High School: Nine Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness, Plus One, Makes Ten

That first half of the title above, Nine Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness (Part I, Part II), comes from a two-part piece I did last summer for Weplay Moms. Its purpose was to help identify some of the important characteristics athletes need in order to reach some level of athletic excellence, or championship form.

I had not visited the piece much since I wrote it; however, after perusing various sports topics on the internet I came across a link to Dr. Lorraine Johnson Williams personal sports website Track Mom. On it I noticed a post titled Attributes Of A Champion. Based on my interest in a topic such as this, and the fact that she had referenced my blog in the intro, I clicked on the link.

It was heartwarming actually, for me to read that she had taken the nine attributes I had detailed on that piece at Weplay Moms for the sports-minded visitors to her sight. I truly appreciate the highlight and reference and am humbled that Dr. Williams would think enough of my work that she would use it on her site.

However, as I reviewed those nine attributes at Track Mom, and gave thought to their foundational importance to excellence in sports, I could not help but think that something was missing. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. When you look at the list, even though not intended to be comprehensive, it did seem that most essential attributes were covered. Here, take a look:

  • Commitment
  • Discipline
  • Sacrifice
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Competitiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Perseverance
  • Passion
  • Inner Will

(For details on each of these nine attributes, see Part I & Part II of Nine Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness)

As I thought through my own athletic experiences, relating them and the successes I had to all of these terms, the list seemed thorough enough, but…there still appeared to be something missing.

Then it hit me, something so basic, so fundamental, and so indispensable, I can’t believe I had left it off my original list. Heck, I spend a whole chapter on it in my forthcoming book, Becoming a True Champion (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), and further relate the concepts in that chapter throughout several others in the book.

It is the idea of focus, actually proper focus, and it is something every athlete wanting to reach championship levels of performance will need to have. So what do I mean by focus? Well…

Focus:   It is the ability to bring very high levels of concentration to a task while keeping all other distractions, things that impede athletic progress, at bay. It is deliberate in nature, as it allows an athlete to perform techniques, skills, plays, and/or strategies, over and over, and to pick up on the kinesthetic and proprioceptive signals that enhance movement patterns.

Even though there is a whole lot more to focus then what I explain in that paragraph above, there is enough information there to demonstrate the importance of this concept to any aspiring athlete. So, if I may, let’s add focus to the list of Nine
Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness
and just make that list a round number of ten.

Yep, Ten Attributes Necessary For Athletic Greatness, that certainly has a good ring to it!!!

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