The Touch Trans Tasman 2022 is just around the corner.
We asked Steph Cummins, a physio with our Caringbah team, a touch footy rep player AND a member of the 2019 World Cup Medical Team, what she has seen as the most important characteristics of elite Touch Football players.
First up she said: “Choose your parents carefully”. Sport geneticists believe that genetic makeup is an important predictor of whether or not you will become an elite athlete. However being a successful elite athlete requires more than just outstanding physical capability.
Steph says that in her work with elite Touch Football players in the lead up to the World Cup there are 6 characteristics that are common amongst those at the top of their game.
These individuals consistently do more than what is expected. The have an inexplicable drive to practice a task rigorously, relentlessly, and even in the midst of failure, until they succeed. Being part of a national team, individuals travel from all over the country to attend training camps. This involves taking time off work and being away from their family on multiple occasions through the year.
2. Commitment to the team
Each individual has an integral role to play as part of the team. The players are focused on striving for balance within the team and working hard for their team mates. This is not about individual glory.
Success does not mean that there are no mistakes along the way. These elite players have an ability to take ownership for mistakes that may occur and not blame others. This sincere desire to overcome mistakes and do better each day not only for themselves but for their team mates, is an understated characteristic of an elite athlete and any team player.
4. Development of new skills
Despite playing at the highest level of Touch Football, each player still works on individual skills and fitness away from the set training camps.
5. Communication Skills
The ability to listen to coaches, team mates and medical staff and share information clearly. This makes working with these individuals very easy. Medical staff and coaches can implement realistic goals. Arguments and misunderstanding amongst the team are rare and always quickly resolved.
Modesty is the attribute that allows even the most experienced and talented athlete to strive to be better. Modest athletes respond to constructive criticism with a positive attitude and are always eager to improve.
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There are great lessons here for aspiring elite Touch players. And we wish the current crop of athletes the very best of luck at the upcoming Trans Tasman Championships – not that we think they need luck.