Athletes: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly As a casual reader of the sports section of this newspaper, you come across many articles depicting the triumphs of local athletes. However, very rarely do these articles describe the actual athlete behind the success. Athletes come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. They range from the incredibly talented to the horribly uncoordinated. Some are great teammates while others would rather be a one man team. Certain athletes seek out attention from the people around them while others are modest and stay in the background.
The fact of the matter is that there is a wide spectrum of different types of athletes that exist in this world and no two athletes are exactly the same. However, each can be put into one of nine general categories that they best fit. General Paton: the athlete who stands out as the captain of the team by helping their fellow teammates and managing their team. They are a well-rounded athlete, fairly skilled at their sport, but more importantly excellent at inspiring their team to perform to the best of their ability. This athlete is the backbone of the team and without them chaos could quite easily break out.
The other athletes look up to this leader and follow their orders. When your team is losing, the leader is the one who gets everyone together and says things like “We can still win this” and “Don’t give up yet, we’re still in this one”. You can expect to see these athletes to do great things in their sports careers and in their regular lives. Effort King/Queen: the athlete who is known for doing everything they can to improve their game, from staying after practice to do extra to going to the gym every day before practice to workout. They are extremely motivated, determined and dedicated to what they do.

These athletes are the ones that coaches very much want to be on their team. These players are known for being highly beneficial not only to the team’s success, but also to the other players around them. They set a great example for others around them and can leave a lasting mark on people. They may be referred to as a “gym rat”, but don’t think that’d a bad thing because when it comes to game time, don’t be surprised if they outperform the opposing team’s “star” player. The Natural: the athlete who was given the gift of natural athleticism. They are known as the “MVP” of their team.
Most often, they are three sport athletes who do pretty well in each. They don’t have to work as hard as others to be able to have relative success as they are often naturally strong and talented. Many other people loathe these athletes because they have all the tools they need to succeed. There is no guarantee that these athletes will be good teammates or have good work ethic, but coaches can be assured that these people are a great place to build upon and make a team around. The Anti-athlete: the athlete who was not given much natural ability. They are weak, uncoordinated, and clumsy.
They can get by playing some sports, but they have limited options as most sports require decent athletes at a competitive level. They are the “benchwarmer” of teams, the weak link in the chain. Other athletes get easily frustrated with these players when they make mistakes even though it may not be entirely their fault. Although their athletic output may not be as high as some would like, no one can question their effort and dedication. They play sports not because they are good at them, but because they truly love them, and in some cases, that can bring someone further than natural talent. Timmy/Tina Tries Too Much”: the athlete who “overworks” and goes beyond what’s necessary in unimportant situations. Everyone has seen at least one of this type of person before, whether they know it or not. The most common place to find these types of people is in gym class. They are the ones that you see coming to every class and trying as hard as they can to win. Many people don’t like these people too much because they exert themselves in unnecessary situations. Many times, these people develop a poor reputation as a “try hard” among their friends.
They may not be the most talented person there, but you can always count on seeing them breaking a sweat. “Sammy/Susie Suck up”: the athlete who does everything they can to suck up to their coach. They try to get all the brownie points they can in hopes of getting more playing time. They follow all directions given by their coach, they help out whenever possible, and they give full effort when the coach is looking. They are very similar to a teacher’s pet that you would most commonly find in elementary school. Much like the other students find these eacher’s pets to be annoying, a coach’s pet’s teammates often think that these people are annoying and not fun to be around. “The Tornado”: the athlete who is overly aggressive when playing sports. They are known to push other players around and often get in trouble with the ref. Also, they are a coach’s nightmare as they are hard to control. The athletes aren’t always good to have on a team because they give the team a bad reputation and make it seem as though everyone on the team plays like they do. Also, they are much more prone to being benched and as a consequence, letting the rest of the team down.
Many times, other athletes don’t like participating with people like this because these aggressive people take the fun out of competition. .The Crowd Pleaser: the athlete who likes to show off in front of their fans. They wear the flashy equipment, they perform the crazy stunts, and they are the cocky personality in the locker room. To give you a clear picture of this kind of athlete, just imagine the player that has the best gear, the flashiest jersey, performs the “coolest” moves, and seems to put on a show for their “fans”.
It isn’t uncommon for their teammates to call them a “show boat” right to their face. But that doesn’t stop them from doing what they do best because they thrive on the attention. Garbage Can: the athlete who throws away their athletic abilities and coasts. They are lazy, unmotivated, and not dedicated at all. They may be one of the best athletes around but they don’t apply their abilities. Everyone knows at least one person who completely wastes the natural talent that was given to them.
It’s a shame to see these athletes waste talent when there are other athletes with considerably less talent who work twice as hard. Many people don’t like these athletes because they take their abilities for granted and don’t realize that half of the battle towards being successful in a sport has already been fought for them. All they need to do is put in just the slightest bit of effort and they will start to see considerable success. In most cases, these athletes are looked down on by others and carry a negative connotation with them everywhere they go.
There is a lot more to a team’s success than just the wins. The players involved are what really define a team and they ultimately determine how successful a team can be. You don’t always need a team full of superstars to win. This is where many sports coaches go wrong. They think they can build a championship caliber team from a bunch of players that would rather prove they are good than their team. It’s important to remember that it takes the right combination of these nine types of athletes to make the perfect team.

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