High Performing Athletes- 6 common characteristics

At the start of the new year, I began as series focused on 6 major characteristics of high performing athletes. Often, I am asked about the what it takes for an athlete to reach a a high performance level beyond natural ability. So, after making a long list, researching top athletes, and persistent review I came up with 6 common characteristics. Obviously, these six characteristics is not an exhaustive list, however, I am certain that some form of these characteristics are prevalent in the life, mind and practices of anyone that is considered to be a high performing athletes. 

Any athlete who desires to perform at the highest level must exercise a extra-ordinary amount of disciple. (Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash)


The summary of the 6 characteristics are:

  1.  High performing athletes are able to clarify the vision and path to reach their goals. 
  2. High performance athletes measure results repeatedly.  They do this to discover areas of progress as well as weaknesses.
  3. High-performing athletes take full responsibility. They take complete ownership of their actions, their plans, and their purpose.
  4. High performing athletes possess “want to”. They willfully want to practice and put in the extra reps. This characteristic is often partnered with words like passion, desire, drive and determination. 
  5. High performing athletes take care of their body, mind and spirit. They plan and execute good self care habits and have the discipline to maintain those habits. 
  6. High performing athletes seek out great coaching. They intentionally look for and listen to coaches who  can help them  break through to the next level. 

Now that you are aware of these six characteristics, the next question to consider is what is the common denominator ties them together?  In my opinion that denominator is discipline. Any athlete who desires to perform at the highest level must exercise a extra-ordinary amount of disciple. Almost to a level that seems obsessive when compared to those around him/her. High performing athletes know that to make their goals into reality uncompromising discipline is a must.  

High Performance Athletes Common Characteristics: Great coaching

This week I round out the major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). The characteristic outlined this week is focused on great coaching. All high performing athletes willingly seek great coaching because of the insatiable drive to improve. 

In the mind of an elite high performing athlete they must find ways to get better!  Inside their mind there is a constant drive to improve. For them, the ceiling is glass, it can be broken. Even if at the top of their game, HPA’s are certain that more coaching will give them what they need to break through another next level. High performing athletes seek out coaches because the drive to improve is great than arrogance that they’re already at the top of their game. 

Coaching chalkboard

For example, in the book Relentless Tim Grover illuminates the unyielding pursuit of excellence by some of the NBA’s past and present superstars. In other professional sports such as baseball, even the game’s greatest hitters are known to take regular hitting lessons.  In fact, if you do some research you will surely find that top athletes of every professional sport seek out great coaches. 

Here are three reasons to seek a great coach: 
1. Great coaches know first hand what is necessary for an athlete to become great. 

2.Great coaches see the things players cannot see. Therefore can help you make positive improvements.

3. Great coaches also understand what it takes for you to achieve at your highest level. So great coaches motivate you to achieve greatness. They comprehend your vision and therefore will push you past the point of self-induced limitations.

Firmly, I believe that great coaches make great players. In contrast, great players don’t make great coaches. Don’t believe me, think about how many coaches fail even though their team is stacked with great players? So if you are willing to get coaching, don’t just go out and find any so-called coach, I encourage you to seek out a great coach. 

High performance athletes Common characteristics- Self Care

This week I continue to outline major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). The characteristic outlined this week deals with performance off the field of play. Quite possibly, this characteristic is most neglected and taken for granted. However with complete certainly this characteristic greatly impacts performance. 

The characteristic this week is that high performing athletes take seriously self-care of  their body and mind. HPA’s understand that what takes place outside of the game effects how they perform during the game. To avoid this, HPA’s are particular about self-care. High performers are meticulous to eat clean, monitor nutrition, get adequate rest, and practice daily physical and mental maintenance. 


Because high performing athletes are so obsessed with reaching their highest potential they create and execute good health habits. Relentlessly, high performance athletes strictly maintain those habits to the point where it seems obsessive. 

HPAs do this for one simple reason. They understand the connection between how you feel adn how you think effects how you perform.

So here are a few suggestions of self care, performance enhances habits.  

  1. Adequate sleep – Keep a consistent bedtime and waking time every day. 
  2. Eat clean – Healthy foods equal healthy body and high performance. Plan ahead, meal prep if you have to assure that in healthy foods are always available.
  3. Mind preparation– Daily practices to strengthen mental approach with practices like inspirational content, reading, prayer, stoicism or  meditate. 
  4. Use supplements– Athletes need to replenish vitamins and nutrients that become deficient during physical activity. See your health care professional for recommended supplements.
  5. Daily exercise and stretching –  Keep you body in top shape with daily stretching and exercise routines. 

Making these 5 practices part of your daily regime will improve your performance on and off field. DM me if you want to know my self care practices or to get recommendation to help you perform at your highest potential.

HIGH PERFORMING ATHLETES: COMMON CHARACTERISTICS- “HAVE TO”

This week I continue to outline major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). For this week, the  characteristics  is one of those easily identifiable traits. It’s one that is so obvious that it makes other athletes (and often their parents) envious. I would further go on to say that this characteristic is one that can be learned. Its is like a match struck and put to a fire, smoldering then suddenly bursting into flame. 

