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Whether you are playing on a team or competing in a solo sport, the work ethic of an athlete is crucial for any sort of success within their sport.
While different sports can emphasize certain values over others, an individual’s work ethic is a common element seen across all athletes.
Photo contributed by Laurier Athletics
“Work ethic is vital as competitive cheerleading involves performing dangerous stunts… it is important to train according to your position to prevent injuries for your teammates and yourself,” said Tenisha Witter, member of the Laurier’s Brantford cheerleading team.
Work ethic not only benefits an individual on a team, but other teammates also, allowing the team to perform at their strongest together.
Athletes with a strong work ethic may be the difference from an average player to an elite player, because of their willingness to work hard and dedication to their craft.
“An individual’s work ethic can be seen in their attendance, punctuality, persistence, level of focus, and overall dedication to the responsibilities of being an athlete,” said Kayla Roach, member of the Laurier Brantford Women’s soccer team.
Kayla Roach / Photo contributed by Laurier Athletics
Work ethic is seen under multiple categories, not just limited to how much effort is shown in competition. How an individual carries themselves, interacts with others, and the number of sacrifices one is willing to go through, are all included in the work ethic of an athlete.
“Engaging in a wide variety of physical and mental training helps me improve and be a successful soccer player. Physical training includes speed and agility, strength and endurance, and cardiovascular training. On the other hand, mental training is more personal and includes meditation, visualization, and consistent self-awareness on and off the pitch,” said Roach.
Training both mental and physical attributes will continue to push an individual’s work ethic higher, as work ethic can be improved on with time.
As training is a necessary component for any athlete improving their ability, focusing on specific training styles helps show how individuals condition their mind and body to be ready for competition.
*insert photo of girl on top of shoulders contributed by Laurier Athletics*
“For cheerleading, training is geared towards core and leg strength, as well as shoulder exercises for tumbling and basing purposes. At the end of our practices, we condition ourselves and do drills that vary from suicides, handstands, and core drills,” said Witter.
Certain sports train specific areas of the body more than others because of how often specific muscles are used in comparison to others.
Understanding what to train, as well as how often to train, is essential to maximizing effort within team and individual practices.
“In my experience as an athlete, mental and physical ability have equal importance in soccer. The importance of having a strong mentality is often overlooked by the dominating emphasis on fitness and skill,” said Roach.
Neglecting one side of training can be detrimental to a team’s chemistry and overall output towards competing for championships.
Having physical talent but lacking a strong mentality can hinder the chances of a team being successful.
Failing to work on the mental side of the game can leave an individual vulnerable to mind games or uncomfortable situations that happen within a game.
Balancing the mental and physical side of the game contributes towards an individual’s work ethic, improving one’s perseverance and sharpening a player’s mentality towards their sport.
“Having a growth mindset is what allows athletes to succeed, as they carry the mental power to persist through challenges, manage their emotions, and visualize their short-term and long-term goals,” said Roach.
A healthy mind is imperative for an individual to grow and become the best versions of themselves.
The work ethic of an athlete is a viable indicator of how successful an athlete can be and how long they can maintain their success.