Six-Part Series: What Makes the Great Ones Great?

Announcing a new, six-part series coming to RowingRelated on the characteristics of great athletes across all sports, and what we can learn from both their actions and personalities. Once a week, the RR Staff will look at one aspect of the successful athlete's character, making use of examples from mainstream sports as well as rowing. In so doing, we will delineate the athletic mindset and provide the reader with a new perspective on how to view professional and amateur athletes, as well as how to make the most of his or her own competitive drive.

We believe there are six common traits among all great athletes in all sports. In this weekly series we will provide an in-depth analysis of each of these qualities and why we think they are necessary components in all great athletes.

1. Confidence
What separates belief in yourself and your abilities from arrogance, and how can cockiness and self-confidence possibly serve to enhance your performance physiologically?

2. Ability to perform under pressure
Be a racer and a game day performer, not just a practice player or a workout warrior.

3. Focus and drive
The ability to be keenly focused and driven to achieve a single goal, drawing on your talent and resources to the fullest extent.

4. Natural talent and ability
Natural athletic gifts, from hand-eye coordination to height and musculature, etc.

5. Consistency
The ability to train and practice over a long period of time to perfect your skills and gain the natural strength and endurance to be able to perform at the highest level.

6. Opportunity
The chance that allows you to discover the sport for which you are best suited, and the opportunity to pursue it at a high level.

What makes the great ones great? We're providing answers. Our one goal: to help guide aspiring athletes to realize their potential, whatever their sport may be.

Series begins Wednesday, January 5th, 2011.

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