Practically anyone can become an Olympic athlete if they train hard and long enough from the right age. However, it is a very intensive goal to achieve. It requires a lot of time and determination. Athletes often have to sacrifice aspects of their private life to focus solely on their chosen sport.
It is essential to start out at an early age before peak performance has been reached. Future Olympians have to endure long term training sessions. For instance, preteens often spend 250 hours a year, perfecting their skills. As they grow into teenagers, this is increased to 600 hours. People who are in their mid to late teens and early twenties will then see their training hours stretch out to at least 1100 hours. This can be very restrictive for people with busy schedules.
This training is overseen by a professional coach. A good level of coaching is key to helping people reach their full potential. In fact, it is often advisable to get a coach before even competing on a local level. It allows potential athletes to be trained efficiently and reduce their chances of sustaining an injury. They also give their clients the latest tips and strategies. A coach will act as a guide through the various competitions.
Getting to the Olympics
As a successful athlete increases their skill level, they will find themselves advancing to higher levels of competition. They will have to keep up with the new demand on their bodies with even more extensive training.
The biggest obstacle is qualifying for Olympic trials. This is where having a good coach will pay off. Being a pro athlete will mean travelling a lot. Therefore it is vital that the person gets used to being always on the move. Finally, financing is essential. Gaining a sponsor is a good idea so that the cost of competing is lessened.