Perhaps the following would be most appropriate in referring to the competitive athlete.C.Al Huang wrote the following. The ideal athlete is:
Has the courage to risk failure,learn from setbacks and forge ahead.
Sees the event as a means to gain greater self-realization.
Knows his or her vulnerabilities and trains to strengthen them.
Sees success as one part of the process of sports.
Understands that performance is a roller coaster and has the patience to ride the ups and downs.
Enjoys the sport for the pleasure it gives."
The athlete who views his sport the way Mr.Huang details above is a thinking and sensitive person.Consider his reference to self-realization.You learn alot about yourself when you compete against others.Those who have seriously raced,or do so now,know what I'm talking about.You also become aware of your vulnerabilities and weaknesses along the way.
The runner who thinks his training and racing are strictly physical endeavors,something to push through with little thought,gain nothing in the mental and emotional departments.Consequently,this person loses out on the opportunity to grow as a person.
The ideal athlete knows failure and disappointment are part of the process,he expects it and deals with it when it comes from time to time.Who he is as a runner and a person is not determined by how he did at his last race(or workout).
The final entry says it all,"enjoys the sport for the pleasure it gives." The ideal athlete doesn't lose sight of that no matter how much success,or failure,he encounters.
The ideal athlete is a unique individual.