What Makes A Sports Star?
Every sport in the entire world is dominated by those Sports star players whose talent, experience, and luck make the face of the game. Coming from all walks of life and backgrounds, these unique individuals manage to captivate our attention. Household names, product deals, and incredible pressure come with such a label.
This leaves the question, what makes a good sports star? How is Tiger Woods famous when many other golfers who have similar skill are barely known? This question becomes even more challenging to answer in team sports, where countless individuals all work together to make their team triumphant. Why is only one or two people famous and the rest not?
Let’s take a moment to examine the question of what makes a sports star. Along with looking at some of the most popular names in sports, we will also look at four qualities that every sports star seems to have.
The Names We Recognise
We assume that famous people in sports will be the best at what they do. For example, Lionel Messi, a footballer from Barcelona is often considered the best player on the planet. With hundreds of millions of people playing the sport worldwide, he manages the top of the list through talent. However, sometimes the very best isn’t who is popular. Take tennis as an example. With total earnings around 65.5 million dollars, and around 50 million dollars in endorsements, Roger Federer has not taken home a grand Slam since 2012. Despite this, the incredible Swiss player is among the most popular names currently in the sport. So, while being the best in the world definitely helps make you a sports star, it is not always a requirement.
Along with the reason for why a person is a sports star, it is also worth considering staying power. What is the difference between legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao? Well, Muhammad Ali is an incredible icon for the sport where as Manny Pacquiao may not be remembered for a quarter as long. Despite this, Pacquiao has a higher net worth than the legendary boxer.
As a final consideration, let’s examine Tony Romo. Unless you know American Football, you probably haven’t heard of him. Despite being a quarter back for the Dallas Cowboys with incredible potential and talent on the field, he is noted for having particularly bad luck. Losing for reasons beyond his control and constant injury has kept him from rising up to be a name recognisable outside the sport.
In the end, as the above examples illustrate, there is not a single quality that makes someone a sports star. Instead, it is having several really good qualities at the same time. Let’s examine the qualities that every sports star must have to become a household name.
So, What Makes A Sports Star?
1. Inherent Skill
You have two choices to fill a spot on a sports team. Both players do the same. One has terrible form, one has excellent form. Who do you choose? This old saying helps to illustrate the importance of talent and ability in sports. The answer is that you take on the person with terrible form, believing that by training that person, you can get an even better performance. Inherent skill is an invaluable quality that any sports star is going to need. It will help them to become recognisable by talent scouts, let them win competitions, and help them rise up in the sport.
Inherent skill is the most required skill when it comes to being a sports star. However, it can also have several drawbacks. There is the assumption and the pressure that you can always perform at your best, the expectation that you will be the best, and only failure if you come up short. Inherent skill can create so much stress that some sports stars fall from grace because of it. Along with inherent skill, other qualities are needed.
Personality goes a long way to separating good players from great players. Those rising sports stars, who can get along well with others and succeed typically last long and are better liked by teammates and fans alike. While having a strong personality doesn’t necessarily hurt a person, it can create friction, problems, and eventually lead a sports star to fall from his or her pedestal. Things like moral compass, determination, and philosophy on life help to define personality and help to form another important part of becoming a sports star, timelessness.
Timelessness helps a sports star remain famous even when he or she steps out of the sport or goes through a scandal. Despite recent problems with his personal life, Tiger Woods remains a sports star because his tale of growing up and struggling to break racial barriers in the world of golf helps lives beyond him. Stories where triumph and determination help turn long odds into victory are among the best and most timeless qualities that any sports star can have. These stories help to shape the media attention around a particular individual, helping to make them larger then life in a way that their performance on the field cannot do alone.
The last quality that any sports star has to have and which none of them can control is luck. With the example listed earlier in the article, it is clear to see how luck can make one of the best athletes never quite come into their own as sports stars. Whether it is Tony Romo, Scott Kazmir, or Felix Hernandez, unexpected injury or just general bad luck in life keeps them from truly being the trailblazers that they could be. In the same vein, incredibly good luck has helped to boost some recognizable names into the public spotlight. Whether it is an incredibly lucky streak or just happening to be in the right place at the right time to be picked out by a talent scout, luck can make or break a sports star.