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Curtis Reeser 10/14/2008 Classification Essay Stand Out Athletes Throughout history, athletes around the world have been examples for children. Trying to obtain that status as an elite athlete becomes more difficult as competition becomes more and more stiff. Children as small as four or five years old have realized their talents and started honing those talents to recognize of what they are capable. With such a wide variety of sports to play, there comes an even wider variety of athletes. While people are put into the general categories of athlete or not an athlete, the emergence of the different types of athletes have adapted the world of sports and the different types include the intimidators, the choke artists, the muscle men, the speedsters, the all around, and the country club athletes. Although athletes are generally seen as humans of special abilities or gifts, the intimidators and the choke artists are notoriously known as the scum of the athletic population. Before each competition, an athlete looks over to the opponent to get a taste of what he or she may encounter during play. The intimidators are those athletes that scare the snot out of opposing players, but when game time comes around, this athlete can barely be considered one. Michael Olowokandi came in to the NBA as a highly touted basketball player. His seven foot stature along with his athletic ability made him one of the most intimidating players in the league. Soon after the season began people saw his real side, which was to be as soft and as much of a let down as possible. Choke artists have similar problems except their problems deal with performing at high levels in pressure situations. Some of the greatest athletes of all time have been left out of the discussion of the greats simply because they could not win the big one. Phil Mickelson has repeatedly found ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In one tournament, he managed to throw away a three shot lead on the


last hole of a tournament. To establish oneself as a true athlete, one must fulfill or even surpass all expectations put upon them. Specializing as a certain type of athlete can usually go one of two ways. One can become distinguished in that specialty or one can fade off into the abyss with the many other no name athletes. Two specializations that athletes work into are the muscle men and the speedsters. Muscle men aspire to bulge out of all clothing along with just being larger than the average human being. Marius Pudzianowski, back to back champion of the World’s Strongest Man Contest, epitomizes the definition of a muscle man. With the strength to pull fire trucks, he shows what it means to be strong. Whether it is through hard work, unnatural substances, or both, people tend not to argue with these athletes. On the other hand, speedsters have an uncanny ability to glide around with incredible quickness. While on a run around the neighborhood, some have probably been stopped by policemen for speeding. Olympic champion Usain Bolt fits into his name ironically. He is exactly that, a bolt of lightning beating the fastest men in the world by enormous margins by track standards. Many sports require a combination of both of these types of athletes to field a complete team making these specialties necessary in sports. To establish oneself as an elite athlete, this person must be able to perform in all phases of whatever sport he or she plays. Physical and mental toughness emanates from these athletes. The all around athlete and the country club athlete are known as some of the most elite athletes in the world. All around athletes dominate any sport they are challenged to play. With their God given gifts, these athletes never fully realize their potential because their potential is limitless. Country club athletes face criticism from many other athletes many times for not being true athletes. The fact is that country club athletes deserve as much if not more respect for what they do. To say these athletes are mentally tough would be an understatement. They take on the pressure of an entire NBA season and put it all into one putt or one serve. Striving to become the best may


not always be enough. Mental toughness, a natural trait, in conjunction with determination enhances the chances for an elite athlete to develop. The different types of athletes have influenced many changes in each sport around the world today. Utilizing every bit of talent that one has is vital for an athlete. The world of athletics has become a place that seems untouchable for an average human. Some dreams are shot down immediately just because a so-called expert says that someone is too short or not fast enough or not strong enough. Despite much of athletics being natural ability, an athlete can overcome these problems with devotion to working as hard as one possibly can.


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