What are truly exceptional athletes made of? Sprinter Usain Bolt was outstandingly fast even before he began formal training. Champion swimmer Michael Phelps’ long torso, short legs, and large hands and feet make him a fireball in the swimming pool. Diminutive American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Ragan Smith, all of 4’6”, is capable of gravity defying jumps, flips, and rotations because of her tiny frame. While there’s no doubt their genetic makeup gives these athletes a huge advantage in the playing field, let’s not forget that there’s a lot more to an athlete’s success than just DNA. It’s a combination of innate talent and character traits that puts these athletes head and shoulders above the rest.
It’s no different for triathletes. As much as you need talent and practice, you should also possess these essential qualities for a successful run as a triathlete. Here are some top traits to become a successful triathlete:
- Perseverance: You can also call it grit, determination, focus, commitment. The truth is, as a triathlete, you cannot survive long if you don’t have the stubbornness of a mule to see it through. The road to victory in triathlons is full of bumps and it’s only sheer dogged determination to make it at any cost that will help you along the way. Trying circumstances, personal problems, physical setbacks – nothing and no one gets between you and your goals.
- Self-discipline: Triathletes are champions of inner discipline. Training for a triathlon is not easy. You need to wake up at ungodly hours, brave harsh weather, and eat only certain types of food. It is impossible to follow the strict regimen of diet, training, and fitness that a triathlete requires without self-discipline.
- Pain Management: As a triathlete, you have to suffer immense physical pain through your career. Don’t forget that the triathlon is one of the most intense sporting competitions out there. It stretches the endurance of participants to limits unknown. You should be able to handle and take pain with grace and dignity, during training and especially during events.
- Mental Toughness: “It’s all in the mind.” “Mind over matter.” There’s no dearth of clichés describing the sheer power of the mind to control how people react to things. A sports psychologist describes mental toughness as “the ability to consistently perform toward the upper range of your talent and skill regardless of competitive circumstances.” For triathletes, mental toughness means no matter how hard the circumstances become, you are able to perform at your very best regardless of your personal pain and suffering.
- Goal Getter: You cannot be a successful triathlete if you lose sight of your goals. Every triathlete needs clearly defined, process-oriented, performance-oriented, and outcome-oriented goals. And you must be prepared to make all sorts of sacrifices to achieve those goals. The goal-setting process is significant because it helps you understand where your performance currently is and where it ought to be.
- Ability to Stay Calm: Becoming an athlete is a life-changing journey. Needless to say, life is full of uncertainty and you are bound to face obstacles as you move forward on this transforming path. One of the qualities of high performing triathletes is their ability to stay calm when things don’t go according to plan. They are able to relax even when the odds are stacked against them and look at every challenge as an opportunity to learn.
- Competitive Spirit: Last, but not the least, as a triathlete, you should be consumed by the desire to win. It is important to keep the fire burning because it’s your competitiveness that will give you the fighting spirit and motivation to beat rivals and in the process, enhance your own game. Few qualities are as useful as a competitive spirit on the road to self-improvement.
In conclusion, we leave you with the words of a basketball player and Coach John Robert Wooden, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes a character to keep you there.” Do you have what it takes to be a top-notch triathlete? As one of the top sellers of triathlon wetsuits,