High-performance sport: what is it and how do these athletes live?
At SLAM International we are well aware that sport is an indispensable complement to top-level educational models. And we are also aware that there are students who, due to their personality or physical abilities, are more predisposed to practice high-performance sport.
But what exactly is high-performance sport and how can SLAM International help high-performance or amateur athletes to develop their sporting skills while studying in Spain?
What is high performance sport and its characteristics?
In short, it is sport at its highest level of development. The high-performance athlete is part of an elite. Only those who are far above the average level of other sportsmen and sportswomen can reach this elite. And this can only be achieved through:
- Exclusive dedication to training
- The desire to excel
- In-depth knowledge of the sporting discipline
In this sense, SLAM is one of the sports training centres in Spain with one of the highest levels of athlete preparation. It is fully professionalised and is directed and monitored by highly specialised coaches. The aim is to prepare the athlete to compete at the highest level. Before dedicating himself exclusively to training, the athlete has to pass a previous phase in which he will combine study and training.
Another great option for students who are particularly interested in sports is to obtain a higher qualification that qualifies them to work as coaches for high-performance sportsmen and women.
What is the life of a high-performance athlete?
The life of an athlete or high-level sportsman or sportswoman is hard and is marked by discipline and self-control. The high-performance athlete must make sacrifices and give up other activities in order to dedicate that time to training. In addition, he or she must follow a rigorous nutritional plan to the letter. By way of description, this is a typical day for a high-level athlete:
Protein and energy breakfast
Breakfast should be high in protein and carbohydrates to ensure proper muscle nutrition during subsequent training and to prevent possible hypoglycaemia. A typical breakfast is a couple of boiled eggs, wholemeal bread, pasta, a couple of bananas and orange juice.
The morning training takes place in the high-performance sports centre and must always be led by a professional coach. It is not a long training session, but a session lasting around two hours.
As well as paying special attention to carbohydrates and protein, healthy, unsaturated fats should be included in the meal. Hydration is also essential to replenish fluids lost during the morning training session.
A typical menu would consist of grilled lean meat, salmon fillets, scrambled eggs, boiled potato and wholemeal bread.
It may seem like a lot of food, but high-performance athletes have nutritional needs that can be double or even triple those of a sedentary person.
After a short nap, and under the coach’s orders, the athlete will perform the corresponding afternoon training routines.
The afternoon training session is longer and can last up to four hours, with a break for rest in which the professional athlete replenishes his strength and enjoys a minimal snack, but whose nutritional content is very energetic.
At dinner, the pattern of the midday meal is repeated: lots of protein, lots of carbohydrate and lots of hydration. For example, a typical dinner might include chicken or fish and a considerable amount of pasta.
A top athlete’s day is complemented by a long night’s rest, between 9 and 10 hours.
There is also time for leisure
We add that it is not all about sacrifice. These routines are followed for six days a week. A free afternoon can be added to the weekly rest day. The athlete is free to enjoy his leisure time as he pleases, with the exception of food. Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed in excess.
Finally, we would like to remind you that the positive values of sport, both high performance and amateur, are an essential part of the educational philosophy of SLAM International.
In this regard, we have sports training centres in Spain at the highest level, where students can develop their sporting skills in virtually any discipline, including golf, football, tennis, sailing, swimming, basketball or swimming.
In short, it doesn’t matter whether the student wishes to become an athlete and practise high-performance sport, to fulfil his or her personal development through sport or to practise sport for purely recreational purposes: at SLAM International we are able to provide personalised training programmes, adapted to his or her needs and preferences, and the best facilities and sports instructors.