Only the very best athletes make it to the top of their sport. To do so, they must have the capacity to reach a high level of fitness, the ability to create the very best technique for their particular sport, and have a suitable mental attitude.
Once a promising athlete with the above capabilities has been identified, they must undergo a strict training protocol to adapt their body to perform at peak levels for specific competitions.
It is almost impossible to stay at peak performance over extended periods of time; therefore, many professional athletes and their coaches will select certain events in which it is advantageous to excel. Coaching, biometrics and sports science all contribute towards success and professional athletes now have professional coaches and a team of doctors, physiotherapists and trainers to back them up.
For the amateur, there are many websites that offer good coaching programmes, such as soccer drills from https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Football/;jsessionid=56B5B4058787F33A9D106510DD68AE18.
To be able to carry out the necessary training, the body must be fed at an optimum level for the specific sport; for example, diets will vary between a weightlifter, a sprinter and a triathlete. The formulation of specific diets for athletes has become a science in itself, aimed at giving each individual a fair advantage.
Performance-enhancing drugs are illegal in amateur and professional sport; however, some athletes and coaches choose this route to gain an unfair advantage. There are two sets of technology associated with doping in sport: one that creates the new drugs and one that seeks to catch the cheats. As the athlete, the training and the nutrition have become so specialised, unscrupulous individuals turn to drugs to give themselves that extra edge.
Athletes also look towards technical innovation in sports equipment to give them a legal boost. The whole sports equipment industry has become a multi-million-pound business, offering athletes that small advantage. Equipment has evolved at such a rate that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has had to closely follow all technological developments in sporting equipment to ensure that there is no unfair advantage.
Equipment is now so specialised and the margin between winning and losing so small that the tools of the athlete may now make all the difference between success and failure.