There is a really bad habit that many athletes engage in on a regular basis. I am not talking about drinking alcohol or smoking but rather the bad habit of setting unrealistic expectations. They do this without even thinking about it.
I cover this topic a lot in my work. It is a habit that not only raises anxiety but cripples self confidence and has a hugely negative impact on your performance. It is set to hold you back, reduce motivation and suck the fun out of your training and races.
Why do expectations limit your performance?
Expectations are demands that you, your coach, family or club mates place on your performance. The problem arises because you either achieve your expectations or you fail.
When you fail to achieve the high expectations set, you then have a tendency to question your own abilities. This can happen after or worse still, during the event. Setting expectations that are too high or simply unrealistic are guaranteed to set you up for failure before you even start. This in turn has a huge negative impact on your confidence.
The second problem with expectations is that they tend to focus you on outcomes, for example: out sprinting everyone else, be first up the mountain or set a new personal record time.
Keep your expectations in check:
- Set clear, realistic goals
- Make the goals performance based (smooth pedal stroke)
- Expect the unexpected and have a strategy to deal with it
- Focus on what you can do and not on what you hope to do
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Photos Thanks To: skeeze / Pixabay