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Every athlete wants to make the most of their workout sessions and practices. With a little planning and forethought, you can make sure you are maximizing your exercise time. 

Training for your next big game or competition is important, so you want to make sure you are improving your performance with each practice. 

The following five different strategies will help you make sure you are properly preparing for your practices and as a result, you will more easily reach your performance goals.

Fuel Up the Right Way

You cannot exercise to your fullest if your body is running on empty. While many people prefer to not eat a full meal before a big workout, you still need to make sure you are adequately fueled. 

Working out on an empty stomach will leave you struggling to find enough energy to make it through your routine. It's best to keep your pre-workout snack light and opt for a quality protein powder mixed into a beverage or shake. 

Your body will have the energy and protein it needs while working hard, but you won't be too full to exercise comfortably. There are formulas designed specifically for pre and post-workout, so you can find different variations which might work best for you. 

If drinks aren't for you, there are also protein bar options.

Do a Proper Warm-Up

To truly prepare for a great practice you need to make sure your body is ready for the intense exercise. The best way to get ready and reduce the chance of injury is by developing a solid warm-up routine. 

Depending on your sport there are different methods which may work best for you. Take your time experimenting with stretches, yoga, or other light cardio exercises. 

Eventually, you will find something that properly warms up your muscles and joints without taking extra energy away from your devoted practice time.

Create a Great Playlist

Sometimes a great soundtrack can take your exercise and practice to a new level. Selecting some music that really pumps you up and gives you a good pace for your practice can help amp you up and give you an extra energy boost. 

Music is a powerful motivator and mood enhancer, so don't skip out on this easy step of preparation for your next training session.

Plan to Mix it Up

Don't get stuck in the same old rut. It's probably true that you need to practice some of the same moves or techniques every session, but also incorporate different exercises along the way. 

Find different ways to work on your various muscle groups. The internet is full of interesting training ideas that can take you from the same mundane workouts into something way more fun and challenging.

Make Sure to Get Adequate Rest

This may seem like the easiest way to prepare for your next practice but it can also often be the most overlooked. You simply cannot be performing at your physical best if you haven't gotten the rest you need. 

Any time you have training coming up make sure you go to bed at a decent hour the night before and get the recommended minimum of eight hours of sleep. It's just as important to do the same for the night after your practice session as well. 

You have worked your body very hard and it needs that extra rest to recover to be able to perform well at the next training. Also, make sure to use ice and heat therapy as needed on any sore muscles. Caring for your body and giving it rest will make recovery times shorter.

Athletes simply cannot progress in their sport without intensive training and focused practices. If you employ some of these methods you will most likely see great improvement in your performance. 

Taking the steps to be ready for each training session will be worth it when you reach new goals and achievements in your sport.

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