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Dealing With Bad Results

Sport Psychology Series Articles: Affirmations ] Anti-Anxiety Training ] Arousal ] Breaking Bad Habits ] Confidence ] Cycling Psychology Profile Quiz ] [ Dealing With Bad Results ] Exercise-Related Personality Changes ] Focus & Breathing ] Goal Setting ] Motivation ] Pain Management in Training ] Sports Psychology Intro ] Stress Questionnaire ]

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The fourteen sports-psychology-series articles are all incorporated into the eBook Psychling Psychology.


Dealing With Bad Results (Introduction)

You were anticipating a certain result. You didn’t do as well as expected. Or you have had a series of bad results.

How do you deal with this reality, while keeping motivated and on track toward your other goals?

Is It Really a Bad Result?

Are you overreacting?

Athletes are often too hard on themselves. Although they may boast to others about their successes, within their own minds athletes frequently ascribe good results to luck, and poor results to their own inadequacies—rather than the other way around.

If nothing but coming in first will do, then you may regard second place as “the first loser.” And you may be unhappy with any place but number one.

Performance results are contextual. If your goal is to finish a major stage race, the last finishing place may be a success.

Athletes may have inappropriate and changing magical goals. I’ve know many to enter a race “for training.” They may train through the race—meaning that they haven’t recovered, or tapered before the race. Their goal may be to overload their fitness systems—for example, by simulating a stage race through hard training several days before a single-day race. If the other athletes in the race don’t enter the race tired, it’s not a level playing field. Riders in such situations should understand and expect to do relatively poorly.

Many accept this proposition before the race begins. However, after the race, their expectations seem to have changed. Although things go as expected with a relatively poor placing, they may be disappointed not to have their usual relatively high placing—even though such a result is unrealistic.

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