Hello and Welcome

There can never be any doubt that success leaves clues. Traits of success by some of today’s great sporting leaders, and a couple from the past come into alignment here, to take away any risks in what your formulae should be for sporting success.

Roger FedererRoger on blackhead bang, rusty coloured top,white shorts socks ans shoes, serves for the match, Again!

Who is Roger?

Roger is a Swiss professional tennis player. He’s regarded by many as being the greatest player of all time. He was named the No1 sportsman in the world for 4 consecutive years.

“What I have been able to do well over the years is play with pain, play with problems, play in all sorts of conditions”

“I’m a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in the difficult moments”

“You always want to win, that is why you play ( tennis ) because you love the sport, and try to be the best you can at it”

  • Always ask questions of yourself
  • Know and work on your strengths
  • Enjoy what your doing
  • Have structured goals
  • Build and surround yourself with a great team
  • Preparation is key
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Separate work from life
  • Chase your dreams
  • Have fun

Michael PhelpsMichael in full stride, greatly disturbing the water. Both arms ready to come forward for the next butterfly stroke surge!

Who is Michael?

Michael Phelps is a former competitive swimmer and the most decorated swimmer, and Olympic athlete of all time, with a total of 28 medals. He also holds the all-time record for Olympic gold medals 23.

“You can’t put a limit on anything, the more you dream the farther you go”

“I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it, and put the time and work into it. I think your mind really controls everything”

“If you want to be the best, you have to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do”

  • Have goals that motivate you
  • Be dedicated to your craft
  • Don’t make excuses
  • Take one step one day at a time
  • Keep a wide open mind
  • Be the greatest you can be
  • Don’t be afraid to change the game
  • Love what you do
  • Be grateful
  • Live your dream

Michael JordanMichael setting sail, ball in left hand and heading for the net untouched. Bulls Shirt No.21

Who is Michael?

Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest basketball players of all time.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed 26 times. I’ve failed over,  and over,   and over again,   in my life,  and that is why I succeed”

“It’s not about the shoes, It’s about knowing where you’re going, not forgetting where you started. It’s about having the courage to fail, not breaking when you’re broken. Taking everything you’ve been given and making something better. It’s about work before glory, and what’s inside of you. It’s doing what they say you can’t. It’s not about the shoes, it’s what you do in them. It’s about being who you were born to be”

  • Keep working hard
  • Ignite the fire
  • Be different
  • Fail your way to success
  • Have high expectations
  • Be positive
  • Practise
  • Be who you were born to be
  • Have vision
  • Don’t make excuses

Bruce LeeBruce in a classice pose from "Enter The Dragon" Poised and focused, expressionless ready to pounce

Who was Bruce?

Bruce Lee was a martial artist, actor-teacher and philosopher. he is, without a doubt, the most influential martial artist of all time.

‘Don’t think, feel, it is like the finger pointing the way to the moon, don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory’

‘Empty your mind- be formless, like water, when you put water into the cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into the bottle it becomes the bottle, you put it into a teapot,  it becomes the teapot, now water can flow or it can crash, be water my friend’

  • Be flexible
  • Express yourself confidently
  • Have faith in yourself
  • Exploit opportunity
  • Be confident
  • Be like water
  • Commit fearlessly
  • Don’t think feel
  • Take on the best

Serena WilliamsSerena Blue headband and singlet wide of centre court, looking to smash a forehand winner

Who is Serena?

Serena Williams is a professional tennis player who’s ranked the No1 female player in the world, and also rated the greatest female player of all time.

‘Ever since I was a little girl, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Luck has nothing to be with being good at the sport. I have spent many hours, countless hours on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come but believing it would’

‘The best thing about life is that every day is an opportunity to work on yourself, to dream a new dream and think bigger, to laugh smile and experience more, to love the world around you a little longer than just the day before’

  • Work towards your goals
  • Never give up
  • Stay calm and believe in yourself
  • Always aim to improve
  • Surround yourself with positivity
  • Stay hungry for success
  • Take one step at a time
  • Prepare yourself mentally
  • Train Hard

‘There’s obviously days when I don’t feel like training, but there’s no day that goes by that I feel like losing’

Connor McgregorConnor in grey suit and blue tie fronts the media in typical fashion, confident and smiling widely

Who is Connor?

Connor Mcgregor is an Irish Mixed Martial artist. He has become UFC’s biggest drawcard overnight. He is the reigning UFC lightweight champion and has belts in two other weight divisions. Connor is the first and only fighter to achieve this in UFC history

‘My success isn’t a result of arrogance, it’s a result of belief’

‘I take inspiration from everyone and everything. I’m inspired by current champions, former champions, true competitors, people dedicated to their dream, hard workers-dreamers -believers achievers’

‘Life is about growing and improving and getting better’

  • Be curious and love what you do
  • Keep moving forward
  • Have the Courage to express your goals to others
  • Be an inspiration to others and let that inspire you
  • Prove them all wrong
  • Think outside the box
  • Be always grateful
  • Live in the moment
  • Believe beyond belief know beyond knowing
  • Love what you do do what you love

Discipline Is The Pathway To Freedom

These are some of the sports people I have come to admire so much. It seems their advice to us is both concise and consistent. They can be role models for us all in our pursuit of excellence in any sporting arena.

