Who’s your all-time athlete?

Unquestionably, you can name a few. For me, I love Ronaldo and Roger Federer for their passion as well as their “swags”. Whichever comes to your mind, I bet you admire them because they have great profile – skills, brilliance and other thrilling personalities. Have you ever wondered what made them so good?

According to Bill Cole, a sports psychologist, all great athletes have certain qualities in common. Like many successful start-ups, superstars in any field or discipline have common bonds of high standards, a commitment to excellence, dedication, a robust work ethic and a strong resistance to difficulties in their paths.

They overcome adversities and seek challenges. They know that greatness is a journey and for any journey to be successful, one has got to prepare all it takes to complete the journey, otherwise one stumbles once started.

Since greatness is heritage for anyone and everyone, it therefore means all mankind need to be prepared for this journey so that the destination is reached. According to an author, greatness is not for a select few but for everyone who dares to be great.

All it takes is an attitude that says, “No matter where I’m coming from, no matter where I am, no matter what people have called me, I’m determined to be all that I was created to be.”

Let's quickly look at six qualities of star athletes that place them into the superstar category. As we consider these attributes, you may want to compare them with that of a successful start-up you know so well.

1. Confidence:

Star athletes believe in their capabilities and know what they can do. They maintain this sense of self even under pressure, or when things are not going well. They remind themselves that they have succeeded in tougher times than these. They don't panic. They're able to focus, stay relaxed and continue to walk the talk. They stay positive and act confidently to handle stress.

2. Resilience:

To become successful, confident athletes fight to the end. They never give up. They continually seek ways to win and experiment with tactics to turn things around in their favour. They truly believe that there is a way to win, and they just have to discover it. Star athletes dream big and they make a pact with themselves to reach those goals. They stay on track in spite of setbacks. They continually remind themselves of their goals and readjust those goals as they are met. They make a commitment to work hard and follow through no matter what. Star athletes maintain balance under the most extreme adversity.

3. Time-out:

Although resilient, successful athletes know when to take a break and relax. They know how to control the clock so they get a rest. They know that working non-stop leads to burnout. They have the experience to know when to cruise and when to turn it on.

4. Emotional intelligence: Athletes know themselves well.

They understand what they need to do to perform well. They are aware of themselves in the moment and can make needed adjustments. They listen to their bodies, their minds, and their emotions. Successful sportsmen know what they can control, what they can only influence, and what is out of their control. They focus only on those things within their control or influence and let go of the rest.

5. Desire to learn:

They seek help from those who are more experienced. They form collaborative partnerships with those who can help them. They appreciate the pedagogy of life and make it an integral part of their training programme. Star athletes absorb experience very rapidly.

They learn from every outing, good or bad. They seek feedback from others and consider all sides to infuse new techniques and methods into their play. They see what needs to be done to improve and succeed.

6. Hard work:

Star athletes know that hard work leads to confidence and the belief that they deserve to win because they have paid their dues. They know that hard work staves off self-doubt and lack of action. They know that practice does not make perfection. Practice makes permanent. Only practice that is perfect makes perfection.

Like an athlete, any start-up seriously yearning for success must know that success is a journey and to get to a purposeful destination, a thousand and one factor play some vital roles. The six qualities mentioned above are just a few of these factors.

By: Jide Ayegbusi

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