The medal won at the Olympics is for many players the pinnacle of a dream and a sporting career. However, only a few can reach this level – only the most motivated, the strongest and best athletes in their disciplines. What characterizes the Olympic champions? What qualities and skills of such athletes will help you achieve the greatest success in the sports world? Consider several qualities of Olympic champions.
What predisposes athletes to success at the most important event in the world? This is a question that many ask.
How to determine success traits in athletes?
American psychologist Daniel Gould examined 10 American Olympic champions (6 men and 4 women). In total, they won 32 medals, including 28 golds! Each of them took part in at least one Olympiad between 1976 and 1998. The respondents were representatives of various sports disciplines, including hockey and swimming. Psychologists organized several psychological tests and conducted in-depth psychological interviews with athletes and their relatives. Based on the data obtained, the researchers identified 12 qualities of Olympic champions, which can help to achieve success.
Some positive qualities of Olympic champions
1. Ability to control and cope with anxiety
Olympic champions are not robots who are not angry or worried before an important competition. Anxiety accompanies them, like any other player, regardless of the importance of a sporting event. However, the difference here is in the reaction to stress. Olympians surveyed were able to cope with both somatic anxiety symptoms (hand trembling, “butterflies in the stomach”), and psychological (anxiety, concentration problems, or generalized stress). The ability to control anxiety can be developed during mental training for example, through relaxation, breathing, or positive internal dialogue.
Self-confidence is the belief that you have enough capacity to effectively cope with any task. This is the key factor that determines whether a player will show his full potential. Even the most trained and talented player will not show 100% of his abilities, if he is not sure for them.
3. Mental Immunity
Olympic champions are persistent, hardy and can cope with difficulties. This does not mean that they do not care what happens to them. Yes, it affects them, but they are so flexible that they can adapt to the requirements of the situation, apply proven coping strategies, and if they fall into the “problem pit”, they get out of it more, with new experience! Read more about this in the article on self-regulation.
4. Sport intelligence
This is what researchers understand as the ability to analyze, to be open to innovations related to their own discipline. Olympic champions all the time “deepen” their discipline. As a result, they gain experience that allows them to make the right decisions, often as a result of the “feel” of their discipline. In addition, they are able to quickly learn and adapt to things, which are happening.
5. The ability to concentrate and block distractions (flow conditions)
The ability to fully focus on the task helps to focus your attention only on those factors that are relevant to the victory. Flow status is one of the most important qualities of Olympic champions. However, during the competition there are many other incentives that are difficult to pay attention, for example, to the fans of the opposing team. A true sports champion can concentrate so hard on a task that he forgets about what is happening around him. He does not think about what can happen, he doesn’t care what he cannot influence. The most important is the challenge facing him.
To be able to participate in the games of the highest level, you must love the competition. This is one of the essential qualities of Olympic champions. A player who would prefer to completely abandon it will not get any medals. The prospect of encountering an adversary will make him afraid, not just anxious. The love of competition is manifested in an extremely task-oriented approach to winning, fighting to the very end and sporting aggression.
Sport requires hard work. Numerous, tedious exercise repetitions. However, without them it would be impossible to rise to a high level of their abilities. Olympic champions are people who are ready for hard work, motivated, able to overcome their limitations. Therefore, perseverance is one of the most important qualities of Olympic champions.
8. The ability to set and achieve goals
Proper goal setting is one of the key elements determining success in any field. For the final victory requires a long way, during which it is easy to be disappointed. When you do not see results for a long time, it becomes much more difficult to motivate yourself and continue to do hard work. That is why it is so important for athletes to skillfully set goals and strive to achieve them.
This concerns the player’s attitude to training. Is it open to new working methods? Is he able to flexibly adapt to the changing requirements and standards of his discipline? Can he listen and take advice from coaches? Can he accept constructive criticism without worrying about his self-esteem? Personal cohesion and team cohesion are one of the key qualities of Olympic champions.
An Olympic champion must believe in his future success. Hope is understood here as a positive emotional and motivational state regarding future successes and challenges. Olympic champions are looking to the future with a positive belief in success.
Optimism is a trait that allows you to believe that everything will be fine. Optimists with more confidence and determination resist adversity because they believe in a happy ending. This optimism allows athletes to look forward to the future and face new challenges. In the end, they believe that their actions will have a positive effect.
Perfectionism can be understood in two ways: adaptive and non-adaptive. Both types relate to setting their own high standards and attach great importance to the respective organization. However, in the case of a non-adaptive type, fears about possible errors, criticism, self-doubt prevails. In turn, adaptive perfectionism, which was demonstrated by Olympians, is closely associated with achievements. This refers to the achievement of their goals and the organization of work that allows this to be achieved.
Among these qualities of Olympic champions there are those that are surely present among you. If you want to achieve high results in sports, then strengthen and develop your positive qualities.