Your thoughts and opinions are both important and appreciated. Let me know your thoughts on what these guys have mentioned, and please offer any from other sporting greats that you have come to admire, by leaving a comment below.

Always A Pleasure Paul looking to see what the floor of a river in China is made up of.

My Friends






  1. Being the best is a strong motivating factor for many of these athletes. Their positive mental attitudes, as brought out by Federer, is a most important aspect of overcoming the problems, and challenges that come along while playing. So we all have challenges while playing our sport, which is our work. Glad I could learn more about this “greatest of all-time” athlete

    1. Hey Andrew,
      Yes, these great athletes have all had a burning desire to be the very best, that I’m sure started as a small flame and with momentum and belief fuelled an internal inferno. None of these guys can accept second place! As you mentioned Roger spoke of his ability to keep going when it got tough, to never give up regardless of what is going on physically or mentally in his personal world. I love my tennis both playing and watching Champion players and I can’t say I’ve ever seen better than Roger
      Thanks for sharing Mate
      All the very best to you Andrew

  2. Amazing article to read. I definitely am motivated after reading this, it was interesting to see the different mindsets in each professional sport that can also be tied into life as well. I enjoyed reading about Bruce Lee and Connor Mcgregor, two of my favourites right there, and what they had in common was being open minded and adapting to any situation.

    1. Hey Marquis
      So glad you enjoyed the post and great to hear it even got you motivated. Good stuff! I’m really glad also you could match the principles of success in sport with that of life in general. These principles of success are universal without exception. Probably Bruce and Connor are my current faves too, along with another legend Manny Pacqiou. Let’s both do our best to apply all the principles mentioned in the post and share the spoils.
      Good Luck Mate
      The Best To You Always

  3. Great article and excellent examples. I like the way you link those successful athletes with the principles of success. ٍSports is a great area where we can observe the success principles being implemented first hand. I like what Michael Jordan said about failing yourself to success, it’s brilliant. I enjoyed reading this post and I will share it.

    1. Hi Fadi,

       I really welcome you here and am grateful for your comment. There is a common thread of what is needed to be a success in everything we do in our lives, and the sporting fraternity are truly no exception. The desire, the commitment, the focus and the discipline are aspects of success that seem to be universal.

      Anyone who has big dreams has only to model and follow the advice given here and they to are certain of some level of success .As you mentioned Michael Jordans quote about failing so many times but still moving forward,  knowing that failure is simply a stepping stone, is something we all need to grasp and have tattooed on our brains.

      With Thanks Fadi


  4. Hi Paul,

    I love your post!  All these people have the same things in common.  They are passionate in what they believe.  They are dedicated towards their goals and work very hard for it.  They never give up and believe in themselves.   They also push themselves to the limit.  That is why they are successful and we all can learn something from them.

    I am a big fan of Christiano Ronaldo.  He is currently ranking no 1 on ESPN’s Top 100 list.  Who is your favorite sport star of all time?

    Thanks for sharing a great post with us!

    1. Hello Rika,

      Great to have you here today and thanks for taking the time. In essence success is a simple formula as the post points out and you have sumarised this very well in your comment. There’s no rocket science. However having the discipline and resolve and belief to follow through is the true test that lies before us.. 

      Tony Robbins says,’ It is not enough to know what to do, we must do what we know’ a true analogy in its simplest form. I’m not a big soccer fan however I do have the utmost respect for Ronaldo, he is a true champion of the game. My favourite sport star of all time, tough one that. Maybe the great Australian cricket star Sir Donald Bradman. A true gentleman a legend batsman

      Thanks again mate

      All the best to you


  5. Hi Paul,

    What a great article to read and get motivated with. Connor is my all-time fave and definitely one of my biggset motivationers. It is always interesting what people who came so far has to say. But usually it takes a team to get them there. Thank you for a great article.

    1. Hi Andrea,

      Thanks for you comment. We can learn so much from those who have achieved the sort of success that we desire. Connor is a true champion, and we’ll see how great he is now in the face of some adversity. Like all true champions, I’m sure he will overcome and come back bigger and better.

      Cheers Andrea


  6. I love watching Tennis and basketball, Roger Federer is my favorite Tennis player and indeed the greatest of them all, Micheal Jordan yes he teaches that failing is not the end of the road.  I love the principles of success they all have given though each one given in their own language but they all lead to succes both in Sport and even our personal lives and personal achievements.

    I love what you have ended with and I quote ” Discipline is the Pathway To Freedom and I love that and believe with all my heart that yes it does lead to freedom.  Thanks great article.

    1. Hi Cinderella,

      Welcome here and I’m so glad you enjoyed the read. You mentioned Roger Federer and he has shown that he is not only a great tennis player but a great man. He goes about his business without any fuss and and his racquet is simply and extension of himself. These champions are all great examples for us and are simply doing what they love at the highest level.

      Discipline is sometimes thought of as a chore but it truly is the pathway to freedom in all aspects of life. May we all put these principles into our live and reap the benefits of greatness.

