So I have been reading a great book “Becoming a True Champion” by Kirk Mango and in it he lists 9 attributes that he feels contribute to what makes a great athlete. I wanted to share those with you here and recommend that you find a copy of his book, it is well worth the time to digest.
1. Commitment: A powerful devotion to something. It is the essence of dedication as one feels some level of emotional discomfort when not honoring and demonstrating action toward a commitment one has. Athletic greats, they are personally and professionally committed to the task that creates the opportunity for them to become who and what they are.
2. Discipline: The act of consistently holding oneself to a certain course of action, most times, in order to honor one’s commitments. This action is taken even in the face of difficulty or adversity, is relentless in nature, and can take on a form of having to force oneself to do what needs to be done. Discipline, as explained here, is second nature to the highest level athletes.
3. Sacrifice: The willingness to forgo other wants and desires in order to honor one’s commitments. From an athletic standpoint, it is tied closely to discipline as making a sacrifice does not occur without some level of self-restraint. It is unlikely, if not impossible, for athletic greatness to be achieved without sacrifices being made along the way.
4. Strong Work Ethic: An ability to apply great effort to a task. These labors are an important factor in the high levels of success great athletes achieve. Working hard is simply part of the plan for them.
5. Competitiveness: A strong feeling toward wanting to win or come out on top. It is not necessarily the winning in and of itself that drives athletic greats but the testing of their abilities against others and sheer enjoyment they get over the competition itself that they love.
6. Resourcefulness: The creativity and ingenuity one applies to a situation. Whether facing challenges in competition or difficulties in training, champion athletes are able to “figure” out what must be done to accomplish what is needed. Their ability to think “outside of the box” in order to come up with solutions is strong within them.
7. Perseverance: The act of being tenacious and persistent. It is an attitude of focused firmness demonstrated through the action of “always trying.” It is a necessary characteristic for anyone seeking athletic greatness.
8. Passion: Within the heart of every top level champion lies a sincere and deep sense of caring over what they do. The kind of caring that encourages the focused perseverance described in the paragraph above. Like a raging fire burning within, it wholly and completely supports the last attribute to athletic greatness.
9. Inner Will: The ability to be resolute about something. Simply put, it is the capacity to hold an unyielding position over one’s goals and objectives as top champion athletes never give up and never give in. As stated by one known by some as “The Greatest” (Muhammad Ali), “the will must be stronger than the skill.”