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Winning Mantra of Super-Elite Athletes

July 14, 2022

When we speak about athletic performance, it includes super concentration, as elite athletes have an uncanny ability to get into the transition zone quickly. The ability of super-elite athletes to believe they will win is shaped by a strong sense of motivation and optimism. Various personality traits and inbuilt talents assist in overcoming challenges during competition. Research analysis of various sorts of pressure and challenges were examined in super-elite athletes and how they overcome pessimism and negativity. Here we will cover insights on the characteristics of those who are destined to rise to the top of their game.

5 Key Traits of Super-Elite Athletes

Based on multidisciplinary skills that athletes develop during their careers, the first point is to recognize the pattern of performance of athletes who excel. Champions outperform not due to a single factor but due to a multitude of factors. It is the developed characteristics of the performer rather than what they are born with that matters most. For example, nurturing of self-confidence is a key factor for elite performance in the field. Elite athletes brim with self-confidence and this includes self-development of mental aspects of performance across many levels. Here are key traits which are consistently found in truly great performers.

1. Stress Management

A key factor is to manage stress during tough situations. Along with that, several characteristics differentiate athletes and elite athletes. For instance there is commonly a high level of perfectionism, dispositional optimism and the ability to manage high-stress situations.

During high-pressure situations, when one can see two different outcomes, initially athletes will struggle to withstand the pressure through fear of failure. Here, the optimistic approach steps-in for super elites, and eradicates such creeping doubts. To conquer such fear, many coaches push their athletes to perform in the spotlight under high pressure. This helps assist the athletes to develop and nurture their skills to the next level.

2. Teamwork

Another key component is teamwork, which also determines the athlete and coach relationship. Cooperation with co-athletes, friends and family support, and with support staff, is another aspect that yields high-value results for successful athletes.

This also extends to competition performance in team sports. In soccer for example, players need to utilize teamwork in several ways, such as highly orchestrated passing of the ball, cheering each other on, and achieving winning plays or goals in a tightly coordinated manner.

3. Aiming for Performance-Oriented Goals

Super elite athletes set both short and long-term performance goals that help in handling inevitable adversity. Performance goals are also more than winning competitions. Committed athletes set goals across multiple levels, including how they intend to perform in each individual training session, how they want to raise the mental side of their game, psychological development, and day-to-day elements such as diet management and recovery methods.

Coaches play a key role in helping set an athlete's goals, doing so with a challenging but realistic approach, as unrealistic goals tend to create disbelief in the athlete over time.

4. Quickness and Reflexes

Super elite athletes are accompanied by an infiniteness of quickness and a plethora of reflexes that make them stand apart from the crowd. Although most people think of speed and agility as physical abilities, athletes with superfast reflexes also need to develop their cognitive processing speed. The ability to interpret sensory cues, generate situational awareness, determine the best decisions, and then execute, is highly demanding on the brain.

This study with stars from the NFL, NHL and EPL showed that mental processing speed, and the ability to quickly adapt and improve cognitive resources, are a clear predictor of elite athlete potential. The takeaway is that great athletes develop both their bodies and brains in order to process, decide and execute at speeds beyond their lessor contemporaries.

5. Positive Personality

Every athlete has a hard day, but one needs can overcome it through sheer determination. On optimism, PGA golfer and coach Travis Howser underlines the importance of encouraging junior golfers, whenever they are a tough situation that would normally be negative. Instead helping them to laugh a things off and see the bigger picture.

No matter how great the athlete, no one can perform perfectly all the time, losing is an inevitable part of almost every sport. The key thing is being able to flip perspective on a situation to have a positive mindset on what follows.

Super focus and concentration is extremely important when it comes to winning against the odds. This helps to differentiate elite athletes from super-elite athletes. Through this method, they can easily get into the zone and see opportunities no matter how slim the odds.

The inner desire to succeed and to win also includes a high level of EI (Emotional Intelligence). This creates an innate desire not just to succeed and win, but also take pleasure in the process.

As per Micheal Phelps,

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get

Take Away

Awareness and extreme concentration are a major factors in sports performance that help remove the limits to self-development. This can extend to usage of mental imaginary techniques like multi-sensory reproduction of actual sports plays, and can be a powerful mental tool for athletes in modern sports.

Determination or 'grit' go hand-in hand here, being determined enough to have faith in outperforming others despite the odds. As the saying goes, 'winners focus on winning and losers focus on winners'. Coping with stress, tapping into the support others can provide, and fostering positive expectations all go into the recipe that shapes exceptional sports performers.

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