4 Traits Every Athlete Should Strive to Have

When we are on our feet cheering for an exciting touchdown run, an amazing goal on the soccer pitch, an unbelievable volleyball dig, or a great throw-down from home plate, we experience the joy and excitement of competition. In that moment, we only see the physical effort and success, and it’s not likely that we are thinking about character development or the traits that our athlete is comprised of.

It’s been said over and over that being involved in sports can teach kids life lessons. But exactly what traits should we want our kids to walk away with when they are done with the game?

4 character traits every athlete should strive to build


There’s nothing more annoying than watching cocky athletes taunt and draw attention to their accomplishments. Teammates do not respect them and spectators are not impressed by them. It is much more fun to watch talented, humble athletes who let their performance do the talking, instead of their mouths. The trait of humility is a difficult one to teach, but one that will impress far beyond our athlete’s final whistle.


Humility should not be mistaken for a lack of confidence. An athlete who has confidence—with perhaps a touch of swagger—plays better because he is playing without fear. It’s too bad we can’t bottle self-confidence and pour it on our kids’ cereal every morning.

Although we can’t force feed our kids the trait of self-confidence, we can expose them to situations–particularly within sports–where they learn to acquire it themselves.


There is no better place than the arena of sports for children to battle mental and physical obstacles. Through them, and the successes and failures they present, the trait of persistence can grow. When it does, our athletes can carry it with them when they move on from athletics into the arena of real life.


When my son played high school basketball he earned the reputation of being a team player. The selfless attitude that he played with earned him the respect of his teammates and, at the same time, allowed him opportunities to have some high scoring games. It has been a joy to watch the trait of selflessness grow within him beyond sports.

Let’s praise our kids after games when we see glimpses of these traits and then let’s high-five their athletic efforts. After all, the amazing athletic feats will fade in our memories, but the character traits developed will shine forever.

winning character traits

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *