Agility, power and natural ability may give players an edge on the court or arena, but there are some other abstract qualities that can improve performance and ensure continued success in sports, and in life. To be among the amazing athletes, you must master these five traits.
Solid professional ethics, for example, can transform a mediocre athlete into a fierce competitor. So while we encourage young athletes to continue to develop their sport-specific skills, here are five vital personality-type characteristics that amazing athletes need to succeed.
Amazing Athletes Are Persistent
Persistence is the ability to commit unwaveringly to a particular course of action, and it could apply to all areas of life: school, sports, during a competition, a workout, etc. When a young athlete starts a new sport. It can be tempting for him or her to quit when things get tough, the team isn’t doing well. Or the athlete doesn’t feel like he or she excels at the particular sport, but with an attitude of persistence. They will be able to train their focus and persevere even when things are not going as expected.
Persistence is such a critical marker of an excellent athlete because regardless of how talented the individual is, they must require persistence to guide them to take actions that will keep them on track to achieve the desired outcome.
Amazing Athletes who have persistence, stick with their team and/or sport, no matter what. Not only that, they have the desire to continually improve.
Persistence is what makes an athlete train harder, and ultimately, this quality separates a good athlete from an excellent one.
Amazing Athletes Show Sportsmanship
A school administrator or athletic director usually speaks to high school athletes before a game or event about respect and sportsmanship. This is so important! While some athletes may ignore these pre-game announcements, young athletes must not underestimate the importance of having good sportsmanship.
Sportsmanship is an all-encompassing word that describes the way an athlete conducts him or herself on the field or court. It also includes how he or she relates to other athletes, coaches, and sports officials. When an athlete is a bad sport, the person might speak or act in an inappropriate way. Be overly aggressive or physical, not follow the rules, or simply have a bad attitude and quit. Not only does this not make a good teammate. Not following the rules can lead to violations and/or penalties which can keep an athlete from participating.
It is essential to have a great attitude and be a good sport because in sports an athlete will be dealing primarily with people. And there will certainly instances where they need to interact and communicate with each other. Many coaches have this problem with even the most brilliant players.
Regardless of how talented an individual is, having a nasty attitude will take the athlete nowhere. Throughout history, there have been countless athletes with exceptional ability who were unable to rise to the peak of their careers in sports due to a lack of Sportsmanship.
Some of them got disqualified for insulting other players. Some had a hard time controlling their emotions while on the pitch, and some even refused to show up for a game because they didn’t ‘feel like it!’
It is this sort of attitude that can potentially truncate an athlete’s professional career, regardless of talent.
Think of the star basketball player who scores 20 points a game but gets a foul every other night for insulting or bullying his opponents. His scores might look great, but college scouts will avoid this type of player, and it may separate him from another athlete with a better attitude.
Amazing Athletes Show Compassion
You may be wondering, when it comes to being a good athlete, how does compassion fit into the equation? After all, many athletic greats like Michael Jordan and Mohammed Ali, constantly talked about having an unconquerable urge to win at any cost. Yes, the will to win is essential in sports, but there’s still a place for compassion.
Not every athlete who puts on a helmet or laced up a pair of boots is a future professional athlete. In fact, some athletes don’t aspire to play beyond high school. When a young athlete is part of a team, however, he or she needs to treat every member of the squad with respect and kindness. This doesn’t mean the baseball team will all be best friends. But the players have to practice kindness and mutual respect in order to have cohesion and team chemistry.
While science shows that humans are naturally wired for kindness, it can be easy to forget in a competitive environment. It’s important for parents and coaches to reinforce the importance of kindness in sports.
Amazing Athletes Are Unselfish
We see it all too often in sports. The star wide receiver who doesn’t want any of his teammates to get touchdown passes. Or the talented point guard who would rather drive to the basket against a double team instead of finding an open teammate. These amazing athletes may lead the league in several categories. But their teammates probably don’t like them, and believe it or not, their team isn’t as good as it could be.
To paraphrase a quote from Krossover, an online resource for coaches, “a selfish teammate can ruin morale, poison the team culture, and make coaching a downright unpleasant experience at times.”
On the other hand, an unselfish player understands that it’s not all about him and recognizes his teammates’ strengths and weaknesses. An athlete like this makes everyone on the floor or field better. An unselfish athlete makes a great leader; the types of player coaches want to have on their team.
Amazing Athletes Are Coachable
Regardless of how good an athlete is at his or her sport. The person needs to be able to listen and follow directions. A good coach wants every athlete to reach his or her full potential and also wants the team to excel. When one athlete believes that he knows better than the coach. It could affect the team dynamic and psyche negatively and also prevent the athlete from achieving his full potential.
According to coaching expert Mike Kennedy, a coachable athlete is “someone who is committed to his or her own development; who is hungry for feedback from others and open to anything that may improve his or herself.”
When an athlete is coachable, he or she is willing to learn. To accept constructive criticism, and to constantly work to improve. Again, natural ability can only take an athlete so far. But if an athlete is coachable, he has the capacity to learn, grow, and improve.
Last Words on Amazing Athletes
While these characteristics can help an athlete in his or her sport of choice, they’re also essential skills to being a good, well-rounded human being. In many cases, a person’s behavior on the field is a good indication of his or her attitude in life. If young athletes are taught these important lessons through sports. They can use them to their benefit in every facet of life but most of all become amazing athletes.