Physical Factors that affect sporting performance

Dieting: The food we eat can have a big impact of are sporting performance. Food provides us growth, energy, and tissue replacement and repair. In order to have a good sporting performance we must have a good balanced, healthy diet which will provide us with all the nutrients we need. A balanced diet has seven essential components: carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, fibre and water. If an athlete has a good healthy diet this can benefit their performance drastically.

The affect of not have a healthy diet containing a range of the seven components mentioned above could be dramatic on a sports player as sports players need the development and growth of hormones and haemoglobin in the blood and they also need good growth of tissues on the body which a healthy diet full of proteins would contain. Sports players performance would also be affected as they need high levels of energy which the healthy diet contains. They also need plenty of minerals to keep their bones strong also foods which contains iron helps in the transport of oxygen to the muscles which is highly useful for the muscles to work efficiently, this will help prevent fatigue setting in as quick.

Somatotype: Differences in physique can have an affect on our fitness and sporting activity. Certain sporting activities, particular body types can be advantageous to the sport. Somatotypes are split into three main categories: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph. However some people do not directly fit into one particular somatotype. A typical ectomorph is very slightly built, possessing very narrow shoulders, long limb making them quite tall, a typical long distance runner would be an ectomorph.

Ectomorphs are often referred to as ‘Skinny’ and ‘Lanky’. A typical endomorph is round shaped with broad hips and usually carry weight around their waist, their top hips and their upper thighs, a typical endomorph is best illustrated as a sumo wrestler. A typical mesomorph is athletic built, A mesomorph has broad shoulders, narrow hips and is muscular, they are the complete opposite to endomorphs, Sprinters are a good example of a mesomorph.

Somatotype can affect performance positively or negatively as certain body types are best suited for certain events, for example a ectomorph somatotype will positively effect the performance of a basketball player as they need to be tall. If a endomorph was to participate in swimming this would negatively effect their performance as swimmers to carry as little weight as possible for maximum speed.

Muscle fibre type: The voluntary muscle contains two type of muscle fibre type: fast switch and slow switch. The amount an athlete has inherited of each muscle fibre type can determine which sporting activities they are good at. Fast switch fibres are for short term power and strength, slow switch are for longer term endurance activities. Fast switch fibres are useful for sporting events which require short bursts of energy and require the muscles to contract much more quickly, slow switch fibres are useful for sporting activities which require the muscles to contract at a much slower rate but can function for a much longer time. For example a professional sprinter might have a distribution of 70-per cent fast switch fibres and 30 per cent slow switch and a marathon runner would have roughly the opposite distribution.

Psychological Factors that affect sporting performance: Psychological factors can also affect a competitor’s performance. Anxiety can negatively affect sporting performance as competitors loose focus on performance due to over worries. Psychological factors can also benefit a competitors performance, a combination of good relaxation, mental rehearsal, arousal and focusing can all benefit a competitor’s performance. Social factor that can affect a sporting performance:

Access/provision, Family/peer support, school, environment, tradition/culture all factors that can affect performance. If people do not have good accessibility to sports facilities this will affect negatively affect their sporting as they would not have sufficient practice, if people have support from friends and family this would help their sporting activities as parents can allow and provide access to facilities that are essential for the activities of their choice, without this support it would become more difficult for people to participate.

Schooling can affect the sporting performance because good schooling is usually where most people discover what sports they are good at and develop them during their time in school, most school also offer extra curriculum sporting activities, some countries/ areas to not have good support from schools for sporting activities due to a lack of money this is a likely factor that will negatively affect the sporting in the community.

The environment can also affect sporting performance because if people live in high mountainous areas they tend to have more red blood cells to carry blood to their muscles as the air is thinner at altitude and so their blood has to be more efficient at taking oxygen from the lungs. This is also why people go to train in environments like Kenya with excellent conditions for high altitude training. This is also why people from Kenya and high mountainous environments are exceptional at long distance and endurance events.

Tradition/ Culture also affect sporting as people from certain religions are not aloud to participate in certain events as it is against their religion to show parts of their body. After practising/ training for 6 weeks asses how much improvement has been made. Sana’s passing skills have certainly developed over the 6 week training programme. Her overall confidence at passing the ball has improved and she now uses a variety of passes with great accuracy and her new confidence has lead her to passing the ball with no hesitation, her passes seem effortless now.

Her marking has also significantly improved, she now marks a lot better making it a lot harder for the opposition to pass, before the 6 weeks training the defending players from the opposition did not have difficulty passing the ball due to Sana’s lack of marking skills. Sana’s shooting now is also much more accurate she rarely misses shots when given opportunities, she is scoring a lot for her team even in difficult situations.

The 6 week practice program has maintained her fitness and improved her skills well. The shooting, passing and marking sessions definitely improved her skills, she found better positions to pass, and shoot which lead her to improve the accuracy of her passes and shooting, she found her problems with shooting and passing before was due to the fact she used to stand in positions with a lot less balance unnecessarily. Her markings skills developed over simple and basic practice of different markings skills which she then performed and practiced in mini games that I set up in her 6 week training programme.

Discuss with he player the results of the 6 week training program and record her-his views. Sana agrees with my observations made, she feels that the 6 week training programme benefited her netball skills drastically. Sana would like to maintain a similar exercise routine on a weekly basis so she can continue to progress as she is particularly pleased with the results. Sana is particularly pleased with her new shooting skills developed because she is surprised how a few body adjustments can make her shoot so accurately she feels she can shoot now with less though it just come naturally now. She also feels her endurance levels has increased, she said her body felt no longer fatigued at the end of a game, this is due to the heavy exercise methods I set up in the 6 week exercise programme her body has become used to high amount of exercise.

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