Jimenez Velo Sport
Jimenez Velo Sport Cycling Team, Montclair, New Jersey

Traits Of A Champion

“ELEVEN TRAITS OF A CHAMPION”

1) Calmness:  Champions demonstrate a stoic calmness that allows them to focus on the task at hand.  No Prima Donna outbursts or ridiculous demands on friends or trainers; Just calm commitment. 
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2) Self-Assured:  Champions, the really great ones, never really boast.  They have a quiet self assuredness that transcends talk, and they seldom distract themselves with such foolishness.
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3) Aggressiveness:  Champions seem to be very aggressive.  Strong moves are indicative of the outstanding athlete.  Yet the moves whether made by design or by instinct are not made frivolously but rather only at times when their chances can be greatly enhanced by such a maneuver.
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4) Tenacious:  Certainly one of the primary traits that all champions’ show is tenacity.  They just keep on coming whether it be a part of their training, a race or another part of their lives.  Adversity is only a step in the process rather than an impassable hurdle.
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5) Not afraid to fail:  To a degree, we are all afraid to fail.  The champion seems to be willing to risk it in spite of the possibility of catastrophe. 
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6) Patience:  Part of being a champion is the realization that patience is an integral part of success. Patience is not just a trait, it is a tool that a champion uses to a definite advantage.
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7) Self Direction:  This does not mean the champion is self-coached or self centered, but rather that the champion knows where he or she is going and will use the best available means at their disposal to achieve that end.
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8) Consistency: Champions seem to demonstrate a great deal of consistency, both in temperament and performance.
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9) Inward Focus:  The really great champions seem unconcerned about whom they are competing against.  The riders in a particular event only provide a standard by which they will apply and measure themselves.  The champion competes against their own abilities and limitations. The champion does not look outward, blaming others for a loss, but rather inward to those areas that can be improved for the future.
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10) Willingness to suffer:  Great champions do not wish to suffer any more than you or I, but seem to accept the pain of  athletic  suffering as part of their endeavor.  They seem to force more out of their bodies than other riders do, especially when the going gets tough.  Much of this sport, at all levels, is decided by a mental commitment that allows the body to react accordingly. 
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An eleventh attribute that is harder to define in a single word and is probably as important as any.  Ultimately, a bicycle race is just a bicycle race, lives are not saved, the homeless are not housed.  Champions seem to realize this as well, and realize the lessons of racing and training are really only valid when applied to our life as a whole.
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