Dr. Steve Ingham

Industry and tenacity: Two qualities of the best athletes

One of the standout qualities, I’ve noticed in elite athletes, is their work ethic. I haven’t met an athlete who is at the top of their sport and at the top of their game that lacks industry.

This approach might come from their diligence, conscientiousness or desire, but it might just as easily come from the correlation that emerges when they start training and improve. Then they train a bit more and improve a bit more, they then train a lot more and improve a lot more. The association is forged.

The trend continues until it doesn’t. The athlete plateaus, they get injured or they burnout. There is sense in ‘sticking with it’ for a while until eventually the shrewd athlete is forced to adapt. Maybe age, maybe lack of a novel training stimulus, maybe changing life priorities – but inevitably the elite athlete who wants to stay at the top will have to break away from a programme that got them to the top.

Work smart – is often a cliche! It is a useful idea though when there is a need and substance behind it. The start point of smarter has to be another quality that complements industry, tenacity. The best athletes have this in abundance;

🔷 Piercing critique
🔷 Ability to question
🔷 Willingness to adjust

(My experience of working with athletes tells me that a meeting with a top performer is often exhausting work. You know you have someone with potential in front of you when you come away from an exchange, having your knowledge, thinking, ideas tested).

Elite athletes excel because of their industry, but they stay at the top through tenacity.

A few questions for you;

– Did you get ahead by working hard?
– Are you still progressing or are you plateauing?
– Are you finding it hard to change the way you work?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, maybe it is time to reset and review how you approach your day, not for the sake of it, but to continue to develop and improve your performance!



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