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The assessment is about an Australian athlete Sally pearson and you have to research about them ive given you the actually assessment and the criteria if you need anything else let me know Essay Example

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Factors Affecting Athlete’s Performance

Factors Affecting Athlete’s Performance

Sally Pearson was born in 1986. She moved to Gold Coast from Sydney at the age of eight years. Her coach Sharon Hannan noticed her athletic talent, while she was still the primary school. She has remained her coach to date. At the age of fourteen years, Pearson won a 100m hurdles race in the year 2001, after participating in the under-20 Australian title. Pearson has remained in the top list of the world fastest women athletes in 100 meters hurdle races to date.

Energy Systems

The body depends on three main energy systems when conducting exercises. These systems include anaerobic a-lactic system, the aerobic system and anaerobic lactic systems. The athletes highly utilize one system than they do to other systems. It is significant in identifying the systems utilized in a given sport, in order to acquire information regarding the qualities of strength required in a specified sport. ATP-PC means Adenosine Triphosphate Phosphocreatine system. It forms one among the three significant pathways existing in ones body. ATP is the main source of energy in the body. Intensity, speed and duration of ones muscles contraction dictates the tapping, recycling and releasing of energy from ATP are undertaken.

Once the ATP-PC system is exhausted, the utilization of anaerobic glycolysis comes into play. This is also referred to as the lactic acid system. This system is responsible of breaking down some of the body’s muscle glycogen forming plenty of ATP. This action results in fueling of an athlete’s muscles. The by-products produced in this process, yields lactates and an increment in the secretion of acid (hydrogen ion). The acid produced leads to a burning effect to an athlete once she sprints for a longer duration exceeding 20 seconds. The acid literally bars further contraction of the muscles at high levels.

The three key systems that give out ATP in one’s body include the phosphagen, oxidative and glycolytic system. All the three systems are extremely significant since each system is utilized differently at varied intensities. This explains the significance of specified training enhancing athlete’s performance. A sprinter like Sally Pearson mainly utilizes the glycolytic and phosphagen system. A sprinter has the capability holding breath in the first 40 to 60 meters, during this time; she mainly depends on phosphagen system. This process leads to high production of ATP; therefore, the sprinter utilizes the formed ATP at an increased rate.

As this process continues, the utilization of glycolytic system as a secondary energy resource is evident. Once the ATP present in phosphagen is exhausted, the glycolysis replaces it by becoming the primary energy source. Once a sprinter covers 60 meters, he/she is at maximum speed; there occurs a decrease in ATP in the phosphagen system where glycolytic system replaces the previous system. The rate at which ATP is produced by glycolytic system is slightly slower in comparison to phosphagen, notably, the sprinter’s speed decreases.


In order to maintain athlete’s energy levels for regular performance, an energy-efficient and well-balanced diet forms a significant part of athlete’s normal routine (Reilly, Drust, and Gregson, 2006). Athlete’s body must consume enough amounts of kilojoules, which helps in the re-synthesis and synthesis of ATP obtained from food yielding enough energy for activity. Nutrients are divided into two categories: micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) and macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins).

An athlete requires between 55 and 60 percentage of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the athlete’s body with glycogen, which is stored in the muscles. Complex compounds such as vegetables, breads, pasta, potatoes and cereals exceed 70 percent in carbohydrates production. Athlete should consume 12 to 15 percent of protein. It helps in the repairing of body tissues. Protein reduces the incidences of anemia and improving the healing ability of one’s body. The optimal percentage of fat that an athlete requires is 30 percent. Fats form a concentrated energy source, which assists the athlete in expending high quantities of energy necessary for fueling the athlete. In the absence of dietary fat, the consumption of sufficient calories in the maintenance of stamina and strength becomes difficult.

Water is among the most significant nutrients to all athletes. The chilled fluids are essential for cooling the body temperatures. There exists a high rate of chilled water consumption by the body. In the pre-event meal, the athlete should consume 2 to 3 cups of water, 2 to 21/2 cups of water two hours before the event and 2 cups of water half an before the event. The athlete should take half a cup of cool water mostly between 45 and 55 degrees in duration of 10 to 15 minutes during the actual event. Once an event is over, the athlete should consume 2 cups of water in replacement of every pound lost.

Vitamins are essential in increasing the intake of calories in a specified diet ensuring that enough amount of minerals and vitamins for an athlete (Reilly, Drust and Gregson, 2006). For instance, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin (vitamins B) are essential in the production of energy obtained from proteins and carbohydrates. Excess quantities of vitamins that are fat-soluble could lead to toxicity to the athlete’s body. Minerals are essential in the performance of the athlete. Heavy exercises reduce calcium, sodium, iron and potassium in women athletes. Lack of enough iron in the body lead a general feeling of fatigue during the start of heavy training program a condition also known as Sports anemia. This condition is experienced once the iron in the body is utilized in production of energy as opposed to red blood cells production.


