Sports Figures

Written by Gregg Ruais
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Sports figures earn their reputations during the playoffs, especially in the waning moments of close games. Some star athletes play their best when it matter most. Others crack under the pressure. This distinction separates the legends from the mere all-stars. When asked how they perform so well in tough situations, superstar athletes talk about preparation, fearlessness, and psychological intimidation.

Examples of Immortal Sports Figures

The great sports figures possess tireless work ethics. Even during his prime, Larry Bird was neither the fastest player in the NBA, nor the strongest, nor the tallest. However, nobody worked harder. Bird always wanted to take clutch shots, and most of the time, he made them, because his endless preparation had built his confidence to the point where he felt he could win in any situation. That's why people call him Larry Legend.

Athletes who play scared in big moments rarely perform well under pressure. Karl Malone, someone who put up incredible statistics during the regular seasons, always appeared tight during important playoff games. Even when Utah went to the NBA Finals, Malone never played that well during the post-season. John Stockton hit all the big shots. During the finals, Malone allowed Dennis Rodman to shut him down. The Mailman's inability to make big shots will stay with his reputation forever.

While athletics may be physical contests of skill, the greatest sports figures are strong in the mind as well. Michael Jordan used to taunt his opponents, rattling their psyches, ensuring they could never compete with him again. Jordan possessed tremendous physical talents, but he also defeated his opponents mentally. His tough-mindedness kept him atop the NBA for an entire decade.


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