The obsession with being an athlete has reached its peak. In the words of Bill Bowerman "if you have a body, you're an athlete." From idolizing the greats, to the rise in athleisure and the fitness industry, everyone wants to hold the title of athlete.
Out of the 8 million students who participate in high school sports approximately 480,000 go on to compete for the NCAA. That number begins to drastically decrease when it comes to becoming a professional athlete with around 1.6% of football players turning pro (NCAA).
Being apart of the exclusive athlete club has its perks, but not without a price. Every great possesses the following seven traits.
Talent—Talent can't be taught. You have it or you don't. What you choose to do with your talent is up to you.
Discipline—One of the most important traits for success on and off the playing field.
Sacrifice—Socially, physically, financially.
Competitive—Herm Edwards said it best: "you play to win the game." Whether it's practice or a game you have to want to be the best at all times.
Coachable—Being able to listen to and trust your training and coach is a must. When things go wrong great athletes are ready to go back to the drawing board, and when things are going well, they're always looking for ways to continue improvement.
Selfish—As an athlete you have to learn how to be selfish. Your needs (rest, recovery, peace of mind) are imperative if you want to be great. That means doing what's best for you and your success.
Mindset—The competition is won before it has begun. Very few people are able to conquer their mind, but once it happens you become unstoppable.
You may never end up on a 'Greatest of All-Time' list, but honing in on these skills will allow you to be the best athlete you can be. Focus on what you can control.