Winners Win More
The success effect is a very real phenomenon. Throughout the years there have been numerous studies showing that experiencing success in performance of a given task enhances subsequent performance in the same task by increasing self-efficacy, or perceived competence.
Additionally, previous experiences of success are not the only source of future winning performances. Expectations of success have a potent impact on future competitive outcomes as well.
Often what separates the great coaches from their less successful colleagues is not the mechanics of their training system but rather their ability to get athletes to believe in their training system.
Essentially, all training is are consistent actions taken to generate improvement in an athlete. Various bioenergetic considerations of training are often the topics of choice at coaching clinics these day. But we needn't stop at the physical. The art and science of buy-in and neurophysiology should be equally top of mind and liberally discussed in coaching circles.
My belief is mental fitness should be improved parallel to physical fitness. As this approach echos the Roman poet Juvenile's motto of "a sound mind in a healthy body."
In his book, How Bad Do You Want It author Matt Fitzgerald writes:
Mental fitness is a collection of coping skills — behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that help athletes master the discomfort and stress of the athletic experience, mainly by increasing tolerance for perceived effort and by reducing the amount of effort that is perceived at any given intensity of exercise.
He goes on to state, "any behavior, thought, or emotion that enables an athlete to perform better qualifies as an effective coping skill."
So if you think you can, you're right. And if you think you can't, you're also right.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm