The Good Athlete

Very often the characteristics of a “good” athlete and someone with disordered eating overlap.

Closely Connected!

The athlete who is considered a “good” athlete and the athlete at risk of developing disordered eating share many of the same characteristics. It can be difficult to know which characteristics are helpful to performance and which may be harmful to health.

A “good” athlete:

  • is willing to train and exercise harder and longer than teammates
  • performs through pain and injury
  • is selflessly committed to the team
  • complies completely with coaching instructions in order to please others
  • accepts nothing less than perfection
  • is willing to lose weight to improve performance

An athlete with disordered eating:

  • is a perfectionist with high goals
  • has a strong desire to please others
  • bases self-worth on achievement and performance
  • is willing to tolerate pain and sacrifices a lot to meet goals
  • is critical of him or herself and has high expectations in sport and life
  • places emphasis on maintaining an ideal body weight or optimal body fat

As key influencers, we can use caution in the attitudes and behaviours we encourage and celebrate in our athletes.