WSBB Blog: The Emotional Mindset vs. The Competitive Mindset
Success in athletics depends on a multitude of things. First, genetics ultimately play the most significant part in the athletic success equation. It's simple: those built for a specific sport will see higher success rates, while those with less genetic gifts will be forced to work twice as hard for half of the success. The next thing that plays a role in athletic success is discipline. Discipline is what begins to set the genetic freaks apart from each other. Ultimately, some genetically gifted athletes will display lifestyle discipline, and some will not.
The genetically gifted, disciplined athlete is the type of athlete that makes it to the upper tier of their sport. The question then becomes what begins to set genetically gifted, disciplined athletes apart from each other? The answer is emotional discipline and the proper development of the competitive mindset. In the modern sports landscape, athletes are often caught up in emotions.
The truth of the matter is, if you want to succeed at the highest level in your sport, you will have to be different from most. You will have to live a different lifestyle than most, focusing on proper rest, hydration, nutrition, and adherence to your training program. Aside from that, if you want to become a champion, you have to develop a highly competitive mindset. Below, we will explain why feeding into an emotional perspective is detrimental and describe the optimal athletic attitude.
The Emotional Mindset
Today, more so than ever before, emotions are considered sacred. Relying on logic and rational thinking is viewed as a thing of the past, even unhealthy by some. Today, it is all about emotion and the athlete's journey or story. You see it often on social media; posts about how an athlete felt during a training session, or different motivational videos designed to create an emotional appeal to attract followers and fans.
This type of athlete is living in their own movie, and eventually, they will meet their destiny and experience the feeling of triumph over their foes. Unfortunately, that day never arrives for these types. You see, the use of emotion as a motivational tool is almost like a drug. This source of motivation eventually becomes unsustainable, and the athlete ultimately experiences failure.
The Competitive Mindset
Considered more of an old school mindset, the competitive mindset is based on logic and rational thinking. Instead of riding a wave of emotional ups and downs while creating false realities and triumphs, the athlete with the competitive mindset assesses their sport, their competition, and formulates a plan of attack to achieve victory. Much different than the emotional athlete, the competitively minded athlete develops the mental power to take destiny into their own hands.
An athlete with a competitive mindset will do exactly what needs to be done to get better. Adherence to the plan will not be based on how they feel that day physically, or if they are worn down mentally, the plan will be adhered to because it is the plan that leads to victory. If you want to become the best at your sport, you must become almost robotic in your behavior. Having the ability to process emotion in a healthy manner while maintaining a logical mindset dedicated to winning is what ultimately separates the best from the very good.
Control Your Destiny
This is not to say that an emotional athlete will not experience some success in their sport. Some emotional athletes have made it to the highest levels of their sport. However, the measure of a true champion is the ability to sustain success. An athlete with an emotional mindset will eventually experience mental fatigue, burnout, or even injury. It is only a matter of time; these types always self-destruct.
The competitive lifter will not only win but will continue to win. The obsession with winning will lead this athlete to make the correct lifestyle and training choices that lead to sustained success. These athletes will do what it takes no matter how they feel because if they aren't getting better, their competition is. These athletes will also be level-headed and not make mental errors that lead to injury or failure.
Do not allow your mind prevent you from reaching your full physical capabilities. If you are currently an emotional type of person, work to master self-control and begin living a disciplined lifestyle. Instead of the first thought being "how does this make me feel?", make it "does this contribute to my success?". Whether in sport or life, the cold-blooded and calculated approach always defeats the frail and emotional.