Characteristics of Successful Athletes

Making it to the pinnacle of basketball requires more than just height and skill. You have to think, act, work and live like a pro. Some players who were as talented as Tyson Chandler (left) or Chris Bosh coming up never learned the process of success.

Making it to the pinnacle of basketball requires more than just height and skill. You have to think, act, work and live like a pro. Some players who were as talented as Tyson Chandler (left) or Chris Bosh coming up in the ranks never learned the process of success.

Success for athletes is not defined by individual accomplishments. Success is a process and eventually a lifestyle for those that continually meet their goals. We list a dozen characteristics of successful athletes and define the process.

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Try an experiment sometime. Take a group of 10 of your friends or people in your peer group (or if you’re an adult take 10 kids of any age) and ask them to write down the meaning of the word “success”. What you will probably find from them are answers that show there is a wide range of ideas about what constitutes success.

Typical responses often include winning a league, section state or NCAA championships, making a deal for a lot of money, being accepted to a or graduating from college, getting good grades or individually being All-League, All-State or All-American.

Success, however, is not defined to specific events such as receiving a championship trophy or signing a big pro contract. It is not defined by getting an “A” on a test or even a 4.0 grade point average.

Success is a process. These kind of specific events or accomplishments are the results of the “process” of success. It probably is best described as being good at the process of being good — it is an attitude, a habit and talent itself.

Burning questions 150A truly successful person generally will have the following characteristics:

1. They generally will have well defined goals that they constantly renew and evaluate.

2. They have strong faith that they will attain their goals.

3. They are accomplished in many aspects of life as well as in their chosen profession or major focus (such as athletics or academics).

4. They have the ability to learn how to get better at most of the things they undertake.

5. They have the ability to overcome adversity.

6. They have sacrificed and worked hard to develop their talent for success.

7. They have the ability to concentrate and focus.

8. They are consistent.

9. They have great self-discipline.

10. They have a high confidence level.

11. People trust them.

12. They are able to motivate those around them and consistently are able to make the the right or “big” play to help their team win.

Think about this list and how it can relate to your activities. Are you developing the characteristics of success?

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in a 1990 edition of Cal-Hi Sports Weekly Magazine.


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