There is a range of physical and mental components that contribute to successful performance in sports. Each sport and activity requires a specific set of these skills. Being successful in one sport does not necessarily make you successful in another, as success requires a whole range of factors to come together and interact in the right way.
Fitness is just one of the factors, and for many sports plays a major role in success. In addition, there are psychological factors, then many more minor factors including supply of equipment, opportunity for training, expertise in coaching and skill teaching, nutritional status, a good support network, funding etc.
What are the Factors for Success?
We have narrowed down the important individual factors to the 15 listed below, though the importance of each will vary between sports. Fitness factors are generally divided into these specific fitness categories or components. A few of the other important factors for success are derived from the list of sport-specific athleticism.
After some initial testing, this list was too overwhelming, and a shorter list of only 12 factors was used for our online rating system. You can rate each of these factors for a range of sports (using the short list). On the short list, muscular endurance and anaerobic capacity were removed, and muscle strength and power were combined. Some of this data has been analyzed, though the rating continues. See how the sports compare for these factors of success (there's another comparision too).
- Body Composition — refers primarily to the distribution of muscle and fat in the body. Body size such as height, lengths and girths are also grouped under this component.
- Aerobic Endurance — also known as cardiovascular fitness and stamina, is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods without tiring.
- Muscular Endurance — the ability to repeat a series of muscle contractions without fatiguing.
- Muscle Strength — the ability to carry out work against a resistance.
- Explosive Power — the ability to exert a maximal force in as short a time as possible, as in accelerating, jumping and throwing implements.
- Speed / Quickness — the ability to move quickly across the ground or move limbs rapidly to grab or throw.
- Anaerobic Capacity — long sprinting ability, or the ability recover from repeat sprints (glycolytic system)
- Flexibility — the capacity of a joint to move through its full range of motion, which is important for execution of the techniques of sports.
- Agility — the ability to quickly change body position or direction of the body.
- Balance and Coordination — the ability to stay upright or stay in control of body movement is an important component of many sports skills.
- Reaction Time — the ability to respond quickly to a stimulus.
- Analytic and Tactical Ability — the ability of the mental system to evaluate and react to strategic situations (tactical ability).
- Motivation and Self Confidence — a motivated and focused athlete, with a level of belief in themselves, often seen as arrogance in athletes.
- Coping with Pressure — the ability to stay focused and perform up to expectations while under increasing pressure, and under changing conditions.
- Skill and Technique — the specific skill set and technique required to be successful in a particular sport.
- Rate these factors - see the list of sports
- Psychological factors of success in sports
- See the top ranked sports for each of the factors of success.
- What sport requires the greatest endurance, speed, agility etc? See the sports ranking for fitness components.
- Can we determine The World's Greatest Athlete?
- Vote for the Greatest Athlete of All Time
- Fitness Tests for each component of fitness.
- Basic Anatomy and Physiology related to fitness training.
- Monitoring fitness changes