Should athletes prepare for defeat?

Out of the 10,500 athletes who are competing at the London 2012 Games only 302 will win. The rest will be left to navigate the kaleidoscope of emotions that comes with failing to win.

Many athletes struggle to cope with the weight of expectation that is placed upon them by their supporters and their expectant compatriots. Although physically many of them recover well after losing at a big event like the Olympic Games, sadly many of them never recover mentally. It’s easy to understand why when you consider the intense media scrutiny athletes have to live and perform under during the Games.

So how can athletes cope? Well, athletes certainly should set appropriate expectation levels and keep their performances in a proper perspective but many experts are now calling for the more direct approach of mentally preparing for defeat.

This interesting article by the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty highlights the key thinking behind it…

BBC News – London 2012: Should athletes prepare for defeat?.