Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Coach Leo Frincu with his star pupil UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Photo courtesy Leo Frincu via Facebook
Being an athlete for most of my life, I have distinguished that there are three types of athletes.

  1. Athletes that have it and not use it
  2. Athletes that don’t have it
  3. Athletes that have it and use it

Athletes that have it and not use it are the ones that have so much to offer but for different reasons do not take full advantage of their skills. Subconsciously, they are unable to, refuse to or don’t know how to take full advantage of their skills.

Since it’s a subconscious motive, it will only come out right before their fight/match under the form of doubt and self-sabotaging actions. These athletes will always perform only at 40% of their capacity, which will be their maximum potential, not their highest.

Since they will go through their 40% fairly quick, they will often over-train due to their exhausting efforts to maintain their constant deficit. If they get lucky and make it without injuries to their competition, the doubt and self-sabotaging decisions will creep in making it hard to concentrate and perform.

Athletes of this kind will usually lose. They will be the runner-ups, the ones who got cheated by the referee and the ones who ran out of time.

For the athletes that don’t have it, you will know them just by listening because they are the ones who are going to do a great deal of talking. The more they talk, the less they have to offer.

Please allow me a minute of honesty. Not everyone’s going to be the best in their field and not every athlete is going to be a champion. However, that doesn’t mean they need to quit and do something else.

As long as you going to set goals according with your abilities, as long as you’re not going to chase a goal that’s not within your reach, a goal you’re not qualified to achieve, only then you’re going to grasp the happiness you’ve been striving for.

Otherwise, what is the purpose of practicing any sport? What is the purpose of doing anything if not the pleasure of enjoying; the satisfaction of accomplishing our goals?

Since we’re all about achieving our goals, by acknowledging you’re not going to be the next Georges St-Pierre, you’re probably going to set some attainable and more realistic goals.

If you’re rational and don’t evade reality, you’ll have more chances to achieve and enjoy your sport more. If they let the emotional rule their life, then this type of athlete will most likely experience disappointment rather than joy.

The third category is for the 1% or less. The athletes that have it and use it are the champions. They are the ones who are on top of the pyramid. They are consistent and know that they know they have what it takes. They know they are special.

They are the ones who are able to reach their highest potential, to tap into who they truly are. These are the rational ones, the ones who regard themselves as professionals.

Athletes who are breaking records and establish legacies are the ones who have what they need and know what they want. When you don’t need anything, then you can want and you can have.

These are the ones who take responsibility, who are brave enough to face their weaknesses, smart enough to take fully advantage and grow their strengths and confident enough to achieve their goals.

Now the question is, which one are you?

leo-frincuLeo Frincu came to the United States from Communist Romania with $10, a back pack and four words of English. Now, he’s a businessman, renowned trainer and mentor for UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. Among his many athletic accomplishments, Leo is a six-time Romanian wrestling champion, four-time European champion and was also trainer and coach for the 2003 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team. Leo is the author of a new book, “Choosing Freedom,” which details the steps he took to leave the oppressive Romanian society through wrestling and how his experiences have helped him in the United States – going from a bus boy to successful entrepreneur. You can learn more about Leo Frincu on his website Also, follow Leo on Twitter @leofrincu and “LIKE” his page on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Leo Frincu: There are three types of athletes”
  1. Is there a category for old people who used to have it? That’s me (0-:

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