visual motor skills.

It doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing; hand-eye coordination is very important, and it will help you improve your performance in the long run. I use Batak Pro during my training — a machine used by top sports people like the F1 drivers of Premier League footballers. You can find out more about Batak for hire and try it for yourself.

4. Learning from someone who is where you want to be is the fastest and easiest way to success.

That’s why I have a coach, and I urge you to hire one too. Having someone knowledgeable and experienced by your side will help you massively improve your performance.

5. Now it’s time to relax and let your body recover after all that heavy training.

Look into scheduling a sports massage, attending a yoga class and getting enough sleep at night. Speak to your coach about other ways you can help your body and mind recover!