These include the ability to don lycra without running the risk of being arrested, a distinct possibility for the rest of us trying to squeeze overweight, middle-aged bodies into an all-in-one Bradley Wiggins replica skinsuit. They are good at training until exhaustion instead of thinking, 10 minutes into their session, "sod this, I'm away for a Mars bar and a fag." They're good at smiling politely, signing autographs and waving to their adoring fans.
One thing they are not so good at, though, is making decisions.
Anthony Joshua will make his professional boxing debut tomorrow night when he fights Italy's Emanuele Leo in London. Joshua won Team GB's 29th and final gold medal at London 2012 and, in the immediate aftermath of the Olympic Games, declared that he would remain an amateur. He wanted to win the world amateur title and possibly even defend his Olympic title in Rio in 2016.
Prior to London 2012, Joshua had been boxing for just four years and had fought only 34 times. This is a tiny number of fights in comparison to more established amateur fighters. Joshua seemed to recognise his inexperience and acknowledged that he still had much to learn until he was the finished article, which was why he believed that remaining amateur would be best for his long-term development.
However, the pull of Matchroom Sports and Eddie Hearn was too strong and so Joshua turned pro in July of this year at 23 years of age.
It will, of course, be years before anyone can judge whether turning his back on the amateur ranks will prove to be a wise decision or a premature choice which could derail his career, as has happened with countless other athletes who have sought too much, too soon.
At various stages in every athlete's career, monumental decisions must be made. Some pick the right path, one which nurtures their talent and aids their development at just the right pace. Many choose poorly though. A decision is often made on the basis of how much money is being dangled in front of them, or the amount of fame and adulation that may come their way.
A repeat offender in terms of dodgy decision-making is Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman seems to have had more management companies than birdies this season and his change of equipment supplier, in hindsight, doesn't seem to have been the smartest move either. McIlroy wholeheartedly denies that his off-course decisions have had any bearing on his play this season but, when you consider the vicious dip in his form, this seems unlikely.
Football, meanwhile, is littered with examples of players getting ahead of themselves, moving to a bigger club before they're ready and, as a result, irrevocably stunting the development of their careers. Liam Miller was touted as a future superstar when he played for Celtic a decade ago but left for Manchester United after just 26 games for the Scottish club. Miller was, at best, a bit-part player at United and departed after two seasons; his career has bumped along quietly ever since. There are many similar tales of footballers rushing to sign for a bigger club in what often ends up sounding the death-knell for their career if they are not suitably prepared for such a move.
Mark Wotte, the performance director at the Scottish Football Association, has been charged with overhauling Scotland's youth development system and, in his view, young Scottish footballers should play at least 100 matches north of the border before they even consider moving down south.
Cultivating the attitude that long-term development is more valuable than short-term gain is easier said than done, though. To ask a young athlete to turn down immediate fame and, especially, comparative fortune is akin to asking English football commentators to not mention 1966.
When an athlete does make the right choice, he or she blossoms. The Danish footballer, Christian Eriksen was Ajax's star player and was repeatedly courted by Manchester City last summer. He declined their advances, believing that signing for them only to sit on the bench would be detrimental to his game. Instead, he remained at Ajax for a further year and signed for Tottenham Hotspur this summer; he now looks as if he could go on to become one of the best players in the Barclays Premier League.
It remains to be seen whether Joshua's decision will work out for him. Every decision an athlete takes is backed up by hope that it will be the correct one. In turning down opportunities, no athlete can be sure that a similar chance will emerge at a later date. But, for the ones who have the confidence to hold back, it can prove to be life-changing in the long run.