The most ideal situation when talking about athletic success (or any success for that matter) is when an individual possess both natural talent and a high degree of human motivation and perseverance (Sport Success 360). In these instances not only is the individual good at what he or she does (i.e. sports), but also loves to engage in the activity (even those really tough practices!). Unfortunately, this prototype of an athlete is more the exception than the norm, as far many more athletes are either:
a) talented but not incredibly driven, or
b) not the most talented but extremely motivated to succeed.
Most athletes, especially young athletes, tend to fall in the middle on both these domains — in other words, most athletes that compete are average to slightly above-average with their athletic talent, and motivated enough to compete yet don’t “live” every minute of their life thinking about their sport. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being about average in both areas, but if you were a coach and could hand-pick the type of athlete you would like to lead your team which of the following would you prefer?
The super talented athlete
This athlete possesses many God-given talents, including great coordination, balance, strength, agility, and endurance. Unfortunately, he has had these skills all his life and as a result has become complacent — even disinterested at times — in pushing himself to be the best. Yes, he might be the most naturally talented player on the team, but make no mistake you will rarely ever see him being the first one to practice or the last one to leave!
The super motivated athlete
This athlete has average talent, but the biggest “heart” on the team. What this athlete lacks in ability he makes up for with his enthusiasm, motivation, perseverance, and resiliency. While he might occasionally let the team down by missing a play, his energy more than makes up for the mishap as he always keeps the team going and provides great leadership – especially in tough situations.
So who would you rather have if you only had one pick? The star player that seems to lack intrinsic motivation, or the average player who is guaranteed to outwork everyone on the team? Can you teach motivation to the unmotivated (but talented) athlete? On the other hand, can the super motivated athlete more quickly excel in athletics due to having perseverance (even if his natural athletic abilities are lacking)?
Learn more about sports today, including coaching and parenting tips, by checking out Sport Success 360 – now available for individual users!