I am privileged that I have many friends around the world that are truly great athletes across many sports and yes some are Olympic medalists. They all have very different personalities but they do have similar attitudes built on key personality traits. I believe these personality traits are developed through years of reaction to social & cultural experiences, but these athletes are not just a product of their environment, they have learnt to control and shape it. These key personality traits help athletes make decisions, react to people and situations to create the outcome they want . . . which is to win.
These are 10 personality traits I see in successful athletes. Do you have them in you?
Passion – to fight for what they want, winning with style and a smile.
Positive Enthusiasm – to say ‘come on let’s do this right now!’ and lead those around them.
Drive – a relentless focus that is well organised, planned and clear on the next step forward without the need to be pushed.
Single Minded Determination – the ability to stubbornly put their needs first and present them in a way to gain positive support from those around them.
Confidence – be able to walk head held high into an uncomfortable situation.
Self-belief – so strong they can take harsh negative criticism and turn it into a positive.
Dedication – good old fashioned willingness to train harder & smarter than others.
Commitment – focus on wining, with no concept of failure.
Openness – being approachable and willing to listen & learn from others.
Friendship Base – ability to select and build a friendship network of supportive, loyal and trustworthy friends & acquaintances.
If you can relate to all of the above, then in my opinion you are well on your way to being a great athlete, but note you will need to constantly develop these personality traits.
When an athlete takes a positive attitude to shape the environment around them it enables them to create the right training environment. I believe a mix of peer support, strong competition, mentorship and trust in your coach are products created over time by athletes that continually work on developing the personality traits above.
You don’t need luck . . . you need to learn how to positively react to the people around you and continually strive for excellence. If this sounds overwhelming, start by preparing mentally and physically (rest & fueling) for all training sessions, never show negativity towards yourself or others and it will make sense in time.
Please remember I am no psychologist, but I have been a reasonably successful athlete and coach that has been surrounded by many successful athletes for most of my life, which has given me the opportunity learn a great deal by talking, listening and observing what they do. I really hope by sharing the knowledge I have built though my experiences I can help you get closer to your goal.
If any psychologists want to share there knowledge or can recommend further reading, please comment below.
Image sourced: courtesy of khunaspix – FreeDigitalPhotos.net