I was chatting with a buddy of mine recently, Mack Prioleau. He plays college football and is hoping to make it to the pro league pretty soon. We talked about what it is that sets apart the players of any sport who are good at what they do and the people who actually go on to turn pro. Today we will take a look at what skills are required to get to that pro-level that so many of us dream of.
Naturally, having ability in your chosen sport is a given, and we are not going to delve too far into the amount of skill level you need to have. We will look at the characteristics required, along with your skill, to make it to the big leagues.
Whether you are naturally gifted or not, you will need to put in blood, sweat, and tears into what you do and approach your sport with all out dedication and hard work. No pro athlete in history has ever got to where they are though natural ability alone, and many actually got there based more so on their hard work than their ability. Ex-Manchester United defender Gary Neville is one of the club’s most decorated players, and it is well known that he was one of the worst young players in the academy; aware of this, Neville put in hours and hours of hard work and went on to captain the soccer giants for years. If you aren’t prepared to put the work in, then don’t expect any success.
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The very best athletes understand where their weaknesses are and practice persistently until they have overcome them. Many think that the skill set they have cannot be altered, but this is the kind of thinking which those who do not make it to the top have; those who do become pro are working hard on their weaknesses.
Being great at sport is not just about playing. You also need to be a student of the game and have detailed knowledge about each aspect. If you want to be a quarterback, for example, then you should be watching hours of footage of the likes of Brady, Manning, and Montana to see how they rose to the top of their craft. You cannot get to the top on ability alone, and if you want to make it, you need to know all that you can about your sport.
Throughout your sports career, you will face many setbacks and adversities that will test your mental toughness. If you want to get to the top, you will need great mental strength to overcome things like losses and injuries. The best athletes in the World have the steely mental strength, and you will need to work hard to ensure that you do so if you want to turn pro someday.