With the 2018 Gay Games in Paris less than a year away. Many athletes are starting to think about how they can best prepare and train to achieve their personal best on and off the field (or court, arena, pool, etc.)

If you’re investing the money and time for the trip to Paris, be sure to invest in your own training and fitness as an athlete. When you arrive in Paris and get ready to compete, don’t you want to be there feeling like you’re investment was worth it?

Sports training doesn’t just take place on the field (or court, pool, track, etc.). What you do off the field can have just as much of an impact. Improving your overall fitness level and adopting a program that is more specific to your sport will not only help you prevent injuries but you will develop conditioning, strength, stamina and balance you will need to arrive in Paris being at your strongest and fittest. You’ll even look good too and most importantly, you will be as ready as ever to take on the competition and accomplish your goals.

Putting forth your best effort in your training and preparation will make giving your best effort in Paris that much more meaningful. Win or lose, that’s what being a champion is all about!

The 2018 Gay Games in Paris is less than a year a way, but the time will still pass and what you plant now, you will harvest then.

Here are some tips to help you to prepare and train off the field for your sport. 

  • Start off by setting realistic and attainable goals.
    • Your big goal might be Paris 2018, and everything you do is another step closer to there, but what is the next step? By focusing on specific goals, you can find more guidance into what specifically you would like to improve on.


  • Focus on the journey, not the destination.
    • It is common for people to focus solely on the results or the outcome of their pursuits that they often fail to see the amazing things that happen on the way. Take the time to breathe and enjoy the process. Celebrate small accomplishments and improvements, pursue your training for the fun of it. Trust that you will see the results you seek, if you relax and let the process happen naturally.


  • Prevent Injuries
    • Upon stepping foot in the gym, the most important thing you can do is to reduce your risk of injury in sport. Every sport, and I mean EVERY sport has some kind of injury that you commonly see for that sport. Usually the result of lack of strength or improper movement that can put you at risk. Every sport is different so depending on your sport, take the time to research common injuries and how you can incorporate strength training and gym time to reducing your risk of injury.


  • Conduct a “Needs Analysis”
    • As already stated, each sport, event and position is different. Thus every sport has it’s own set of movements and demands required for that particular sport. Think about what kind of demands and movements are required for your sport. Are you jumping, throwing, running, pivoting, kicking or something else? In addition to movements, also look at the type of movements. Are you doing more fast sprints with rest? Or perhaps you are constantly moving for extended periods of time? Do you have to throw heavy things or otherwise make strong, powerful movements?


  • Select Appropriate Workouts and Exercises Based on your “Need’s Analysis”
    • Based on what you learned about your sport, you can then start to research and learn what exercises you can do at the gym that’ll help you improve at those skills. Find out which kind of movements/ skills you want to improve on most and start there. Don’t worry, you don’t need to practice everything at once. Start where you feel you need the most practice and as you grow stronger, you can change and adjust your program from there.


  • Hire a coach!
    • There’s definitely a lot more here than I can provide you, these tips and suggestions are definitely a great starting point but it can be easy to get overwhelmed. With all the exercises, movements, demands and other things out there it’s definitely worth the investment to have someone who can help guide you through it. Hiring a coach is definitely beneficial to helping you accomplish your goals, hold you accountable and offer you the guidance and focus you need to get to where you want to go. Remember while a coach can be beneficial, it is still up to you to do the work. Always remember to put forth your absolute best effort in your training, competition and all aspects of your life. When you go in, go all in, don’t settle for less. In the end the results will that much more worthwhile.


By Dirk Smith

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