Picture the best athlete you know of. Got it? Why do you think he or she is so good at whatever sport they play? Most of us perceive pros as if they were made of a different substance and are touched by god or something. Assigning an unattainable quality to the best is always comforting because it takes away the responsibility of the observer. "There is nothing I can do, I am not a special machine like [insert name here]...", we've all said that. An athlete's performance is made up of many different qualities, of which physical talent is just a small part of it.
Think of your capacity as an athlete as a combination of three things:
Some people have more of certain circles, but physical ability is almost never the main variable. And fortunately, skill and mental strength can be trained. A world champion is a person who has large circles of each and who can also bring them as close together through rigorous training. Most professionals and really good age groupers are a combination of any of these variables which can include one or many large circles and/or the capacity to bring them closer together.
John Stockton and Larry Bird were considered physically inferior to other players, but they were both incredible at messing with other player's minds and exploited any physical talent they did have. Both are part of the NBA's hall of fame.
Genetically all of us are pretty much going to stay the way we are, there is only so much you are going to grow, so much muscle you can put on, and your VO2 max has a genetic limit as well. Fortunately, Skills and mental strength are pretty much impossible to cap, there will always be a better technique and you can always learn more.
I have found a great tool for identifying an athlete's style and which types of training and approaches will help best, so I thought of sharing them with you. The place is called www.athletetypes.com. I will share a short description of their athlete types and my experience with some in the positive and negative aspects. The rest of it is available on the site and I highly recommend you take the test clicking on this link.
These ate the 8 athlete types you'll find along with what motivates them:
Just like any other psychometric profile, most of us are a combination of all, but we tend to be more one than the rest, so take the test and tell me how you came out, it's a great tool which will surely help you reach your goals. It also applies to most other things to do in life, so see if you see any of these characteristics reflected in your everyday life or relationships.
As I said, I will only share some of my experiences with people I've observed as a coach, for an in-depth review of each type, go to the site and take the test. Their resources also have a detailed guide on all profiles. I also suggest you show this to your coach or contact me if you'd like to start training with someone who takes this into consideration.
I thought everyone aspired to be this type of athlete when I started coaching, but I was dead wrong. Athlete types are spread out pretty evenly in my experience (and corroborated by the data of athletetypes.com) and the more mature and successful the athlete, the more they act into their type. For a trailblazer, a rocket will be more and more incomprehensible as they develop as athletes.
Which type of athlete are you? What about your friends? Can you think of any examples?
1) The Rocket - Cool under pressure, gets things done and will push hard to accomplish goals. You will not get them to change the plan very easy and can be a bit arrogant sometimes.
2) The Musketeer - The team player who considers everyone and will sacrifice for others. They will almost never say no and will put others in front of them to the point of losing focus on winning.
3) The Maverick- A risk taker who loves finding solutions and jumping to new challenges. Often improvising their training and seem to have a very flexible understanding of the rules.
4) The Ice - A self-driven athlete who loves the tried and true, a lone wolf. Kind of introverts who are not comfortable changing plans and who are very hard on themselves.
5) The Eagle - An optimistic crowd-pleaser who loves planning the next race. Will never admit when they messed up, will compare their performance with others and can act a bit selfishly.
6) The Trailblazer - Creative and empathic team player. They are nice but will not always follow through with commitments, they will miss training and may shift priorities. These are, in my opinion, most of Dubai's weekend warriors.
7) The Knight - Rising up to the challenge listens to the coach and hates making mistakes. Will always help others but have trouble with what critics have to say. They are also a bit closed and will just sulk before saying what's wrong.
8) The Engineer - An independent, silent, and reserved athlete who sticks to routine and listens to instructions. They are not the most sociable and will have trouble changing their plans unless the reason is really worth it for them. It's easy for an engineer to find reasons why not to push a bit harder.
I went through the assessment and found out I'm an engineer athlete, actually. Having your style put down on paper like this helps address problems. I know how easy it is for me to give up mid-effort, for example. So I will go through their mental strength course to help me push harder when I need to.
Check it out and let me know what you think. Did they get you right? As your training friends and see how they perceive you, there may be something hidden from your sight.
Have an amazing rest of the week and wishing you the best out of your training.
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