Being good is one thing; being good at being good is an entirely different thing. An athlete who exemplifies greatness is typically put on a pedestal. Without even trying, a talent becomes much more than just a standout stud. To the community who looks up to great athletes, they are leaders, mentors and inspirations. But if they don’t maintain a few key qualities, the spotlight and adoration fade, regardless of performance.
Work hard and stay humble.
These days, being a great CrossFitter requires a combination of stellar genetics and really hard work. But sometimes, as the attention and recognition increase, hard work can be neglected and humility deteriorates. While one athlete is busy checking comments on a recent Instagram post, another is in the middle of an extra training session. Keeping training your priority and recognizing that your time at the top may not last forever will keep you performing at your peak and remind fans why they cheer for you.
Set a great example.
When you’re an obvious talent, people naturally want to be like you. What you do, what you wear and how you act will often be perceived as cool. So setting an example can guide an entire group of fans in either a really great, or a really terrible, direction. Guide others to greatness by setting a super-spectacular example inside and outside the gym. Be kind. Use words wisely. Act selflessly sometimes. These are qualities that people will admire and mimic. And the world could certainly use more of that.
Respect those around you.
Athletes in the spotlight are subject to scrutiny. Sometimes opinions can be polarized. People love you or hate you (with obvious exceptions). Maybe you’re too this or too that, or not enough of something else. But being dismissive or condescending to anybody, regardless of abilities, will earn you a lot fewer fans than you once had. A reputation for acting “better” than other people is a bad one to have. So give the less-advanced athletes who adore you a little love with encouragement and respect.
Nobody likes a Negative Nelly. When it comes to social media, big events and public forums, push positivity. Complaining about programming you hate, things that irritate you or bad experiences only garnish attention from other people with a negative attitude. To inspire, push out positive messages, images and experiences to the masses.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
At the end of the day, most high-level athletes have their health and happiness. What happens on a competition floor or during training is certainly important, but it’s just working out. So before you get too wrapped up in your own world and the effect a no-rep had on your finish, keep in mind the things you might have to appreciate. Your situation as a talented athlete is likely a very fortunate one, so enjoy it.
There is an art to being a great athlete. Performance is just a piece of the bigger picture. Fans want more. They want inspiration and motivation and somebody to look up to. So don’t stop at being good at CrossFit. Be good at being good by applying your discipline and dedication to making your personal performance as good as your athletic performance.