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Inspiration Decks Character Traits 4 min2023-09-19 00:00

100+ Character Traits of Athletes

athletic character trait

To engage your reader, it's important to always show, not tell, the traits of your characters.

The athletic character trait generally refers to a person's physical ability and interest in sports or other physical activities. An athletic individual is typically strong, agile, and coordinated, and enjoys participating in physical challenges and competitions. This trait can also include a competitive nature, a desire to improve and push oneself physically, and a dedication to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Possible Causes of Being Athletic

You might want to weave these into your character's backstory to build a more believable character:

  • Early exposure to sports or physical activity

  • Enjoyment of the physical and mental challenge of sports

  • Competitive nature and desire to win

  • Social benefits of being part of a sports team or community

  • Genetic predisposition to athleticism

  • Personal values that prioritize physical fitness and well-being

  • Positive role models who were athletes or emphasized physical fitness

  • Desire for health and fitness benefits associated with athleticism

Attitudes Associated With Being Athletic

You may be able to show being athletic through their attitudes:

  • Tenacious

  • Resilient

  • Energetic

  • Disciplined

  • Confident

  • Mentally tough

  • Determined

  • Team oriented

  • Physically fit

  • Enthusiastic

  • Goal oriented

  • Competitive

  • Endurance focused

  • Hardworking

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Thoughts and Struggles Associated With Being Athletic

Here are some ideas for things your athletic character may think or struggle with:

  • Experiencing the highs of victory and the lows of defeat and learning to cope with both

  • Balancing their passion for their sport with other areas of their life, such as relationships or career goals

  • Dealing with the fear of failure and disappointment, both for themselves and for those who look up to them

  • Striving to be a positive role model and inspiration to others, while also feeling the weight of that responsibility

  • Facing criticism or negative opinions from others who don't understand or value their athletic pursuits

  • Constantly pushing themselves to be the best and feeling the pressure to maintain their physical abilities

  • Struggling with injuries and setbacks that threaten their athletic career and identity

  • Struggling with the temptation of performance-enhancing drugs or other shortcuts to success

Emotions Associated With Being Athletic

Here are some ideas for emotions your athletic character may experience:

  • Euphoria

  • Disappointment

  • Determination

  • Excitement

  • Pride

  • Frustration

  • Perseverance

  • Nervousness

  • Confidence

Facial Expressions Linked to Being Athletic

Here are some facial expressions your athletic character may exhibit:

  • A determined and competitive expression during a game or race

  • A relaxed and controlled smile

  • A sweaty and flushed face after a vigorous workout

  • A confident and determined facial expression

  • A focused and intense gaze

  • A slightly furrowed brow indicating concentration

  • A relaxed and content expression after a successful performance

Body Language Related to Being Athletic

Here is some body language your athletic character may exhibit:

  • Moving with agility and coordination

  • Leaning forward to show engagement and enthusiasm

  • Using expansive arm gestures to emphasize points

  • Walking with a confident stride

  • Maintaining eye contact while speaking

  • Displaying strong and controlled movements

  • Maintaining a relaxed and open facial expression

  • Using hand gestures to communicate energy and excitement

  • Standing tall with an upright posture

Behaviors Associated With Being Athletic

Here are some behaviors your athletic character may exhibit:

  • Lifting weights or doing strength-training exercises

  • Running, jogging, or sprinting

  • Participating in fitness challenges or competitions

  • Monitoring and tracking progress through fitness apps or wearable technology

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, including getting enough sleep and staying hydrated

  • Practicing yoga, Pilates, or other mind-body exercises

  • Stretching or doing flexibility exercises

  • Participating in team or individual sports, such as soccer, basketball, tennis, or swimming

  • Engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or skiing

Growth and Evolution of Athletic Characters

Here are some ways that your athletic character may grow and evolve over time:

  • Overcome a physical setback: The character could face an injury or other physical setback that forces them to adapt and find new ways to compete.

  • Develop leadership skills: The character could take on a leadership role, either as captain of a team or by mentoring younger athletes.

  • Learn to work with others: If the character is used to being a solo athlete, they could learn to work better with others on a team or in a group setting.

