Bailey agreed with his coach. It really is like preparing for war. It’s very essential for us to focus and try to make as little mistakes as possible. Because if you do make any little mistakes, it’s over for you. You’re going to be going home. So, essentially, if it’s war and you lose, you’re dead. Is it any coincidence, then, that at the moment of truth in a sporting event, athletes often go into an arousal mode for self-defense during the battle?
Pffaf believes that athletes such as Bailey have sharp animal tendencies for striking out and devouring opponents and also tendencies of entertainers before an important performance. I think every great actor will admit there’s butterflies before a performance, Pfaff says. athlete training program pdf It’s what you do with those butterflies. Do you turn them into positive energy or do you let it be negative energy? Obviously, Donovan has the ability to turn the pre-stage anxiety into very positive forces.
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Bailey says he takes losing personally and uses it to get revenge. professional athlete workout routines If I run a race and I get beat, I get angry and I internalize it. I’m always looking forward to the next race, kind of like storing my energy right from that moment. Bailey says his best performances often come when opponents make a race personal. In a sport sometimes involving huge egos and cruel mind games, protecting one’s pride is a big motivator, he says. Foes often insult one another through the media. Some examples:
• Michael Johnson says part of what drove him to become a record-breaking runner was the criticism that Carl Lewis leveled at him and also losing to Lewis in races. It would bother me for weeks if I lost to him, Johnson says. Another Johnson quote: Every guy I compete against, when I line up and get in the blocks, I hate them all.
• In 1997, American Maurice Greene and Bailey hooked up in the finals of the world championship 100 meters in Athens, but not before trading personal insults. As he upset Bailey for the gold medal, Greene stuck his tongue out at the Canadian while crossing the finish line. Bailey was ungracious in defeat, telling the media Greene had a lack of education and insulting Greene’s religion.
Shame and pride are two constants that underlie many professionals and Olympic athletes and their experiences, Burstyn says. Too much competition can do that, too much winning and losing. Shame comes from a sense that you have failed in some way and it leads to a feeling of unworthiness. athletic workout routine The achievement of pride is opposite of shame. You stand straight up and feel good about yourself. Sports is a place people go to find that sense of pride, but there’s a healthy pride and then there’s a narcissistic arrogance. In searching for a sense of self, athletes have to have strong pride, but arrogant narcissism often becomes the reality. But at least underlying this motivation is a desire to take pride and feel good about one’s origin and to prove something to a society that shames you.