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What makes a good athlete?

posted by Hannah on Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Rio Olympics have started. Consequently, we are all imagining ourselves as outstanding athletes. You only have to take a stroll along any suburban street or park to see runners and cyclists aplenty. You can see Lycra and neon sports shoes everywhere.

Aside from motivating you to get fit, the Olympics are also a great opportunity for you to gain insight into the world of sporting excellence. Well then, what makes a good athlete?


It is clear that those who excel at sports tend to possess both the drive and commitment to do so. Their involvement in sports usually starts at a young age. It can be fostered in part by family encouragement. However, when it comes down to it, it is the responsibility of the person themselves to maintain their commitment. This even includes when the training becomes repetitive and challenging. In fact, a lot of promising sports people lose focus when the training starts to interfere with their lives.


Those who succeed in their chosen sports usually also have very specific goals and longer-term dreams they are able to visualise coming true. This means that while they are slogging through 5am training sessions. What makes a good athlete is that they are able to remain motivated because they believe they are capable of making their dreams a reality.


Another vital aspect of success is the role that genetics play in determining the level that someone will perform at in sports. Genetics will determine crucial factors, such as strength, muscle size and stamina. However, training is still necessary to maximise these underlying advantages, as is the appropriate diet and mental fortitude.


Another key aspect of being able to succeed as an athlete is being mentally resilient. This strength allows sports people to rise above the challenges they face. Including both from an endurance point of view and also in regard to the competition they will encounter along the way. Those who reach the top of their game will have the ability to push their bodies and minds to the limit.

If you are interested in learning more about the way athletes think and perform, our Sports Psychology Level 3 distance learning course could be for you. This course will teach you about the motivation and mental resilience that athletes need to build to succeed. This may especially be useful if you are working in the field of exercise and sports. This is an excellent course to study alongside our Health and Nutrition Certificate QCF.