By: Sheldon Wright
Confidence and winning go hand in hand, and in order to have a winning mentality, one must be very confident in oneself first, before anyone can be confident in you. Given that performance in sports is heavily dependent on ones state of mind, should special emphasis always be placed on mental preparation by all sports organizations?
Looking back on the career of the tracks star and former 100m world record holder Jamaican Asafa Powell, persons are livid that he was unable to gain the elusive individual gold medal at a major track event when it truly mattered. To some this was due to his inability to concentrate and be mentally ready when it mattered most in the Athens Olympics 20014, Beijing Olympics 2008, and World Championships 2007 just to name a few faltered events.
It seems that he was just not able to focus with all the super human talent he possesses to win at the highest level, due to many things. In my view, he was the main male athlete performing at his level, so there was added pressure he couldn’t cope with, he didn’t have any other male athlete to learn from their mistakes. He might have had bad preparation techniques or a poor work ethic for major track events.
We can also take into account the dismal form of the West Indies Cricket Senior men’s team which seems to be inconsistent and poor as well, as they fail to maintain the consistent form they once had in the past. Can this also be down to poor mental preparation as well, how about the Jamaica “Reggae Boyz” football team, when was the last time they qualified for a FIFA World Cup?
The fact remains is that Jamaican sports men and also Caribbean men, seem to lack that strength in mental capabilities to perform consistent form. One looks at Usain Bolt as sometimes cocky, but it pretty much seems to have worked for him. It is in my view that, his feats take tremendous mental strength to consistently perform when it matters the most, and for that I have to applaud his legendary achievements.
Is it that these athletes don’t know why they go out there to perform, that their reason for playing is just not big enough? That no matter what they won’t go down without a fight. Do these players lack the passion that is required to perform at a high standard that we want to hold them to?
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