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       Sports widely differ in their rules and regulations and as a consequence the physical and mental attributes also widely vary. Even the body types considered as most ideal can vary according to the athletes specific offensive and defensive positions on a team. 

       A common denominator of all sports are coordination, agility, and physical/mental fitness. Stamina/ endurance, speed/power, performance/artistic, and leadership are also frequently considered essential in team sports. A similar list would apply to athletes who compete as individuals in sports events.

      A survey of athletic trainers at NCAA Division III produced the following results in response to the question "What qualities deemed the most desirable in student athletes?"  -
  • Trustworthiness (76.2%),
  • Honesty (73.5%),
  • Dependability (66.4%),
  • Possessing high ethical standards (66.4%).
  • Adaptable (62.7%)
  • Communicator (61.6%)
      Three items were reported as being highly desirable (either essential or very important) by 90% of the respondents:
  • Leadership (93.7%)
  • Decisiveness (91.8%)
  • Consistency (91.2%)

     Characteristics that were found to be the least essential among all of the selected skills and competencies on success:
  • Risk taker (2.1%)
  • High energy level (445.6%)
  • Being a visionary (6.4%)

Qualities considered important in sports consisting of events for individuals
        Individual athletes must be dedicated to working hard in all practice sessions, improving their ability of  concentration, plus having both mental and emotional strength to handle the stress of competition. 

        There are some common characteristics that you will find in all elite athletes, no matter what the sport. Some of them are not obvious:
  • Dedication that goes beyond attending mandatory practices,
  • Handles stressfully charged situations,
  • self-confidence,
  • Selfless attitude,
  • Communication skills,
  • The ability to listen,
  • Continued motivation that can overcome unexpected adversities.
      Part of participating on a sports team forms experiences and lessons that can be applied to other life pursuits. Experiences in sports can carry over to other areas of your life.

      Winning qualities of good athletes include:
  • Self respect,
  • Emotional and mental strength,
  • Passion,
  • Self-sacrifice,
  • Identify and correcting personal weaknesses,
  • Accept hardships,
  • Consistently follow training plan,
  • Give 100% at practice sessions,
  • Willingness to learn.
Life experiences affect the qualities found in a good coach       
      The following qualities are essential in selecting a good coach:

Ability to Coach - A good coach teaches athletes the basic fundamentals, explains concepts, and assists players to think logically during the game. An excellent practice mantra is “You have to make a decision to take a shot or pass to a teammate in a better position. What do you do?" Player have to develop their instinct, based on the best decision for the team to score, in a quickly changing situation.

It is not just a job, the coach should do it for the kids.  Coaches have to bring their "A" to every practice session. They must energize the players and work to introduce new ideas to keep the players inspired. The vision and energy provided by an enthusiastic coaching staff is contagious and provides motivation for athletics at all levels of competitions.

Coaches who show their enthusiasm for every aspect of the game inspire their players. Their love of the game demonstrates to the players that they should play fair, respect for the opponents, officials, and spectators. It requires a good coach, who loves the game, to provide the expected behavior on and off the field in both winning and losing situations.

Remaining Focused

       Focusing our attention in the desired direction is a powerful tool if everyone is able to work together as a team. The loss of focus can be destroy the ability to collaborate as a team.

       Team building is an integral part of the of the staff of the athletic department; it builds self-esteem, respect, successful communication strategies and allows athletes to feel their contribution matters. It is extremely important to develop team spirit. Members of a school team need to feel valued by the student body. The school administration needs to be looking for ways to create and maintain school spirit that supports students who are involved in both academic and sports activities.

       Leadership can be developed through practice and conscious effort.  It is this passion and focus even in the off-season, which elevates his game.  Some players seem to be naturally born with natural skills of leadership. Other players acquire leadership skills by working tirelessly to improve their skills and inspiring the teammates to follow his/her example.

       Characteristics associated with leadership include:

Responsibility: During a game, players are unable to receive instructions from the coaching staff.  A team leader(s) or captain(s) take charge in a huddle or during continuous play, otherwise their positive attitude provides inspiration that encourages team members to keep their heads in the game. Leaders make good decisions on and off the field.  They dissuade teammates from engaging in unsportsman activities. 

A Morale Compass:  Leaders live by their morale principles. Winning is a goal, but the use of unsportsman conduct is not condoned. A leader provides inspiration during the game and is a positive source of energy, cheerfulness, and positive attitude at every practice and game.

Work Ethic:  The mattel of leadership is working hard and possessing the right attitude every player has an opportunity to prove themselves that they can contribute to the team. The actions and behaviors of a leader is contagious.

