Originally Posted by BearyWhite
But when they describe a student athlete's athleticism, they're talking about strength, quickness, jumping ability and so on, not the skill with which they play their sport.
Athletes play sports. Some of them are seen as great by just about any knowledgeable observer (e.g., Magic Johnson, Larry Bird). These ones are definitionally great athletes.
Obviously, all who possess "strength, quickness, jumping ability" are not great athletes. And what is included in your "and so on"? Hand-eye coordination, court vision, will, endurance, skill?
My point is that one should look with skepticism at assertions that so and so is a better "athlete" than somebody else who obviously outperforms the alleged great athlete.
If what is really meant is that X is quicker/faster, jumps quicker and higher than Y, let's state that. No need to say X has more "athleticism" than Y, if Y is clearly superior at whatever sport the two play.
Lastly, since strength is to a great degree an acquired trait, what does it have to do with "athleticism" as you use it?