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The SIX Traits Necessary to Become a Successful Collegiate Athlete

There are a good amount of athletes at the high school level who may have what it takes physically to play at a higher level, whether that be Division 1 or Division 3.

However, there are a good majority of athletes who might lack the intangible assets necessary to excel at a higher level and need time and effort to develop them.

The bottom line, college sports are not for everyone.

The physical and mental demand of athletics at the collegiate level have proven to be enough to put a halt to the careers of athletes transitioning out of high school, and cause them to drop sports altogether.

However, for those who succeed in the transition, they developed the traits necessary and persevered through it all.

The successful ones share characteristics that help them to advance at a higher level.

Here are 6 traits that reveal if you are ready compete collegiately as an athlete coming out of high school:

1. You Hate to Lose.

People may often get this confused with Loving to Win. If you sincerely hate to lose, then when you do, it will motivate you to self reflect and find ways to get better the next time.

Athletes who hate to lose have a vigor and don’t like to be outdone, whether that’s because you lost to someone else, or competing with yourself.

You can like winning. But you like NOT losing more.

2.) You Are Constantly Finding Ways to Get Better.

Competitors are never satisfied with the status quo. They know there is always room for improvement.

Whether you are finding ways to improve on the court, field, weight room, or class room, you find the gaps in your performances, and you get them closed.

To stay at the same level as you were yesterday is not acceptable.

3.) You Are Coachable.

You are always learning the game and are receptive to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, and understand it’s necessary to develop.

You have an ear to listening to good coaching and know that YOUR way is not always the best way.

4.) You Lead By Example.

Leaders don’t always have to be vocal, but they always lead by showing.

You’re actions say “follow me” more than your words do. Even when losing in a game and things aren’t working in your team’s favor, you don’t complain and deliver all you’ve got on the field.

5.) You Leverage Your Time Wisely

You are all about your athletic career, but you also are good at keeping balance between school, family, and your social life.

Most college coaches will tell you outright that most athletes in transition from high school struggle when in comes to time management.

You understand there is a time for everything. Spending too much time on sport disrupts the psychological equilibrium.

Despite the demands of sport, you still MAKE the time for other important parts of life, and remain productive.

6.) Your Preparation is on Point

The great competitors know that how you perform during the season is a direct result of the work you put in during the offseason.

There is no such thing as waiting until training camp, or preseason to start developing.

You understand the it is about the long game, and the time you invest in the long run creates better success during the season.


While these traits are not necessarily the easiest to execute, none of these require exceptional talent.

They are skills that can be developed like anything else.

It’s just about want to.

If you haven’t been the best on time, then start now.

If you have been slacking during your off season and not where you say you want to be, then get better.

It’s on you.

If you want to play at a competitive level collegiately, focus on these 6 things to help transform you into a more well rounded, solid competitor.