Skill:   Leaders provide physical, mental, and emotional inspiration. These qualities are traits of a leader.  The skills that leaders posses, combined with intimate knowledge of their sport, provides opportunities to turn opponents mistakes into pulling off an unexpected gambit.  A leader, even a highly skilled player, constantly works on improving his/her craft .

Respect:   Respect must be earned. A player earns the respect of coaches and fellow teammates on the first day of practice.  They showing up early, and demonstrate an exemplary work ethic that wins the respect of teammates and coaches. A leader maintaining this respect day after day, week after week, and season after season.

      
General Fitness

       General Fitness forms the basic underpinnings of a healthy body, including what can be described as a well balanced mental and emotionally well adjusted individual.  All children and adults should pass a complete physical to insure they are fit enough to engage in the intense exercising that is an essential part of all specialized sports training programs.

       Fitness and Sports Training encompass the following topics:
Sports Drinks
        Gatorade Thirst Quencher® is backed by more than 40 years of research and is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes, and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. Originally developed for college and professional athletes, Gatorade launched the G Series Pro product line in 2010. G Series Pro targets the nearly 16 million professional and elite amateur athletes.

        The G Series Pro products are designed to meet the nutrition needs of competitive athletes at the most critical times for their performance – before (01), during (02) and after (03) a workout, practice or competition. The line is safe for all levels of competition including scholastic, collegiate, and professional athletes who purchase their own products.

Improvements in the Treatment of Injuries
       Kelsey Emig, graduate assistant athletic trainer, said she looks to innovation as the underlying factor in the variety of equipment available. We've come a long way with the advancement of technology, in general.” Emig said. “A lot of progress has been made in the past five years.”    

       One of the newer developments contributing to this progress is Kinesio Tape. Though it has been around for about four decades, but it was not a very common practice until recently.  Kinesio Tape is an elastic tape that differs from other therapeutic tape in that it is supposed to reduce swelling and pain, while facilitating proper circulation.    

       “In athletic training, tape is used for a variety of things,” Emig said. “It can be used to restrict the range of motion, stabilize a joint, act as support or promote healing.” The use of adhesive or Kinesio Tape or a brace depends on a number of variables such as type of injury, specifics of injury and the individual.      

       “Kinesio Tape is mostly used for muscle-related injuries,” said Laura Heline, Assistant Athletic Trainer. “Though, in general, it's not as commonly used as adhesive tape.”

Stop Motion Video Capture
     Video capture allows a sports trainer to use digital video capture software to analyze the body in detailed stop motion. Improvements in technology has reduced the cost and now allows a training facility to utilize what previously was so high end that only major training centers could afford the equipment.

Innovative Sports Training
      The MotionMonitor® offers an advanced real-time 3D motion capture software and integration with existing hardware.

Video4Coach - SkillCapture Video4coach provides video capture, feedback and motion analysis tools for skill performance in sports training and education.

Advanced motion analysis technology - Sports video analysis A Windows look and feel, training is straight forward and fast ... Video capture technology was specifically designed for sports motion ... the "audio- based" option the capture occurs automatically... hands free, .no start / stop buttons to push.

Recommended Reading:

Mind Plus Muscle: Institute for Applied Sports Psychology Continued advances in the science of training and conditioning are enabling ... to Mental Training, Sport Hypnosis, and Performance Consulting to help ... to utilizing advances in Information Technology to develop innovative training.

Athletic Training Education Journal  Enhance health care by advancing athletic training education. ... to share critical and significant concepts, original research, and innovative ideas. The journal aims to: Advance the field of athletic training education pertaining to didactic and clinical education, athletic training teaching methodologies, curriculum/program development, and educational assessment.

Professional Health Organizations - STOP Sports Injuries  exciting in surgical techniques, such as microfracture and Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who promote the activities to help address sports trauma and overuse prevention.

Origins of Sports Medicine - Urgent Orthopedic Program -  The origins of sports medicine date back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome ... Because of the increasing demands of athletics and the advances in sports training, ... there has been an explosion of innovation in sports medicine treatment.

References:

PDF   Qualities of a great athlete - ScoutingSolutions ...  From Dr Bruce Brown, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

What Does it Take to Become a Great Athlete? | Meglio Fitness  Are great athletes born or made? This is a question you have probably been wondering for awhile. I can tell you that all great athletes have similar qualities.

7 Qualities of Winning Athletes | Expert Sports Performance Oct. 19, 2011 ... With all things being equal, what is different about winning athletes? ... of Oregon Ducks, displayed the qualities of a great quarterback.

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Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
   
      
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