Success-oriented athletes think about winning and losing drastically differently than failure-oriented athletes. To better illustrate the different ways of thinking, let's imagine two fictitious people.

Wendy Winner, a success-oriented model athlete, sees winning as a consequence of her ability, which gives her confidence in her ability to be successful again. When Wendy experiences occasional failure, she likely blames insufficient effort; this robs the failure of its threat to her self-esteem because it is not due to her ability. To be successful, Wendy believes, she just has to try harder. Therefore, failure increases their motivation instead of decreasing it. For Wendy, occasional failure in sport is inevitable and does not represent a flaw in her self. As such, she is willing to take reasonable risks in sport—risks necessary to succeed. Wendy and athletes like her focus their energies on the challenges of the sport rather than on worry and self-doubt. They celebrate their success and take responsibility for their failure. This is exactly the healthy attitude that we at Tayfun Sports want to encourage in our athletes. Working as Head Coach at Tayfun Sports over the years, I've found that Wendy Winner is an inherent part of all great athletes.


Unlike Wendy, you now meet Larry Loser, a failure-oriented athlete filled with self-doubt and fear. Larry tends to attribute his failures to lack of skill and his rare successes to luck or weak or incompetent opponents. Such thinking leads to disaster; Larry blames himself for failures, but takes little or no credit for his accomplishments. Athletes like Larry Loser believe they are powerless to change their situation because their early sporting experiences convinced them that no matter how hard they try, the result is always the same: failure. You conclude from this and then have an inner soliloquy, which could read like this:

“Well, trying didn't help, so my problem must be low ability. So why try it?”

Because the sport so clearly identifies winners and losers, failure-oriented athletes like Larry Loser have little choice to protect their self-esteem but not to participate or to maneuver to avoid failure. Although many such young people choose not to exercise, pressure from parents, coaches, and peers can drive Larry to exercise anyway. When he does train, he has learned to protect his threatened self-esteem in various ways.

Since this topic is extraordinarily complex and I could probably write about it for days, I'm starting a multi-part series at this point. We have come to the end of Part 1 and I would like to leave you with a quote from an unknown author. In the next part of this series, we'll revisit Larry and how he tries to protect his self-esteem before taking on a challenge and why doing so is harmful to you.

But we will also deal more intensively with Wendy Winner and look at how she drives herself to top performance and how you can integrate her strategies into your life.


And now the announced quote. In this sense, all the best and see you soon.Your Seyhan

"If you think you're beaten, you are;
If you think you don't dare, then you don't;
If you want to win but think you can't, it's almost certain you won't
If you think you're going to lose, you're lost;
Because out there in the world, success begins with the will of man;
It's all a question of attitude.
The Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man, but sooner or later the man who thinks he can wins.

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