Each athlete must think ahead and make a game plan that he or she wants to achieve from a sport. The beginner must remember that athletic performance is the result o many years of training, therefore, the important factor in beginner programs is patience.

Practice time is necessary to train hard for the forthcoming competitive season. The importance of hard training should now be placed on mental awareness and all-out physical readiness. This holds true for every sport. Running, which is part of most sports, can help develop the energy system that is needed for competition.

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Since many events are either won or lost during the finishing moments, this is when the intensity of all the training sessions pay off. However, training sessions must be altered if performance fails or pain or tightness becomes evident. We have to watch for the signs of over-training and exhaustion. Athletes build strong bodies, but the body needs time to rest and rebuild tissue.

Some of the warning signals of overstress include fatigue and poorer performance. In addition, there may be signs of a sore throat accompanied by stiffness of muscles and joints. At times, there can be a loss of appetite, headaches and irritability. What is the best time to know when the body needs rest and recovery or when you are at risk for injury?

A sluggish feeling during normal daily workouts signals over-training. Such a loss of energy becomes a form of staleness, which demonstrates a need for rest. An over-trained athlete may have a difficult time getting to sleep. He or she may also awaken during the night and find it harder to get up in the mornings.

As the body tires, injuries are almost sure to follow. For example, pain or swelling which leads to a bump or lump in the Achilles tendon and also pain in the knee and legs that continues through the training sessions. Learn to know your body's early warning signals. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Keep a well-trained body as your mind feels the anxiety and experiences the emotions of competition.