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 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.