Wednesday, 19 June 2019 15:53

Important Traits of an Athlete

Important Traits of an Athlete


What separates an Olympian from an average athlete? In other words, what is the difference between one of the best sports performers in the world and a regular athlete?


Only some of what separates the great from the merely good has to do with natural talent and genetics. I mean, a lot has been said about Michael Phelps and how his frame was built for swimming. But genetics can only take you so far.


According to an article by Fast Company, genes only determine athletic performance by a small amount. Instead, athletic performance is largely due to environmental factors such as parents who love sports, hours spent training, nutrition, and the overall opportunity for sports at a young age.


In essence, anyone who starts off early enough and has a little luck, can become an olympic medalist or world-class athlete--the only caveat being that environmental factors play a big role in determining success.


If boiled down to only two determining factors for making a great athlete, it would come down to having a strong support system or team and the amount of self-discipline the athlete has.

A Great Athlete Needs a Strong Support System


A strong support system is crucial for the development and consistency of any athlete.


Think about some of the best father/son duos in the MLB (Ken Griffey Jr./Sr.) or the NHL (Bobby/Brett Hull). Also, another relevant duo would be the Curry brothers: Steph and Seth Curry, who just played each other in the NBA playoffs.


To grow up with a parent or brother who has skin in the game means having an inexhaustible support system to draw from. And without the necessary reinforcement, it can be very hard to fuel the rise of a world-class athlete.


If olympic gymnast Simone Biles hadn’t been adopted by her Grandparents and had their support, she probably would have never reached the heights that she did.


Support can also come from being a part of a team.

Why Teams Are Important For Athletes


Many great athletes are excellent team players. And even if you are involved in a sport that doesn’t revolve around a team, like track and field or gymnastics, having the support of like-minded athletes is key for staying on track.


It’s no surprise that the greatest individual athletes have teams they are a part of. Teams encourage competition, they are great motivators for athletic performance, and they keep individuals focused on training daily on their craft.


If the most successful athletes have a considerable amount of self-discipline surging through their system, a team is that fail-safe for the days where motivation and energy are lacking.


This means that 90% of the time, a world class athlete won’t need help to keep themselves on track. But never underestimate that remaining 10% in making a huge difference.

A Great Athlete Needs Self-Discipline


When motivation falters and your support system fails to motivate you, the best sports performers know how to push themselves to train anyways. There is a crucial difference between self-discipline and motivation. And self-discipline is arguably more important.


Charles Schwab had some important words to say on the subject of self-discipline. And these words speak to the so-called ‘natural talent’ side of athletic performance. In this respect, his words favor hard work over innate talent or genetic superiority:

Most talk about 'super-geniuses' is nonsense. I have found that when 'stars' drop out, successors are usually at hand to fill their places, and the successors are merely men who have learned by application and self-discipline to get full production from an average, normal brain.


Replace “super-geniuses” with “superstar athletes” and you have a very relevant way of looking at the importance of self-discipline.


A lot of success and self-discipline comes from mental strength.

Mental Strength is Key


Self-discipline hinges on being able to keep yourself level-headed despite stress and exhaustion. To perform at an elite level, you have to work harder than the average person. And to have an edge over your competition, your training has to be dynamic.


Anyone could drift through a mindless training regimen. That doesn’t require all that much mental flexibility or discipline at all.


The best training methods integrate the mind and body equally. An understanding of sports psychology and the role of visualization in performance is crucial. But elite training ends up taxing the mind just as much as the body. This requires a mental toughness that transcends mere physical exertion.


So, to become a great athlete means including mental training within their routine. Being self-disciplined in not only the mental but also the physical realm is very important.

A Great Way to Become a Team Player and Cultivate Discipline


If this blog post resonated with you, our Next Level Athlete program is perfect for helping you grow self-discipline. In addition, while you work with our team of trained professionals, you will firsthand the power of being a team player.


A couple of days ago we talked about the elements that comprise the most successful sports teams. Be sure to check that out as well as our other blog posts dedicated to keeping you informed on your fitness journey.


Contact us for details!

Published in Fitness

 Work Force Strong (by Fitness Artist) Fully Endorses the New Army Combat Fitness Test




We as a country are of the elite in military strength and prowess. To maintain our position in the global military ranks, we understand the considerable efforts placed on holding our troops to the highest physical standard; our Armed Forces are the backbone of our nation after all.


And with the announcement that the Army is changing their Army Physical Fitness Test to develop a more accurate representation of strength and fitness, Fitness Artist was very excited to hear the news. The bar has certainly been raised with the introduction of the Army Combat Fitness Test in 2020.


The strongest military in the world is about to become that much stronger!


A Cost-Effective Strategy for Fostering Fitness and Preventing Injuries


Our troops are the finest representations and extensions of our country’s ideals: bravery, honor, specialized training, enterprise, power, discipline, and physicality, to name a few. Because we are the best of the best, it is imperative that we start testing that way. The Army Combat Fitness Test certainly is a huge step in the right direction.


Army Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, says that the new test will “reduce attrition and it will reduce musculoskeletal injuries and actually save, in the long run, the Army a heck of a lot of money.” And he is absolutely correct to state that money will be saved through a more robust, modernized testing standard for fitness.


But the exceptional fitness accomplishments of our Armed Forces can always be improved. There are many facets of fitness that need specialized attention. Most nuances in functional movements, injury prevention, and training lie outside of the purview of fitness tests.


That’s where we come in!


You Might Want Some Backup; Try our Human Performance Programming!



Because the new Army Combat Fitness Test will be more difficult, more resources will be expended, and more training will need to be implemented for your targeted test results in recruits.


The new test is also far more strenuous than the current system; some strategic backup will be needed. We know we can be a difference-maker in whatever capacity our team and program is utilized. Our Work Force Strong Program (WFS) can be the necessary guiding force for those who are training to pass this more difficult test.


As one of the quickest growing names attached to the vertical market for both private and public sector injury prevention, Fitness Artist’s WFS Program is the product of thousands of hours of development and implementation. We know our stuff; we will do everything in our power to keep our troops as healthy and strong as we can.


There is nothing more important to us than making a positive difference wherever we can. And at the very least, we thought it was important to extend our hand as a way of saying that we fully endorse the new ACFT.


Reach out to me, Travis Gil, and let’s discuss this in more detail.


Best Regards,


Travis Gil

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For more information about Fitness Artist and Work Force Strong, Head to or


Work Referenced:

We first heard about the amazing news from the Army News Service on July 9th, 2018. The article is titled, “Army Combat Fitness Test set to become new PT test of record in late 2020” and was written by, Sean Kimmons.

Published in Work Force Strong