      All the best girl,


  7. Hey Paul,

    These are the great motivation and inspiration quotes which one needs to succeed in whatsoever he/she is doing. I am a loyal fan of Bruce Lee’s and his philosophy has  inspired me to go beyond my limit to achieve a high result. I  like his saying:

    “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

    I agreed that if we want to want to succeed, we must emulate those traits of those successful businessmen or sport leaders. 

    Good read and thank you. Shui Hyen

    1. Hello Shui, 

      Nice to hear from you. Bruce Lee is a man I have admired immensely over the years and I can still remember watching enter the Dragon many years ago and was in awe of his skills and abilities. The profound wisdom he speaks when he reminds to’ Be like Water’ is a simple and profound philosophy that takes time to fully comprehend but when it finally sinks in is life changing.

      May me all follow their attitudes and daily rituals so that we can all become as great as we can be!

      Cheers Shu,i and all the very best to you my friend.


  8. Awesome read. Thanks so much for sharing with me. I really need this at this point in my life. These quotes are inspiring and should keep me going. Especially Michael’s. The three “Quotes” are exactly what I need to keep pushing. I just started an online business. I know it’s not going to be easy. But I certainly will attain great heights.

    1. Hi Vwegba,

      Interesting that you should come across my post at this very moment having started a new business. Jordan reminds us that the more we fail the more successful we become, that failure is nothing more than a stepping stone to success. His words take the drama out of so called ‘failure’. Changing our perceptions of things is all part of the journey towards greatness and Michael Jordan is a shining example.

      Wishing you all the very best in your new venture, fail forward my friend always.

      Beside you all the way!


  9. Love this blog post Paul. Some great and inspirational athletes you mentioned in it. Bruce Lee is one of my all-time favorite athletes regardless of sport. He was so much more than a martial artist and one of the truly remarkable human beings of the 20th Century in my honest opinion. His teachings and philosophy have impacted so many people even up to this day. His martial art philosophy of Jeet Kune Do is still being practiced and taught in his image and for his memory. RIP Bruce, you were truly one of a kind.

    1. Hello and welcome here once again. Bruce Lee was certainly an exceptional man. He is still today an inspiration to many of us, his legacy will live on forever. I’ve just finished reading his biography and have more respect for him than ever.A true legend

  10. Discipline is the true quality of a person who has achieved success especially in sports. One cannot go through the stress of working so hard and not attain good qualities like that.  I really admire that you could come up with a post like this. I live Serena a lot and I am a very big fan of her game. Nice work!

    1. hey there and thanks for your kind words, Serena is a great role model for discipline and hard work, she has been at the top for so long now and achieved all that there is in the tennis world Best wishes Henderson

  11. Nice one Paul

    A very motivating article to read I know I am definitely motivated I am a big fan of basketball and also tennis one of my favourite players was Micheal Jordan. Some of his traits he possessed like he never give up spirit  and aspire to get better.They also push themselves to the limit.  That is why they are successful and we all can learn something from them.thanks a lot for getting this article for the public

    1. hey ther David, Nice to get your thoughts on some sporting Greats. Never give up seems to be the one thing they all have in common. Let’s strive to do the same. All the best mate.

  12. I always get very inspired when reading about successful people and their characteristics, I know that if I adopt them then I too will get similar results. What all these successful people have in common is discipline. My favorite is Bruce Lee’s “don’t think, feel” and to me it means stop overthinking because that leads to procrastination. In my opinion it’s not hard to figure out what you need to do to achieve success, but many people struggle with making themselves do those things they don’t want to do.

    1. Hello Son, nice to have you here today and read your thoughts. That one trait ‘discipline’ the birthplace for every other characteristic carry on, move forward regardless of how we feel.True freedom from the shackles

  13. Some very very important traits of every good sportsman you have listed here. I think that for anyone to be successful, that person will need to have discipline because it is a feature that makes great people. Hard work is also very important. I really loved watching Bruce Lee and was sad when he died. This is very nice. Thanks!

    1. Hi John,  Thanks for your thoughts, and I like you and so many others have been deprived of the great Bruce Lee and all that he would still have to offer today. I suppose we have to be grateful for all he passed on while he was here. Truly an inspiration!

  14. These sports athletes and actors are all positive thinkers, they work hard at all times, they never give up, they are patient beings, they know what they want and what they’re worth. They’re inspirational to us and generation yet unborn.

    My quote just now “If you know your worth, you will get what you want. I am far more than you can think I am — Barry Ovb

    1. Your spot on there Ovb, Let’s all take their lessons and put them into practice. Love your quote by the way..Off you go and get what’s yours now

  15. Hi Paul. Thank you for sharing TRAITS OF SUCCESS again and this time on SPORTS GREATS. Indeed, success leaves clues. These set of people got to their peak because they were determined to.

    See the likes of Roger Federer, he did what was needed to be done both in pain, problem, and difficult situations. I am determined to succeed no matter the cost.

    1. Great to hear from you again techie, Roger is an inspiration that’s for sure. Keep going with that determined attitude and all the glory awaits you..Cheers mate and all the very best

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