Techniques Used by Coaches to Improve the Performance of Athletes

Updated February 21, 2017

It's very important for coaches to improve their athletes' performances. A team with highly performing teammates will win games and beat records. There are many techniques for improving the performance of athletes. These techniques focus on improving the athletes' physical and mental strength.

Improving the Body

Creating better muscle tone for athletes helps them have the strength to compete at their peak ability for longer periods of time. It can also improve their peak abilities. Weightlifting programs and techniques helps improve muscle tone. Simple strength improving exercises include jogging, push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups.

Improving explosiveness helps your athletes react quicker and more effectively. Explosiveness is the speed of moving from complete inactivity to complete activity. Exercises that improve explosiveness include bounding and hurdling over obstacles as quickly as possible and fast-paced squats.

Mastering Muscle Memory

Performing a set of drills repeatedly is one technique coaches use to drill the methods of the sport into their athletes' heads. For example, golf coaches have their golfers drive golf balls hundreds of times a day to perfect their form. Football coaches have their linemen run into and pushed weighted sleds for hours and quarterbacks and receivers run pass routes until they know each route by heart. These repetitive drills burn these sporting methods, forms and techniques into the muscle memory of athletes, so it becomes a natural reaction.

Mental Relaxation

Preparing mentally is important to improving performance. Anxiety may make an athlete think too much during her performance. Coaches use techniques such as hypnosis, meditation and deep-breathing exercises to induce a sense of calm in athletes and remove anxiety.

Coaches also use confidence-boosting techniques, including praising performances, showing videos of opponents failing, pointing out weaknesses in opponent's abilities, making uplifting speeches and otherwise improving the athletes' confidence.


Visualisation is imagining the goal you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it and the outcome of that goal. For example, a player may visualise having the ability to run 100 yards in 10 seconds. Athletes can visualise the series of drills he needs to reach this goal without getting bored. Athletes can learn to visualise the outcome of each action in the game instinctively, which improves mental relaxation and confidence. This technique is difficult to master and may take years of practice.

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About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.