Curiosity did not kill the athlete…

One attribute that stands out as a catalyst for the continuous learning and improvement required to achieve greater and greater levels of athletic success is curiosity.

To be curious means you have a thirst for understanding and a desire to uncover what it takes to perform at your best, especially when the lights are at their brightest. Being technically proficient is not enough, athletes who are playing at the highest levels have to go through the crucible of mental and physical development. Many who don’t make it were not able to develop a practice of independent development. This does not happen exclusively within the team training environment.

Each individual athlete is unique in their ability, who they are as a person, and the experience they have had in the world. For an athlete to perform consistently in the upper registers of their potential, they need to explore their potential beyond the team environment.

Curious people are able to adapt to rapidly changing environments by seeking out innovative solutions to challenges. A curious mindset enables one to adapt to new circumstances and ideas with greater ease. Creativity is ignited from a curious mind that is able to challenge assumptions and innovate new ways to solving problems.
The most successful athletes spend their free time being curious about how to develop themselves, to find ways to improve themselves and then consistently do the daily work that is required to win.


If you are an athlete that is looking for ways to improve their curiosity, there are number of things you can do. One of the most effective ways to cultivate curiosity is by asking questions. Learning how to ask open-ended questions that invite mentors with deep experience to discuss the things they believe will elevate your performance is a learned skill everyone can do. Another aspect to growing one’s curiosity is to explore ways of learning beyond your typical comfort zone. Videos, books, podcasts are available resources that are rich with information.

Remember that you need to hunt for the information you need to become better. There are many ways in today’s modern society to become distracted. What might seem like minor distractions can inhibit development in significant ways. Another skill that helps enable curiosity is to develop a practice of mindfulness. This will allow you to remain more present in the moment and develop a greater capacity to sustain the attention needed for expanding curiosity.

One of the more significant things an athlete can do to grow curiosity is to embrace failure as a learning opportunity. There are a few things that are as successful at teaching and motivating development as the pain of regret but if you don’t try new ways of pushing yourself to the edge, which often means failure in the moment is essential to becoming better. Where is the edge on a day-to-day basis?

Go find it and figure out the solutions you need that will become the tools to success.