11 Personality Traits of Winning Athletes

If you want to be a winning athlete here are 11 personality traits that will help you on your way.  If you think you might be lacking then there are countless self help guides out there, just build some practice into your training schedule.


Whichever way you look at this winning thing it’s going to cost and the person paying will be the athlete themselves (well, in the main that is) and something has to make you want to pay.

That something is drive.  The desire to win, be successful or be the best at something is crucial. Even the desire to improve yourself will play a critical role. If you don’t have the drive you’re not going to be able to get over the humps or through the troughs that a disciplined training program will cause.

Drive can come many forms and the more drives exist the stronger the chance of succeeding in athletics.


If you want to turn yourself into a winning athlete you have to be capable of pushing yourself and making sure things always go your way.

Being a nice guy’s nowhere near enough.  You have to believe that a certain amount of aggressiveness in multiple situations in your career as an athlete.  When you’re training, don’t be surprised to find yourself having to fight for scarce resources.

Just the right amount of aggressiveness will keep you at the head of the queue.  When you’re competing it’s too easy to find yourself being pushed around by other athletes, jockeying for the best position and an aggressive response can be the most effective way of stopping it – dead!


Call it what you will, single mindedness, sheer bloody mindedness it all boils down to having that willingness to practice long and hard.

Determination to get through the tough times that will always occur in any training schedule will help you be prepared to work out on your own for much of the time. You can’t depend on someone else motivating you.

Determination to succeed will is required to keep you going.  A winning athlete will always be prepared to persevere and will be patient and unrelenting in their work habits, working on the skills they need to succeed until they are exhausted.


Don’t point the finger at anyone else.  If something goes wrong, and be certain that it will do at some point, look for your role what happened.

Anyone who is capable of evaluating their own performance, identifying issues and putting strategies in place to avoid them in future is on a path to continual improvement.  Accepting responsibility for your own action, even when other s may have also been responsible is at the heart of self improvement.


There are two types of people, the leaders and the led.  The led never make it as winning athletes.  A winning athlete will always assume the position of leader due to prevalence of many other personality traits.

Confidence, ability, determination and many others combine to make a personality that naturally assumes the role of leader.  This is as much down to the perception of others as well as the individual themselves.

Natural leaders emerge and anyone with the qualities required to be a winning athlete will naturally emerge as a leader.


You have to know that you are capable of succeeding.  It doesn’t matter what anybody else says or does, you need to have unfaltering confidence in yourself and in your capacity to deal with things.

When things go wrong, no matter what’s thrown at you, you need to maintain your confidence in your ability to succeed.  That unfailing confidence will also help to speak up appropriately for the things you believe in when dealing with coaches and other players.


Competing at the highest levels in athletics will be stressful and your ability to stay in control when things become more challenging will set you apart from the rest of the field.

A winning athlete will tend to be emotionally stable throughout crises, will be realistic about what to expect from others and will rarely allow feelings to impair judgement.

Performance should never be affected by emotions and having good emotional control shows an individual is capable of just that.


Robust training schedules, quality competitions and living life in general will always throw unexpected incidents at you.  A winning athlete will have the mental toughness to deal with such issues without any negative impact on performance.

Strong criticism will be accepted without hurt as mental toughness means being able to bounce back without excessive encouragement.  It means that dealing with adversity is handled in the same way as dealing with everyday occurrences.


Advice from those around you is critical to becoming a winning athlete as no one has the ability to see and know everything for themselves.

If the advice is important then the ability to accept that advice becomes central. We aren’t capable of seeing all issues about ourselves so the input of others is important.

The desire to be developed and to be changed is critical because without it growth will be very limited.  Coachability means that the athlete can accept wanted and unwanted criticism and turn both to their advantage.


Focus on doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done will really help a winning athlete develop.  A conscientious approach to the job in hand is critical.

When an individual works on their own as much as an athlete in training does, they have to place real demands on themselves and to police those demands as well.  The idea of bending the rules or sidestepping a responsibility must not be allowed to occur if you success is sought.


A wining athlete will come across many individuals during their career and often those associations are fleeting.  A winning athlete will always accept people at face value.

This is important as often they won’t have the time to assess an individual’s personality.  Accepting people at face value is very important if coaching relationships are to lead to the maximum amount of input and hence performance growth.

Good luck!


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