How to Win At Sports: The Definitive Guide

How to Win At Sports: The Definitive Guide

These 10 amazing sports stars have accomplished incredible things on the field. They’ve won Olympic medals, MVPs, and championships, but that’s not all they’ve won. They are also incredible humanitarians, using their stardom to make the world a better place. If you’re looking to win at sports, here are some awesome tips from people who really know how to do it.

Muhammad Ali (Boxer)

I’ve always said that people sleep better when they have clean feet. I can sleep at night if my feet are clean. It makes me feel confident, peaceful, and happy. If your feet are bad-smelling or you have an athlete’s foot, you don’t get a good night’s sleep.

Rafael Nadal (Tennis player)

He seems to think that sleeping is an insult. It’s not, Raf. If you’re going to get rid of your demons and become world number one again (and beyond), it might be wise to try what those other sports stars do – sleep! Scientists tell us that lack of sleep has been shown, time and time again, to lead directly towards poor performance. In fact: some psychologists argue that getting less than eight hours' sleep can mean athletes are actually too tired to exercise properly. Poor mental sharpness doesn't help either – athletes who perform poorly because they're fatigued are more likely than their fresher peers to make silly errors which can often be fatal in high-pressured situations like tournaments.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Soccer player)

I always sleep very well. I try to go to bed early, about 8 or 9 pm, and wake up at 8 am. The important thing is that you have discipline. Without discipline it’s difficult. After training, I eat a lot of food – steak and pasta – but in moderation and with balance. Then I have a cold shower before going to bed... Soccer players need at least nine hours' sleep; we play games on Saturdays, which is when people want us to play, so it’s important that we recover during that week by sleeping as much as possible. If you don't sleep enough you will be tired and that is not good for anything!

Stephen Curry (Basketball player)

The key to a good night’s sleep is (1) setting an alarm, and (2) getting into bed at least 15 minutes before that alarm goes off. Studies have shown that, if you put your head on your pillow 15 minutes before your scheduled wake-up time, you’ll start moving through sleep cycles faster and—who knows?—maybe even hit REM for a few minutes, which helps improve memory and makes mornings much easier. Many high-level athletes swear by it; just ask Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. So go ahead: Set that alarm clock, but then get ready for bed and give yourself at least 15 minutes of rest beforehand! Then put your head on that pillow and focus on sleeping well.

David Beckham (Soccer player)

There is some research that suggests being physically active improves sleep. In fact, it’s just as effective for insomnia as sleeping pills. If you have trouble sleeping and haven’t tried exercise, give it a try. You might be surprised by how much better you feel during your waking hours if you get more sleep at night. Aim for thirty minutes of exercise three times per week, preferably in daylight hours or with an abundance of light—both conditions have been shown to help us naturally adjust our body clocks for optimal rest patterns (circadian rhythms). You can start small—even just ten minutes of walking after dinner can work wonders on your mood and energy levels during waking hours. As always, consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Lebron James (Basketball player)

In his high school senior year, James averaged 29.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 3.8 steals per game, and led Oak Hill Academy to its third consecutive state title in 2004.[27] He was named Ohio Mr. Basketball by The Associated Press for the second straight year,[28] becoming just one of four players ever to win it twice[29] (Ron Harper, Austin Carr, and Jim Jackson being the others).

Chris Paul (Basketball player)

It sounds like obvious advice, but plenty of people still don’t do it. Before you go to bed, avoid watching TV, surfing on your phone or computer, and eating within an hour of hitting the sheets. These activities activate brain activity and stimulate your senses—which makes it hard for you to wind down and relax. Get in a rhythm before you hit bed; choose what you want to watch or read ahead of time so that your mind is engaged but not overstimulated right before bedtime.

Serena Williams (Tennis player)

The tennis superstar is known for her impressive work ethic and fitness regimen. You can see what my workouts look like on Instagram—I’m always training, she told InStyle. She follows a rigorous exercise plan daily, with sessions often lasting up to three hours in duration. Her favorite workout? High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which she usually does on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

Roger Federer (Tennis player)

During his career, Roger Federer, who’s won 17 grand slam titles in all and is widely considered one of tennis’s all-time greats, has racked up countless accolades. But perhaps none are as impressive as his ability to continue competing at such a high level well into his 30s. While others have struggled with injuries and age, he still hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Many believe it’s because of Federer’s strict routine before bed.

Lionel Messi (Soccer player)

It’s such an easy fix that it’s amazing that more people don’t know about it. You go outside, as late as you can, and you look straight up at Orion. It doesn’t matter what time of year—in my case, it happens to be in summer—and there will be three stars that are basically in a straight line. What those three stars represent is his belt and if you follow them all the way down toward his feet, there is another star and if you trace those stars...as weird as it sounds I fall asleep every single night following these four stars because they help me relax.