This week I want to outline a characteristic in high performing athletes that is best described as “want to”. This characteristic is often partnered with words like passion, desire, drive and determination.  HPAs with this characteristic understand that “want to” means willing desire. It’s as if the putting in the work is a privilege and the pain of pushing the limits is actually enjoyable. In contrast, to “want to” is “have to”.  Athletes who “have to” require an amount of compromise and external motivation to put in the work. 

Photo by Ruben Leija on Unsplash

High performing athletes with “want to” are uncompromising. They put in the time for work outs. The do it because they love it, not because coach says to, or because their parents say so.  Instead, HPA’s with “want to”  put in the work because of the passion for the game. Further, they love to compete against others and against their personal personal records.    HPAs with “want to”  don’t have to be dragged out of bed. And they don’t have to rely on motivational hype to get started. No, instead they are self-motivated and self-driven. 

HPA’s with “want to” passion also realize that the externals of the game matter. The externals of the game make a difference so they put in the work in the gym, in training, in practice, outside of practice and in the film room. In their free time, they study the game to improve their sport IQ. With a critical eye, HPAs study themselves looking to evaluate and critique personal preparation, practice and performance. They also pay attention to what they eat, how they sleep, and who they hang out with.  Because HPAs with “want to “ recognizes that all of these things impact passion and performance. 

But as mentioned earlier, the “want to” characteristic can be learn. It is not exclusive only for a small group. No, with encouragement, confidence and focus new habits and routines can be develop that change “have to” athletes into “want to” high performing athletes.

High Performing Athletes: common characteristics- Responsibility

What does it take to be at the top of your game? Have you ever wondered what is the daily regime for those capable of performing at high level consistently. To kick off 2020 I want to outline some of the characteristics  of high performing athletes (HPAs). After all, the name of this blog has the words Elite Athletes, and assuming most of the audience are athletes, why not share helpful tips for elite athletes seeking strategies to improve. 

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash


This week, the topic is responsibility. In a culture where blame is the game, people who take personal responsibility for their actions are rare. Sadly, its easier to blame someone else than to own up to our own mistakes. But this is not how HPA’s work. 


Instead, high-performing athletes take full responsibility. They would never let someone take the blame. HPAs take complete ownership of their actions, their plans and their purpose. High performing athletes want the ball in their hand when the clock is ticking down.  


So, HPAs assume full responsibly by being fully accountable. It means that no matter what the outcome, the only person to blame is yourself.  In no situation will excuses be acceptable! High performing athletes do not sit around hoping to rise to success on the back of someone else. No, high performing athletes understand that in every situation they are both 100% responsible and 100% accountable. 

High Performing Athletes: common characteristics

Helping athletes perform at the highest level possible is what Elite Athletes Recruiting is all about.  So, to kick off  2020 I will be sharing about several common characteristics that I have found in high performing athletes (HPA).


This year I want to help my readers to perform at the highest level possible in 2020. 
Last week, I outlined how high performing athletes (HPA) are able to clarify the vision and path to reach their goals. 

This week I want to impress a second common characteristic. High performance athletes measure results repeatedly.  They do this to discover areas of progress as well as weaknesses. Because, results can only become obvious over a period of time it is necessary to make it a priority to measure results. 

For most of us progressing towards our goals takes time. Days, months, years. Rarely, does success happen overnight. Thats why it is important to measure or track progress. The danger of not keep measurements is discouragement. Unless you are paying close attention, incremental progress can be easily overlooked. Likewise, neglecting to measure results can lead to plateaus where not progress is being made whatsoever. 

In a tangible way, this is the reason why stats are so important in sports. It is also the reason why score is kept in athletic competitions.  Stats and scores highlight who wins and who loses.

So to avoid stagnation, high performance athletes measure the results of both successes and failure so that they can form new strategies to help them reach new levels of achievement.
What areas of your athletic performance, business, or physical health have you set goals for in 2020?  How do you intent to measure measure progress to assure that you reach those goal

What makes a high Performing athlete?

Soon 2020 will be here. In fact from the writing of this blog the new year is less than two weeks away.  So, as the New Year approaches its time to start thinking about how to perform at your highest level in 2020? 


When I was in high school there were dudes who were stellar athletes. Many of them were so athletic and naturally gifted well above their peers. But even though they were outstanding athlete, in the end they  never accomplish much. When their career ended they never went anywhere. Simply put, they were just gamers. Guys who just showed up, played well, but often failed to perform consistently at a high level. 


Helping athletes  perform at the highest level possible is what Elite Athletes Recruiting is all about.  So, heading into 2020 I will be sharing about several common characteristics that I have found in high performing athletes (HPA).


The first characteristic I have found of high performing athletes is clarity in the vision.  HPA’s with clarity of vision have a unique way to see themselves winning. HPA’s can take a goal, clearly envision it, then reverse engineer that goal to make a comprehensive plan of action clearly marking out the path to make their vision reality.  


But, clarity of vision isn’t just about winning, it is also about confidence. HPA’s with clarity of vision have a level of confidences about them that often gets mistaken for arrogance. Today, this is often labeled as “swag”. But swag isn’t what makes HPA’s confident. No, HPA’s know confidence as a result of knowing how many thousand physical and mental reps have already been invested.
Performing a high level implies that their is a level to attain.  HPA look have a clear vision and confidence in that vision so that they know what steps to take to get started. In all my years of coaching I have never known an athletes who is born great. But I have known athletes who have become great because they had  a clear of vision, understood what they wanted to achieve and were confident they that could get there.