Traits of High Achieving Athletes

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer time is here and its time for another round of goal setting for the upcoming year. Not only will the gymnasts be working on physical goals but also emotional and mental goals. I've been pleasantly surprised by the large amounts of information for mental training and sports performance provided by the USA Gymnastics mental toughness trainer Dr. Ali. She has a great website, Head Games that offers many web camp sessions to help any athlete get over fears or to up their game.

Many of the tools used for mental toughness training I find very helpful in my daily matters. Especially, the deep breathing when I'm late for anything and it's out of my control! I'm hoping by teaching some of the techniques to my gymnasts they can use these tools not only in their gymnastics but also when stress gets high outside of the gym. Hoping they will know what to do to keep a cool head and push through tough times. 

I've found that many traits of highly achieving athletes have the same emotional competencies of successful business women, lawyers, doctors, artists, musicians and mothers. Let's take a look at some of the traits of highly achieving athletes:

  • Self Awareness - These women know their strengths & limitations, they have a great perspective between their ideal & actual performance.

  • Emotional Control - These women manage feelings & impulses to act, they can stay focused on the coal in the face of competing emotions. 
  • Internal Motivation - These women love what they do (like gymnasts love the sport) versus fame, money and dreams of others. 
  • Empathy - While being sensitive to others they are supportive of teammates, co-workers and colleagues. 
  • Social Skills - These women are effective communicators that create bonds with others and share great value. 
I use the term women, because I feel that my girls are essentially that....little women who need the nurturing care through their gymnastics career and beyond.  

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