As an athlete, your body is more important to you than for non-athletes. Professional athletes make their living using their body, so they must take care of it. You can’t perform well if you have an injured or unathletic body. That’s what the fitness component of sports is all about, making sure you are healthy and athletic so you can perform at your highest potential.

Like technique, all components of sports apply to the cup/water analogy. Having an unfit body, like having poor technique, strategy or mental game, can limit your potential. So if you want to reach your full potential, train your fitness. Fitness can be broken down into 8 components: strength, size, speed, agility, endurance, coordination, flexibility, and durability.

  • Strength: the benefit of strength is obvious. Strength helps you hit harder, throw farther, and break tackles.
  • Size: size can affect performance in different ways. Height helps you reach higher in basketball. Being short can improve lateral movement. Being a bulky lineman helps clog lanes.
  • Speed: Speed helps in every sport. It helps you get to the ball faster, avoid tacklers, and play defense.
  • Agility: While speed relates to longer distances and straight line movement, agility, or quickness refers to shorter distances, multidirectional movement, and reaction time. Agility provides similar benefits as speed does.
  • Endurance: Endurance, or stamina allows you to perform at your highest level for an entire game, tournament, or season. It prevents you from getting tired, and when you’re tired, you play sloppy and give less effort.
  • Coordination: coordination and skills such as hand-eye coordination, foot-eye coordination, balance, kinesthetic feel, and dexterity (being ambidextrous), are often overlooked by athletes, but they are crucial for performance. Many errors are caused by poor coordination. Athletes such as Curry, Messi, and Federer are very coordinated.
  • Flexibility: flexibility helps prevent injuries and increases your range of motion, which improves power. Novak Djokovic can hit amazing defensive shots because of his flexibility.
  • Durability: “your most important ability is your availability.” You can’t perform if you’re always injured.  You need to train and recover in ways that helps you stay durable throughout the grind of a season.
As you can see, there is a lot to fitness training. The human body is very complicated so it’s hard to gain expertise in fitness. Many athletes want to improve their fitness, but they don’t know how to properly train. They don’t know the effects of certain exercises, nor do they know the causes of certain injuries. That’s why it’s important to seek help from a professional personal trainer or other experts.