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  • Writer's pictureKarl Avdek


*The following blog is posted in our mental skills wbsite for team/individual sports: but has an application to equine events as well.



The single most important character trait necessary for success is “grit”. Determination.

About a week ago I posted an initial piece on this topic with a list of the most important attributes of successful athletes and specifically the most important attributes of this thing called "grit" and determination.

Incidentally these attributes apply to people in other walks of lies as well of course because sports is a laboratory for “life lessons”.

In case you may not realize it (and I think a lot of you might not) when you are an adult nobody nobody NOBODY is going to care whether or not your team won the district 11u championship. They’re NEVER going to ask about it in fact AND … if YOU are still talking about it at home, when you are out to dinner or at in office meetings when you’re in your mid-thirties you are likely a candidate for (a – being fired (b – divorce (c – loss of friends and family and (d – psychiatric help.

A week ago I put up a list of which included …

  1. .. having a clearly defined goal

  2. … possessing determination; especially in the face self doubt and the doubt / opinions of OTHERS.

  3. … possessing a knowledge and acceptance of the difficulty of the task in front of you.

  4. … persistence

  5. … flexibility in planning

  6. … ethics; especially of course … WORK ethics.

Let’s add to that list with seven more attributes worthy of note. (I’m saving the best nd most important for last). Here goes ...

  1. … having the ability to connect and collaborate. NOBODY achieves ANYTHING by themselves. Every success is a team effort.

  2. … understanding that the acceptance of help and support is not indicative of weakness.

  3. … an appreciation of the “process”. This is the old adages about “one step at a time” and the one about how "each journey begins (and continues) with a single step”. People; ESPECIALLY people who have long term success; meaning specifically MULTIPLE successes understand that it is ALL process. When the New England Patriots (not a fan; just using them as an example) win the Super Bowl it is in reality, still just another game. I guarantee you that, at the celebratory dinner, Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady are BOTH ALREADY thinking about the start of the next season and a renewed and continuous quest for success.

  4. … loyalty to those who help us along the way. Climb WITH your partners … not over their backs.

  5. … the strength to meet and handle challenges and obstacles along the way to success and, most importantly ..

  6. … PATIENCE. This is the “tortoise and the hare” deal; the quiet, patience, (intelligent), PERSISTENT hard work which takes nothing for granted and does ALL THE RIGHT THINGS every day; day in and day out.

The process works when we work the process so here is the process …

KAIZEN: Constant Improvement.

LEARN and GROW. Break it down!!! Slow it down!!! Do it Correctly!!!

HABITUATE: Correct habits. Do it correctly over and over and over again.

I work to address a broad range of issues in the articles and give you the best information possible. If you have a question or feel you need advice or counseling, give me a call.

I realize that sometimes it is difficult to ask for help; especially with mental skills. However, all of us can improve something with our game.

Sometimes we need help but don’t know who to ask … or how. Contact me and I can explain all our programs including sports mental toughness programs which can easily improve your own mental game or that of your son/daughter or the players you coach.


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