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3 Missing Pieces - Intangibles for Achieving Success

My two-year old daughter, Penelope, does the cutest thing. She walks around our house (like a princess, of course) with her index finger extended and resting on her chin, proclaiming aloud, "Hmmmm... Something's Missing."

I'm going to use Penelope's actions in a different context. Her inquisitive observation is spot-on as it pertains to many of the athletes I see today - many of which are skilled and talented but they're simply missing something. Now, as I sit here with my finger upon my chin, I'm pondering, just what is it?

Lauren was the best hitter to ever set foot in my training facility. She had a boatload (think cruise ship) of DI offers before she ever took her first swing with me. Yet, she wanted to get better.

Lauren, as good as she was, continued to be eager to improve her swing.

1. Desire

A strong feeling of wanting something to happen

For Lauren, she wanted to be better and her desire to improve never allowed her to rest.

“Desire is the Motivating Factor for Personal Achievement”

Katrina was a tremendous softball player, starring on her high school and gold travel team, and earned a Division I softball scholarship. She was a legendary worker – doing everything, always, with full effort.

Nobody would ever put in more time, work harder, or train as diligently as she did. This gave her confidence in knowing that while others were sleeping, she was preparing.

2. Worth Ethic

The principle that hard work is intrinsically virtuous

For Katrina, nobody needed to tell her to work harder, the quality lived in her and motivated her efforts.

“Hard Work is Hardly Ever Without Reward"

Morgan couldn’t be bothered by a bad at-bat, poor game, or error made in the field. Her approach to playing was always, “Next” – and no matter the situation, she faithfully subscribed to that idea.

Morgan wasn’t as talented as Lauren or Katrina, but the impact on her team was just as meaningful. Her positive attitude was contagious and inherently it demanded others to adopt the same approach.

3. Outlook

A person’s point of view or general attitude.

For Morgan, her view influenced not only her thoughts and actions but of those around her.

“Yesterday can neither be Won or Lost but Tomorrow is an Opportunity”

Each of these athletes, like many others who I’ve been so fortunate to coach, demonstrated some level of all three of the aforementioned components - while, individually, excelling in one of these areas more than the other.

Great Achievers are multi-layered, possessing a myriad of both tangible and intangible qualities.

No single component will qualify an athlete to be successful and the three above, alone, won’t be all-compassing to success. However, these highlighted three are important keys that are often-overlooked, under-appreciated, and sometimes forgotten.

Here are 10 more Important Qualities

1. Adaptable

· Flexible thinker – Ability to Adjust

2. Comprehending

· Mentally Understand

3. Analytical

· Logical Reasoning

4. Understanding

· Good Judgement

5. Repeatable

· Consistent with Actions

6. Relevant

· Applying Advice

7. Communicative

· Forthcoming

8. Relatable

· Utilizing Past Experiences for Future Opportunities

9. Awareness

· Perception of a Situation

10. Recognition

· Identify from Previous Knowledge

This list isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list – but it’s a great starting place for any athlete who might be missing some key components holding them back from achieving goals.


1. Have your athlete sit down and write down ten things they believe makes a successful athlete.

2. Then, ask them to rank the most important elements an athlete must possess for achieving goals.

3. See how closely their list matches this one – then, talk about the missing elements and how they can improve in neglected areas.

My hope is that you’ll benefit from this article. If you believe it’s helpful, please share with others so that the we continue to pay it forward!

Jerrad Hardin is a championship and award winning coach, author, and clinician. His summer camps (now open for registration) are the ideal platform to improve skills and interact with top college coaches. Take a look at the schedule here:


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