There are many things that great athletes do that others do not do. There are also two types of great athletes, the ones who possess great athletic ability without doing anything for it and those who have worked their tail off to achieve greatness. I am going to break down the one who has to bust their butt to achieve that greatness.
#1 Believing: You have to believe that you can and will be great. Much of being great is mental. I believe many of us focus so much on the physical aspect that we forget the mental side of being a great athlete. I know you have heard the saying that 90% of the game is played from the neck up. Why do we neglect this? Is it because it is much more difficult to train? We do not know what to do to make this better?
#2 A Plan. This is a key to being great. Great athlete have a plan that they follow to achieve greatness. What I mean by that is they have a plan for their workout, eating , sleeping routines that they follow and stay the course. They do not stray, deviate or mess with something that is working.
#3 Work Ethic: This is one of the areas that separates your great athletes from your good one’s. Most athletes work to become better, but few are willing to put the extra effort needed to go above and beyond. Most will do what is asked of them, but that is where they will stop. For example, a coach will tell them that practice is from 3-5pm. Good athletes will show up on time, work hard, and listen to the coach. Great athletes will do all of those things but will stay around after to work on their game, ask questions to their coach how can they improve their game? That is where work ethic separates the good from the great.
#4 Leadership: This area is lost on most athletes of today. Most athletes do not want to accept the responsibilities that go along with this trait. They do not want to hold themselves to a higher standard, or correct others when doing something wrong. Now I am not saying you should yell or always blame someone else, but you need to be the on the field coach. Making sure that things get done and done correctly. Leadership is not easy, it is a balancing act of setting the example for your teammates and also taking responsibility for your actions good or bad.
#5 Listening: In this day in age where everyone thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong listening has become a thing of the past. Most people talk too much and listen to little. If you want to be a great athlete you need to listen to advice from your coaches. Do not think you know everything. A great athlete understands that getting advice from many different people and then absorbing it and applying it can make the difference to being a great athlete or a good one.
Would love to hear your comments or what you would add to this list.