Top 10 Differences Between Elite Athletes and Regular Athletes

Elite Athletes


What Makes Elite Athletes?

When we hear the term “Elite Athlete” most people think of the athlete who gets all of the accolades and is in the local newspaper or website on a weekly basis.  While there is likely truth in that interpretation, the reality is there are many elite athletes who never make it to the news at all.  They are elite because they have the right mindset and attitude towards their particular sport and life in general.  It is this group of people who make up the bulk of all NCAA athletes who played without recognition in High School and went on to play college sports.Elite Athletes

If we look at Division 1 college football for example, there are approximately 12,650 players in the 115 programs.  There is no way that all of them were the stars of their teams or ever even made it to the news, but they are all certainly elite athletes as they made it to the next level.  They are elite because of how they approached the game and as a result were recruited and received an opportunity.

Here are 10 key differences between elite and regular athletes.


1.   Elite Athletes create their own playing time.  Regular Athletes feel the coach owes them playing time.

2.  Elite Athletes play every possession/play like it is their last.  Regular Athletes play not to lose.

3.  Elite Athletes focus on opportunities.  Regular Athletes focus on obstacles.

4.  Elite Athletes admire other successful athletes.  Regular Athletes resent successful athletes.

5.  Elite Athletes take criticism and work with it.  Regular Athletes get upset over criticism.

6.  Elite Athletes focus on being a complete player.  Regular Athletes focus on one facet of their game.

7.  Elite Athletes are confident in every situation.  Regular Athletes lack confidence in the clutch.

8.  Elite Athletes demand perfection.  Regular Athletes accept mediocrity.

9.  Elite Athletes act in spite of fear.  Regular Athletes let fear effect their performance.

10.  Elite Athletes constantly learn and grow.  Regular Athletes already know everything.


Being an Elite Athlete is a mindset that you have to power to control.  It is never too late to get better, stronger, faster, smarter.  Which type of athlete would you rather be?  The choice is yours.

Did we leave anything off the list?  Let us know in the comments below.

Incoming Referrals:

  • how are elite athletes different?
  • ncaa athletics social media policy
  • what differentiates this Athlete from others on their team and in their peer group
  • what is different in elite athletes

One comment to Top 10 Differences Between Elite Athletes and Regular Athletes

  • Anita Y Tsuchiya  says:

    Elite athletes worry about the factors they can control. Athletes worry about the venue, the competition, the weather, their seed/draw.

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