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Good article on Personal Mental Attitude

By John Abdo © 2010 Nightingale-Conant Corporation
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As a former strength and conditioning coach for numerous Olympic and professional athletes and teams, I know that when athletes pessimistically think about their weaknesses, failures, fears, or injuries; are intimidated by their competitors; or have the slightest doubt in their performance abilities, chances are that those athletes will validate what they’re thinking about … and fail. These failures – which I’ve seen more than I care to admit –  prevail even when the athletes have a superior win-loss record and physical attributes when compared with their opponents.

All champion athletes will tell you that when it gets down to the wire, when they’re consumed in the heat of fierce competition and everything’s on the line, their chances for success rely on a very predictable performance ratio between physical ability and mental fortitude. In fact, after many months, even years of training, on the day of competition, when it’s all on the line and nothing else counts but winning, the ratio requirements for the mental aspect of performance is claimed to be as high as 90%.

Just because an athlete has inferior physical abilities in comparison with his or her competitors doesn’t always mean that athlete is sure to lose. We see it all the time, especially now in the fastest-growing sport in the world, Mixed Martial Arts. A champion fighter gets into the cage, surging with adrenaline and testosterone, sporting a win-loss record that’s splattered with a string of KOs; or as a champion, he’s fiercely determined to defend his title and win the prize money that will allow him to continue to support his loved ones. But minutes, sometimes even seconds, after the 1st round’s bell rings to begin, the fighter gets clobbered by his underrated (underdog) opponent and is knocked out cold.

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By John Abdo © 2010 Nightingale-Conant Corporation