Top 3 Traits of Elite Athletes
It takes more than talent and timing to rise to the top of the ranks as an athlete. It's clear when watching a world-class competition like the Rio Olympics, that those who reach the “elite” status share the same key characteristics.
The good news is you don’t have to be a famous athlete to reach peak performance levels, you just need to take some cues from the pros. To level the playing field, let’s look at the top 3 traits all elite athletes share.
Elite athletes can credit resiliency for their ability to get back up after countless losses, injuries and setbacks. NBA pro Michael Jordan is the very embodiment of resiliency in sports. He lost almost 300 games, 9,000 shots in his career and the game-winning shot 26 times.
Jordan has said, “I have failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Instead of becoming demoralized, elite athletes use failure to fuel the fire for a comeback.
Hard work may get you to the race, but it doesn’t get you to the finish line. Confidence can. Many superstar athletes practice using visualizations to imagine their success as a means for getting there and building confidence in themselves along the way.
During regular mental exercises, they visualize what it looks, feels and sounds like to win. It’s all about training your brain to identify with and believe in success.
This is the real secret ingredient to success. Determination helps, well, determine whether a person reaches their goal in the end or not. Perseverance, patience and perspective all help make up the foundation for what it takes to keep trucking on the professional road for years.
An article in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine references the so-called “10-year rule” when talking about the long-term success journey for most of the world’s elite. Basically, the “rule” says you need to commit to 10 years of high-level training to reach expert status in most fields. As cliche as it may sound, it’s really all about remembering it’s a marathon, not a race.