To be a good athlete you must have good training practices. Training practices are more than just what you do on the track; they involve how you live your day to day life.
Coaching – Seeking out someone with more experience then you is always a good idea. There is no sense re-inventing the wheel when someone has already tested several methods and can save you a lot of time leading to greater effiency in your training.
Be Open – A huge part to becoming an experienced athlete is to keep your mind open, both to new ideas and to feedback. Request feedback. Recognize that you dont know everything and that you can learn a lot from those who are more experienced.
Take it slow – Set reasonable goals. If youre a twice a week runner, dont expect to make the upcoming Olympics. Reasonable goals will keep you mentally fit and motivated to keep training. If you try to take things too quickly chances are you will get burnt out both mentally and physically.
Injury Prevention – I dont know of any great athlete that hasnt suffered a injury at one point in their career, and knows how devastating it can be. An injury can put an end to a season or...