Characteristics for Athletic Success

The athlete who is intent on being successful follows the proverbial “road less travelled.” The pathway to greatness exists, but only those who have conviction in their goals will complete the journey. While a handful of athletes are blessed with rare genetic gifts that elicit the perception that they are special, I prefer to think of those individuals who dedicate themselves to preparation and attack their loftiest of goals as the special ones.

The athletes who continue to push themselves when others slack off or drop out—they are truly the gifted ones. Throughout this camp, I have laid a blueprint for how to fulfil an athlete’s physical potential in training for the sporting field. I must turn to the athlete’s characteristics, for his or her degree of Commitment will go a long way in determining success. In fact, it may be the first step along the pathway to greatness. What is the source of that commitment? What determines an athlete’s resolve or motivation?

An attempt to answer these questions would likely stir up the age-old debate of nature versus nurture. A selected few athletes seem born to play their sport and come equipped with the physical skills and psychological determination to make it happen. Others are raised with a strong work ethic, but that is becoming rarer. Thus, training needs to take on the additional purpose of developing the “never say die” attitude that is required to excel. Regardless of talent, the greatest gift any athlete can possess is that of want and desire.

In my coaching experience, I’ve proven that this relentless attitude can be fostered among athletes, but first, the will and desire must be there. The athletes I’ve trained are so accustomed to being challenged that overcoming adversity in performance is significantly easier for them. To be successful on the field, athletes must have intimate knowledge of how to deal with chaotic environments and how to react instinctively. This is basically a military theory that I adapted for my training programs a long time ago, and the success of my programs has proven its validity.

Will and desire set the foundation of all training, for without the proper psychological development, all physical development will be fruitless. In addition, the following personal attributes are needed to achieve greatness. They are all intertwined and thus mutually dependent and reinforcing. These attributes are genderless, ageless, and without racial or economic barriers: I present to you the personality characteristics required for sporting success.

Integrity: Strict adherence to a code of ethics or a standard of behaviour
This is the moral fabric of the athlete and thus impacts his or her drive, commitment, and discipline. Qualities such as passion, restraint, and interpersonal skills help form the cornerstone of the spirit of an athlete. These qualities will pay rich dividends during those tough training periods in which the athlete must respond to a challenge.

Richmond Tigers AFLW Captain Katie Brennan working on her Strength Speed with Trap bar Deadlifts with Chains

AFLW Superstar Katie Brennans’ Integrity Sets her apart from the pack!

Drive: The insatiable and relentless thirst to succeed.
This is perhaps the most important quality an athlete can have. The successful athlete makes progress most efficiently by focusing on and working toward well-thought-out goals. True drive is unyielding, even in the face of real adversity. One cannot quit until the mission has been accomplished. There is no task that cannot be completed.

Matty Hodgson Australian Boomers and Brisbane Bullets Basketball Players Drive is unquestionable! Driving down from Brisbane every week to train with Joey Hayes at USP Gymnasium!

Commitment: A pledge to fulfil a particular purpose of course of action.
Strongman Camp training takes athletes through a comprehensive and brutal workout, in which they are challenged at every turn. And in the event they do not have the resolve to finish, I will drag their carcasses up to complete the session! My point in doing so is to teach them that an athlete—a great athlete—can never be vanquished. I realize that exercise physiologists will criticize this approach as unsound. And they may be right, except for one thing: My athletes learn to defy the challenges set before them, and that learning starts right here! Some might consider this approach as punishment, but that’s not my intent. My goal is to make every athlete better, stronger, and tougher mentally as well as physically. Pain not only will be denied, but it will become an ally. Losing cannot be considered an option.

For an athlete that is 200cm+ Sydney Swans Star Kurt Tippetts’ posture is perfect during his off-season 2012 at THE USP PIT GYM!

AFL Superstar Kurt Tippetts Commitment to Excellence and Willingness to go above and beyond what is expected makes him Elite!

Discipline: Strict adherence to a system of rules that govern conduct or activity.
The disciplined athlete is so committed to achieving his or her goals that he or she considers even those elements beyond training, such as diet and rest. In sum, training must extend to all aspects of one’s life that will improve performance. The comprehensive element of discipline is something many athletes do not understand when they commit themselves to training.

Collingwood Best and Fairest, All Australian and Premiership Player Dayne Beams working on his single leg stability in The USP PIT Gymnasium.

Collingwood Magpies AFL Super Star, Premiership Player, All Australian Player and Club Best and Fairest Dayne Beams Discipline has taken his game to another level!

Conviction: A strongly held belief or attitude. Conviction may also be called faith, but not as it’s used in the religious sense. Rather, the appropriate meaning of faith for this context is that from the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps, “Semper fidelis,” which is Latin for “always faithful.” The athlete who possesses real conviction will have the courage and perseverance to press on during the most difficult times because he or she will know that this it’s the right course of action. Making your way along the pathway to greatness is unquestionably a daunting task. But every journey must begin by taking that first step.

World Champ Iron Woman and 3 Time Coolangatta Gold Champion exudes conviction everyday!

For the athlete, that first step is to develop his or mindset—namely, the will and desire to achieve. With that as the foundation for the development of the requisite physical skills, an athlete is surely destined for success. So, in the very simplest of terms, take control of your destiny. Seize and crush every limitation you see before you.

See you at The AFL High Performance Camp on Saturday!

All the best,

Joey Hayes