This is Coach Phil Tran, championship-winning high school football coach and award-winning strength coach for multiple girls’ and boys’ sports. Here are the seven qualities I am looking for in an athlete.
Speed, strength, agility, balance, coordination, mobility, and endurance are all necessary physical attributes for a great male and female athlete of any sport. However, as a strength coach by trade who has coached multiple girls’ and boys’ sports successfully, I am confident and convinced that we can maximize the potential of every athlete through a proper strength and conditioning regimen.
Therefore, I am looking for other non-physical attributes to determine who can be a great athlete. The following are the seven qualities I am looking for in an athlete. These qualities have been in my mind going way back to my own high school football playing days in Texas.
Where I am from way down south, we call it that “want to.” Does the athlete want to be the best? It all starts with that “want to.”
Is the athlete committed? Many people start journeys and never realize their potential because they are not dedicated and committed to the task at hand.
Is the athlete purposeful and resolute in pursuing his or her goals? There will be peaks and there will be valleys not just during the course of a competitive season, but also during offseason training and preparation. Great athletes do not get discouraged. They build upon their wins, learn from their losses, and move forward.
Will the athlete work hard persistently over time? There is a time for necessary rest and recovery. However, when it is time to clock in, will the athlete go all out or just do enough to conserve energy and get through the day? Does the athlete display toughness and grit in everything he or she does?
Can the athlete follow all the rules? We will do our part as coaches to ensure that the rules make sense, balance individual freedom with team needs, and are applied fairly.
Is the athlete humble? Can the athlete take instruction without argument?
Can the athlete control his or her emotions? Competition can elicit an array of emotions. Controlling these emotions will lead to mastery of performance.
Is the athlete loyal to his or her teammates? Is the athlete enthused for his or her sport? Devotion is necessary on the field, on the court, and on the ice, but this devotion will reach its highest level when it is expressed in faith and family. It all transfers.
Finally, I am looking at how the athlete comports himself or herself on the field and off the field.
Does the athlete show respect for the opponent while being competitive?
Is the athlete humble in victory?
Does the athlete take responsibility for mistakes?
Does the athlete show remorse for bad decisions?
Is the athlete polite to coaches, staff, and fans? Saying “sir” and “ma’am” gets you planeload of frequent flyer miles with me!
Does the athlete represent the program well?
Does a male athlete treat women with respect and reverence?
Is the athlete an upstanding individual of high moral character?
Is the athlete a dependable, honorable, reliable, responsible, righteous, steadfast, trustworthy, and virtuous individual?
I recruit dignified male and female athletes and I never fire them.
These are the seven qualities I am looking for in a great athlete. Do you agree? What else would you add?
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This is Phil Tran saying so long. I will see you next time.