Psychology has played a significant role in enhancing the performance of an athlete. Among the key aspects that affect athletes’ performance is their motivation and how they manage the resulting anxiety. Motivation is a condition, which influences an athlete’s behavior and provides a sense of direction at an athlete resulting to goal-oriented mannerism. Successful motivation to an athlete includes good communication, knowledge, credibility, reinforcement, sensitivity and feedback evaluation. There are numerous forms of motivation, which includes negative motivation, positive motivation, extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Positive motivation involves recognizing, praising and rewarding the athletes for excellently performed events. Once athletes are recognized in the society, they tend to work harder to maintain the same or better image to the society.

Negative motivation involves external imposition, which includes sanctions. This condition includes the athlete’s avoidance of existing undesirable consequences; for instance, players being dropped due to poor performances, threats and ultimatums. Negative motivation destructs athletes’ initiative and confidence. Intrinsic motivation results from athlete’s enjoyment, interest and satisfaction, while extrinsic motivation results from an external reward, such as money. Reinforcement manifests itself as a punishment or reward, which affects probability of whether a specified behavior occurs or not.

There are three main categories of reinforcement: internal, social and material reinforcement. Good utilization of all the three categories highly enhances the performance of an athlete. In the social reinforcement, the athlete receives both professional and social care given by athlete’s coach, parents and friends. The athlete receives adequate guidance on numerous underlying issues. The material reinforcement is every athlete’s source of encouragement. This could range from grants from governments to trophies acquired after an excellent performance. The internal reinforcement has everything to do with the athlete as an individual. The athlete’s preparedness for an event could increase his/her self-confidence. Once athletes possess self-confidence, their performance automatically improves.

Anxiety involves numerous negative emotions; such as, apprehension, fear and worry. This condition has physical sensational accompaniments: breath shortness, palpitations and chest pain. Anxiety can either be state or trait anxiety. One’s anxiety traits are commonly characterized by athlete’s personality and one’s general level of anxiety. A good performing athlete such as Sally Pearson tends to perceive numerous threatening situations in comparison to under performing athletes. State anxiety is a form of anxiety that an athlete experiences in face of threatening dangers or demands. For instance, once two well performing athlete meet in the same event, they all experience threatened since the prevailing situation demands for hard work. Many stresses that an athlete experiences can be either external or internal. Stress can either enhance or negative affect athlete’s performance.

Optimal arousal is the level of alertness, preparedness and prevailing excitement in an athlete before participating in an event. One’s arousal can be measured through muscular tension, heart rate and respiration. One’s arousal is directly proportional to athlete’s performance; an athlete with low arousal will always record a poor performance and vice versa. An over aroused athlete will have a tendency of performing poorly. This indicates that, optimum level of arousal possesses positive results. It is extremely significant for all the athletes to identify their individual sources of anxiety and learn on ways of managing their anxiety. One ways of managing their anxiety is through concentrating on their skills. This can be improved by setting targets and goals that they intend to achieve.

Once an athlete sets targets and goals, she can effectively evaluate the quantity of exercises she intends to employ. There exists a direct proportionality between the set goals and the quantity of exercises; an athlete with high goals undertakes intensive exercises. Goals provide direction, since they are the constant remainders of what one intends to accomplish. In the establishment of goals, the coach and the athlete are required to determine methods of achieving of the prevailing goals. Creation of routine by an athlete guides the athlete on her daily activities. This also enhances the athlete’s stamina in a specified sport. Warm up and warm down are significant to an athlete since it brings a feeling of relaxation and refocusing by controlled breathing. Another psychological aspect involves athlete’s mental rehearsal. This rehearsal prepares the athlete for an upcoming event since they get to participate in the said event numerously through imagination before the actual event.

In order for an athlete to improve her performance, various factors must come into play: energy systems, nutrition and athlete’s psychological factors. She should identify the energy systems employed in a specified sport. This assists the athlete in gathering the necessary information in regards to the strength qualities required. ATP-PC provides a short-lived power, which offers the body with maximum output for a short duration of 10-15 seconds. The ATP in athlete’s muscles is recycled energizing the athlete, thus running faster. It is important to note that, after the exhaustion of ATP-PC system, anaerobic glycolysis takes over and breaks down glycogen in the muscle to form enough ATP. In achieving maximum output, an athlete should consume an energy-efficient diet. Enough kilojoules in athlete’s diet assists in ATP re-synthesis and synthesis. The diet should provide the athlete with both the micro and macronutrients (55 to 60 percent of carbohydrates, 12 to 15 percent of protein and plenty of water).


Reilly, T., Drust, B., and Gregson, W. (2006). Thermoregulation in elite athletes. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care
, 9 (6), 666-671.