Besides being naturally talented at your sport, I have a few other qualities every athlete can work on throughout their career to keep them at the top of their game. Don't get me wrong, being naturally talented definitely helps, but these tools are some of the best ways to see improvement and success even if you already work your butt off to stay physically fit. A lot of athletes disregard these beneficial habits thinking they don't need to work on anything but strength to excel...there are way too many all star athletes out there that have given up on their sport simply because they got to a point where they just can't seem to improve anymore even though they keep up with the gym. This is a result of a plato...the worst thing about hitting one, is that they're hard to get out of without these 5 key tools. Working at improving your game using these tips will take you places, kid. Seriously.
Here's what you need.
You need respect for your teammates, your coaches, your parents. You need respect for every team and player you've ever played against. You need respect for the officials. And, most of all, you need respect for the GAME.
Respect is being able to tip your hat to someone who just out played you. Respect is not arguing with an umpire or referee even if you disagree with a call. Badmouthing someone on your team, your coach, or even another team is just something that should never happen. Learning to get through situations that are frustrating without talking negatively or badly about situations or someone else is sometimes tough, but will definitely make you a much stronger person. Additionally, you will also gain loads of respect from others when they see you as someone who doesn't complain and badmouths anyone.
It's just not worth it to risk being disrespectful in any sport. If all you dish out is negativity towards circumstances and other people, that's exactly what you'll get back, which is not a fun time and can jeopardize your position or your coach's respect towards you.
The more commitment you put in to training and getting better, the more solid your outcome will be. Now, I'm not just talking about committing to physically training for your sport, but also everything in-between.
What can you do to put in more commitment? Do a quick core workout before bed? Go for a run before school? Practice the motions you're working on at home? Visualize success on your ride to a game? Eat right? Sleep better? Show up to practice early? Decide not to party the night before a big game? Commitment is key to success. Working your butt off whenever and wherever you can always pays off. Always.
This is a big one. The athletes that take responsibility for themselves are the ones that can generally own up to their mistakes and figure out how to get past situations on their own. Having responsibility of things like packing your own bag, remembering water and your extra jersey all seem like small things, but are, in fact, important in helping you with not only good teammate qualities, but assist with being a strong and independent person in general. Athletes need to be responsible to ensure their coach can trust them. Having mom or dad carry your bag, or showing up late to practice are not signs of responsibility.
Responsibility is also owning up to a mistake on the field, court, or ice. It happens, sports are come with failure, but athletes who can own up to a small mistake and focus on being better next inning or shift are the strongest leaders for their team.
Sports are full of trust. Your coach has a plan for your team as well as specific plans for you; that's what they're here for. Your teammates trust you and you need to trust them right back in order to maintain a strong force on the field. Above and beyond anything else, athletes need to learn how to trust themselves. This can be the biggest struggle for some, and realizing that you are working your butt off to do what you can to contribute to your team is enough. Trust that you're on your team for a reason, you have a role, and you will contribute in every way you can to take home a W.
5. Willingness to try new things
We live in a world where things change, and quite drastically at that; updates on our phones, apps, new car models, clothes... if things didn't change, we would all still be crazy cave people without phones, cars or clothes at all!
Being able to try a new fielding technique, a new defence strategy, new equipment, or different ways of training is meant to improve you! Take hockey for example, if the goalies still wore hardly anything for padding as they did years ago, there's no way they could keep up to the top athletes in the sport now. Your coaches and maybe even your parents, do everything they can to keep up with the new technologies and techniques in your sport to help you grow and change with the times. Your willingness to try these new things keeps your mind open and ultimately a positive attitude. Even if that new idea doesn't work for you, this is not to say you need to change your ways, but at least try it out and see what happens. It might just be a breakthrough for you.
Coaches notice all of these qualities and want players on their team that are not only physically capable but have good ethics and attitude. Not that any of us are perfect, and sometimes these tools get shoved to the side, but as long as you continue to work at getting better in these areas, you are solid GOLD.
That's all I got for now,