  • Learn to lose gracefully: Winning isn't everything, and the character could learn to accept defeat with grace and use it as motivation to improve.

  • Develop mental toughness: Athleticism can be as much a mental game as a physical one, and the character could work on developing their mental toughness and resilience.

  • Find a new passion: The character could discover a new sport or activity that they become passionate about and explore.

Athletic Character Stereotypes to Avoid

Try to avoid writing stereotypical athletic characters like these examples:

  • Avoid making your athletic character excessively muscular or physically perfect, as this can come across as unrealistic and not relatable.

  • Avoid making your athletic character too arrogant or boastful about their abilities.

  • Avoid making your athletic character a one-dimensional jock who is only interested in sports and nothing else.

  • Avoid portraying your athletic character as aggressive or overly competitive to the point of being unsportsmanlike.

Negatives of Being Athletic

Here are some potential negatives of being athletic. Note: These are subjective, and some might also be seen as positives depending on the context.

  • Pressure to perform well and meet expectations from coaches, teammates, and fans

  • Higher risk of injury

  • Difficulty balancing athletics with other responsibilities, such as work or school

  • Pressure to constantly maintain physical fitness

  • Time-consuming training schedules

  • Limited social life due to intensive training and competitions

Positives of Being Athletic

Here are some potential positives of being athletic. Note: These are subjective, and some might also be seen as negatives depending on the context.

  • Better sleep quality and patterns

  • Improved coordination, balance, and agility

  • Improved time-management skills and productivity

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence

  • Improved physical health and fitness

  • Opportunities to meet new people and make friends

  • Increased stamina and energy levels

  • Increased discipline, dedication, and commitment

  • Enhanced mental well-being and reduced stress

Verbal Expressions of Athletic Characters

Here are some potential expressions used by athletic characters:

  • "Let's go!"

  • "I'm ready for anything!"

  • "Push through the pain!"

  • "Bring it on!"

  • "I am strong and capable!"

  • "Never give up!"

  • "I can do this!"

  • "I won't back down!"

  • "I'll give it my all!"

Relationships of Athletic Characters

Here are some ways that being athletic could affect your character's relationships:

  • They may be self-disciplined and goal oriented, which can be inspiring to others but also lead to them being perceived as intense or overly focused.

  • They may enjoy bonding with others over physical activities and sports.

  • They may value physical fitness and health, which can influence their relationships in terms of shared interests and lifestyle choices.

  • They may have high energy levels and enjoy spending time outdoors or engaging in physical activities, which can sometimes make them impatient with more sedentary individuals.

  • They may have a tendency to push themselves and others to their limits, which can sometimes lead to burnout or injury if not managed properly.

  • They may have a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie, which can make them excellent collaborators in group settings.

  • They may have a competitive nature that extends to their relationships, but they usually have a good sportsmanship attitude.

Examples of Characters Who Are Athletic

  • Rocky Balboa (Rocky series by Sylvester Stallone)

  • Santiago (The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway)

  • Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins)

  • Lennie Small (Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck)

  • Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan)

  • Brian Robeson (Hatchet by Gary Paulsen)

  • Rudy Ruettiger (Rudy: My Story by Rudy Ruettiger)

  • Harry Potter (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Writing Exercises for Writing Athletic Characters

Here are some writing exercises you might try for learning to write athletic characters:

  • Write a scene in which your character competes in a sports game or athletic competition.

  • Create a scene in which your character uses their physical abilities to save someone else.

  • Describe a moment when your character has to make a difficult decision between their athletic pursuits and other important priorities.

  • Write a scene in which your character is forced to confront their own limitations or weaknesses in their physical abilities.

  • Create a scene in which your character uses their athletic skills to solve a problem or overcome an obstacle.

  • Describe a character's daily workout routine.

  • Write a scene in which your character is injured and has to deal with the consequences of not being able to be as active as they usually are.

  • Show your character teaching someone else a new sport or exercise.

  • Create a scene in which your character overcomes a physical challenge, such as climbing a mountain or running a marathon.

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