7 Character Traits Being An Athlete Taught Me…

Run The Race

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.

Billy Graham

I was a sprinter. I ran the 100 meter dash; 200 meter and 4 x 100 meter races. This was my thing. When I was called upon, I was ready. It was a desire to achieve not for me but for the wider team’s goal. That’s one of the memories held dear throughout my childhood into adulthood where I participated in events well into my late 20’s.

As I reflect, I am taken aback by the same habits that I used which has stuck with me even today. Here I share.

7 Habits Of A Highly Effective Athlete

1.Discipline

Here it is not about being forced to do something. It is about maintaining daily habits to achieve good or satisfactory outcomes. My dad was a boxing champion who fought for the land of my birth. He was a winner. I would rise early mornings and go running with him before daybreak. Then in the evenings after school I would go practice with fellow athletes. This daily mantra improved my abilities. It was not for personal gratification but for helping the team to win; whether it was school, church camps, or organizational competitive games to come out on top.

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2.Determination

Determination means the ability to do something even when the odds are against you. My natural prowess slowed in recent years because I became latent. I sit at the computer all day working without hardly ever getting up to stretch. So after discussion with a personal coach, I decided to start working out. On my second class, I had to drive a 4-hour return trip. I was 5 minutes late for the class due to traffic and was turned away. I had missed the warm-up and didn’t know much. I was disappointed. But through my determination, I decided to make sure it never happened again. I have been attending and haven’t been late again. In this case, my health goals are too important to miss.

3.Drive To Succeed

This trait has driven me to go after my goals, dreams and aspirations. My studies and organizational leadership prowess has helped me to manage business operations with a desire to see others succeed. My published books on Success, leadership, career development and motivation are solid proof.

4.Never Give Up

In the first course I did after I left high school, a teacher lost the end of term paperwork I submitted. She searched and couldn’t find it. This was not submitted online but in person. Talk about being disappointed. I was devastated but I was determined to graduate. So I took a deep breath, asked to redo the major assignment and turned it in again. Yes, I graduated and found that my early training to never give up has stayed with me throughout life’s ups and downs. That experience helped build my strength of character.

5.Commitment

This quality is one that many organizations desire in people. It is a pledge or an agreement to do something. The problem is, we have to strike that balance. Overcommitment, especially for workaholics, can lead to restricted work/life balance or self-care.

The more committed you are, the more work you get….yikes! Certainly the goal you planned (smile)

6.Planning

One thing an athlete must do is plan. No plan easily translates into failure with missed deadlines, priorities and more. A friend shared the woes of a politician who was busy working in the community trying to attract votes. He was successful at that but later discovered that he had missed the application deadline. After all he had done, he was left off the ballot.

7.Teamwork & Care For Others

Teamwork means working together with a group of people to achieve a common goal. Running a relay is never easy. Sometimes teammates become injured, tired, fall behind, or become overworked and the rest of the team must collaborate to build and eliminate the gap. This is not an easy feat but the effort is always well worth it and provides the reward. That’s what I did all those years. Collaborate.

Today, caring for others is my mantra. It goes deep within my inner being and provides that lasting satisfaction when as a professional leadership coach, I help individuals achieve their goals.

I look back and reflect on these traits and with renewed fervor and realize that they made me who I am today. What about you? Did any of the characteristics resonate? Any you would add? Do share, we would love to hear.

Cheers!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Author: Dr. Shelly C

Dr. Shelly Cameron is an Author, Speaker, HR/OD Consultant and Certified Professional Coach. She has researched the topic of Success and written 8 books on Success, Leadership, Career, inspiration and motivation. Her research on the Leadership Challenge was published in the Journal of American Academy of Business Cambridge (JAABC). She now uses the results of her research to connect others to Success. Visit www.shellycameron.com and Get a copy of her Books online at Amazon or in-store Barnes & Noble. When not writing Shelly enjoys wave-watching, movies, reading, and spending time with family.

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