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Virtually every man has had dreams of being a pro athlete at one point or another.  Whether it’s hitting the game winning homer in the bottom of the ninth, sinking that jumper as the shot clock expires or making that perfect kick on the pitch.  For those fortunate enough to have the skills to get that shot. There is more to it than pure talent (although that does help).  So, if you’re looking at the prospects of taking the next level in your sporting life. Whether it’s the possibility of getting picked up by a college team, or even making it your profession.  Then you might be wondering what you can do to make it to that next level. There’s a good chance that you’re already putting considerable effort in, but here are a few points just to make sure that you’re able to give it your all.


Make Fitness a Priority

Sounds obvious right?  But how many of us have skipped days at the gym because they weren’t feeling it. There is no sport that will not require an athlete to be in top physical condition if you  want to be at the upper echelons of performance. What kind of fitness you should be working on, and what your priorities should be will depend on the type of sport that you’re involved in. Some require more stamina, others more raw power. However, if there are any issues getting in the way of improving your fitness, you should address those, first and foremost. Of course, this includes your diet, as well.


Hone Your Craft

If you want to make sure that you’re performing at your absolute best, then you need to find ways to work on your skills. Working with your coach or team might not be enough by itself. For instance, if you’re looking to make it in baseball, then you might want to make some space for an extra softball hitting lesson now and then in your own time. You want to make sure that you don’t overtrain to the point of potentially injuring yourself. But you should seriously ask yourself if there isn’t any more room for training in your current schedule. Don’t believe us, look no further than Kobe Bryant.  He was already in the NBA and a winner of several championship rings. Yet, he wanted to work on his hook shot. Make it as smooth as Hall of Fame Hakeem Olajuwan. So what did he do?  He went directly to Olajuwon in the off-season and asked for the extra instruction. Now that’s commitment to your craft.


Get Your Mind Right

Physical improvement isn’t the only way to ensure that you’re ready to make it as an athlete at the upper levels. There’s a degree of mental conditioning that comes with the physical side of it. But you have to make sure that you are emotionally and mentally prepared with the athlete’s mindset, as well. This can include, for instance, making sure that you can take feedback from your coach or manager with the intent of improving your game, rather than protecting your ego. It’s not always an easy step to make for a pro athlete.


Find the Opportunities to Play at the Next Level

Whether you’re in high school, or college, or looking for a burgeoning professional career. You should always be looking for the right opportunities to play against the players who are at the next level for you. If you’re dominating all of the competition around you, it’s increasingly important to be aware of the next level that you need to work up to. Playing up to those who are better than you is a harsh reality check, but also a very important lesson.  

Case in point, the vaulted St. John’s basketball team of the 80’s. Chris Mullen, a member of those teams, often spoke of how he would venture out of Queens, to the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem, to test his mettle against tougher opposition.  The message – seek out the challenges. You’ll be better off for it.

To make it to the higher end of sports, you need to be exceptional, which requires not just a developed talent, but plenty of hard work as well. Hopefully, the tips above show you what kind of work you might need to put in.

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