The Traits of a Bad Athlete

This blog discusses four traits that can hold athletes back from reaching their full potential: making excuses, looking out for oneself, being unable to take criticism, and having a poor work ethic.

Dare to be honest and fear no work.

– Robert Burns

Traits of a Bad athlete

Being a successful athlete is difficult. It takes a great deal of work to handle of all that must be accomplished for that to happen. It also takes a lot of mental strength to deal with the many challenges that can be encountered on the journey to a successful athletic career. It is about taking in and adapting to the right information and techniques that can help you to improve.

If you plan on getting the most out of your sporting experience, whether that includes competing at a high level during your high school years, going on to play in college or even if you have aspirations of a professional career, it is important that you are able to navigate the bumps in the road.

Below is a list of four of the traits and behaviours that hold athletes back and how these traits can keep you from reaching your full potential in sport.

Making Excuses

Successful athletes understand that taking responsibility for mistakes or shortcomings is essential to being able to correct them and move forward. They hold themselves accountable for the decisions that they make and actions that they take, instead of laying the blame at the feet of other people or the situation. If you decided to stay up late on the phone the night before a game and perform badly the next day because you are tired, it is important to acknowledge why it happened and then make sure that, next time, your decisions are in line with what you want to achieve. It’s no use blaming your friend for keeping you on the phone late because you are the one with the commitment to your team.

Serious athletes also don’t make excuses if something goes wrong on the field or court during play. If you miss an open layup, there’s no use blaming the backboard or the rim for it. It is important to not get caught up in little mistakes but to refocus yourself on the task of competing well and eliminating such errors. Simple mistakes happen to even the best of us; what separates the successful athletes from the unsuccessful ones is how they treat these incidences.

Looking out for yourself

Unless you are involved in an individual sport, your success and that of your team are joined together. The changes in sports today means it is easier for some teenage athletes to get caught up in hype and become driven by ego and self- interest. A negative trait like that can determine how you are viewed by teammates, coaches and recruiters alike.

Selfish players rub their teammates and coaches the wrong way because they put their own interests first, giving the impression that the aspirations of the other team members and the team itself are secondary. That can cause a negative atmosphere in the locker room, which is really important to team success. Teammates and coaches may even begin looking for ways to exclude you, especially if you continue on the same path.

It is ok to want to be the player that makes the decisive play, but if you are hindering the team’s progress and success, then you are going about it in the wrong way.

Start by listening to yourself speak – take note of how many time you hear words like “ I, Me, My. ”

Unable to take criticism

Coaches at every level find joy in coaching players that want to be coached and who display an active desire to get better and to push themselves. If a player is un-coachable, believing that they already have all the answers to their success and don’t need to take any advice from anybody else about how to execute a post move or put the right spin on a cross court forehand, then it really will be difficult for them to improve.

Coaches exist for the sole reason of guiding your development in the sports so that you can achieve at a higher level; however, if you are unwilling to work with them or hear them out, they will quickly get tired of trying to help you. They will be even less likely to recommend you to club or college coaches who might be asking about you.

poor work ethic

A less than stellar work ethic will stand out to your teammates, especially the more competitive and serious ones who will question your commitment and desire to contribute to the team. It will also be obvious to your coaches and many of the spectators who attend your games.

It is much easier for people to question the commitment of an athlete who has all the skill in the world but does not give 100% effort all of the time than it is to question an athlete who has little skill but always leaves it out on the court or field. Having the right work ethic is important to improving your skills on a day-to-day basis. Hard work and maximum effort can also go a long way towards securing a good result, even if you are not experiencing your best performance. It also says a lot about the type of person and teammate you are.