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Athletic Success, Meaning-Making, and You

There is nothing quite like experiencing, or witnessing, moments of outstanding achievement, much like we are seeing this week at the high school and NCAA levels. This excitement and satisfaction is particularly meaningful, and more satisfying, when significant obstacles have been overcome on the journey. So, what accounts for these performance successes? According to Sport Psychologist Dan Gould, there are 7 qualities that define athletic success.

Ability to cope with adversity
Focus on the task
Sport IQ
A sense of hope
Positive expectations/optimism

Ok, so now we know what they are. That’s a start.

Developing a Winning Attitude

Can anyone expect more from an athlete than giving their best personal effort each and every day? Many teams and athletes believe that they are committed wholeheartedly, yet they continue to fall short of their goals. Why would this happen?

In achieving a peak performance all aspects of a swimmers preparation must come together at the same time, including a well-developed mind-set. For swimmers, this is especially important given the fact that the difference between happiness and disappointment is measured by less than one one-hundredth of a second.

Training and Competing With Intention

Just as swimmers conduct a physical warm-up just prior to a practice or competition the best prepared swimmers have also developed a comprehensive psychological or mental warm up in order to put them in the best frame of mind for a great training opportunity or peak performance.


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