[10 things] Elite Athletes DO and you DON’T

August 4, 2017

Sorry to tell you, but Elite Athletes are not made in the gym.

Written by Konstantinos Synodinos, Founder of ChampionsID.com

Yes you read well.

It’s not the muscle strength, or the athletism, or the techical skills or the hours you spend in the gym that classify an athlete as Elite.

Those are prerequisites for everyone who wants to compete at a top level.

Everyone who wants to even be considered as an athlete, has to spend hours in the gym, work on his individual skills alone and consistently.

But, what’s an Elite athlete to begin with? Let’s see some definitions that sports science uses:

  • Elite athletes according to Segen’s Medical Dictionary is:  ”A person who is currently or has previously competed as a varsity player (individual or team), a professional player or a national or international level player. 
  • Elite Athletes are the world-class performers in any physical sport – Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine by Churchill Livingstone
  • Elite Athlete are athletes with potential for competing in the Olympics or as professional athletes – According to the McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine

I think you got the idea, right? At least the academic one.

You know what we believe?


Elite Athletes are those with a Champions Mentality


Over the last few decades science has started to look inside the mind of the athlete.

What they have found is a brain not only finely tuned for the demands of their particular sport, but one that may also carry a mental advantage to situations beyond the sports field

What does this mean? It’s not the situation, but the attitidue towards it. 

You don’t just have to be super athletic, You need to use your brain big time.

How you will decide to turn anything that happens to you, into your own advantage?

How every barrier will become an opportunity to showcase character?

How you will read the game faster than anyone to create better circumnastances for you and your teammates?


Let’s see the 10 examples of different approaches that we believe showcase clearly our above introduction:

  1. Elite athletes: “I create my playing time”

Regular athletes: “Coach owes me playing time”

Sorry buddy. Noone owes you nothing. And your place in the starting lineup is not guaranteed. You have to hustle to get it. You have to be so good that they can’t ignore you.

Your coach is not your enemy. Your yesterday self is. You have to beat him, crash him, make him admit that you are better today.

  1. Elite athletes play every possession like it is their last. Regular athletes play not to lose.

It’s the passion and the energy the put in every single possession. But it’s also the concentration, the focus in every single detail that’s taking place in the field.

Research has also shown that expert athletes are better at anticipating the actions of their opponents and the consequences of those actions, based on sport-specific contextual information.

They can see what’s coming.

Elite athletes read faster than anyone what’s happening around them.

They foresee the ball movement, the foresee the mistake of their opponent and they are ready to take advantage of it.

  1. Elite athletes focus on opportunities.

Regular athletes focus on obstacles.

An athlete will have a high spirit of performance if he is consistently directed toward opportunity rather than toward problems.

He will have the thrill of excitement, a sense of challenge, and the satisfaction of achievement if his energies are put where the results are, and that means on the opportunities.

  1. Elite athletes admire other successful athletes.

Regular athletes resent successful athletes.

You have no idea what it took for them to get there.

Don’t act like this was unearned, effortless, or pure dumb luck.

You have to look up on them, study them, let them mentor you with their behaviour and routine.

Ask the below questions to yourself to shift your mental focus where it should be:

  • What do they have that I wish I had?
  • What do I admire about them? What are they modelling for me?
  • What have they done to get where they are today?
  • How does this relate to my own values and journey?

When you reflect on these questions, you shift immediately out of comparison mode and turn inwards, to face the heart of the matter: your own desires and fears.

  1. Elite athletes take criticism.

Regular athletes get upset over criticism.

In the heat of the moment, many athletes react with defensiveness and anger or—even worse—attack the person giving them feedback.

But the truth is, you need to get over it. You know there’s value in constructive criticism—how else would we identify weaknesses and areas of improvement?—and being able to handle it calmly and professionally will only help you maintain relationships and be more successful in everything you do.

Listen to everything people have to say to you with an open mind.

You can’t be an elite athlete if you don’t take corrective suggestions.

  1. Elite athletes focus on being a complete player.

Regular athletes focus on one facet of their game

Sports is not just speed, is not just agility, is not just technique, it’s not just confidence. There are so many different aspects in the game. Physical and mental.

What makes the Elite athletes stand out? The ability to break them down, identify your “rating” in each aspect of the game and consistently focusing in becoming better.

Every single day

  1. Elite athletes are confident during any situation.

Regular athletes lack confidence in the clutch.

‘Clutch’ elite athletes have an unwavering belief that they will succeed.

They yearn to have the opportunity to perform when the game is on the line and the lights shine the brightest.

Buzzer beater jumpers; bottom of the 9th with a full count and winning run on second base; fouth and goal from the two yard line with 5 seconds left; a penalty kick with the game on the line… BRING IT ON!

It’s a supreme confidence and belief that they will come through, period.

How you build that? With Discipline, Resilience and Visualization


  1. Elite athletes demand perfection.

Regular athletes are ok with mediocrity.

Lebron James after the 2017 playoffs, hit the gym the next day instead of what 99.9% of people would do.

He is the best player in the world, he has won everything, but the feeling that he still needs to get better, woke him up early the next day to get him to the gym.

That’s what makes the difference.

  1. Elite athletes act in spite of fear.

Regular athletes let fear stop them.

You don’t ever really eliminate fears, instead, you Master them. You dominate them and use emotions like that to your advantage in sports and in life.

Fear is the biggest source of interference to your performance potential.

When it happens, your muscles and nerves just don’t operate as well.

You know this by how different you feel in practice or pickup games vs. competitive games.

FEAR does not exist in the present moment.

It only gets developed by thinking about past mistakes or worrying about possible future failures. The way to overcome fear in sports is to practice getting into the present moment.

Any time you feel fear, all you need to do is direct your attention to your 5 senses and what they are taking in, right now, and your fears will instantly disappear.

10.Elite athletes constantly learn and grow.

Regular athletes already know everything.

The most successful people in the world never stop learning. They may have won champiopnships, MVPs, awards, millions of dollars but they know very well that learning continues forever.

It’s almost certain that if you couple always learning attitude with hard work and goal setting, it can create awesome results.

Make this your mentality bible.

Choose positive over negative

Choose winning over losing

Choose Elite over regular

Choose Champions over humans.

What do you choose?

Written by Konstantinos Synodinos, Founder of ChampionsID.com


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