I’m not going to offer up an answer to your question, because I don’t feel like I have any particular insight into what leads to success in sports or athletics. But I want to inject a note of caution regarding how one might approach the question.
People always are after the formula for success, and the most obvious way to do this is ask what other people did to succeed. It seems like it should be a reasonable way to get started, but it is fraught with risk, for two basic reasons
First, the narratives that someone constructs after the fact may not be particularly objective. People want to believe they were the architects of their own accomplishments. What entrepreneur wants to admit that dumb luck played a huge role in their being in the right place at the right time with a novel idea. So success stories can end up being somewhat self serving, for very understandable reasons.
Second, you have the problem of survivorship bias. When someone tells you the story of how they succeeded, and provides a formula for success from that, it doesn’t tell you anything about the odds of that formula working. For every person who followed the formula and succeeded, how many followed it and failed? Did everyone who did the right things make it big? Or was it the case that only 10%, or 1%, or 0.01% of the people who followed the formula actually ended up winning?