Competitive Sports: Coping with Losses and Succeeding

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All German athletes wanted to go to the Olympic Games in Beijing to win a medal. Some have lagged far behind this goal. Did they underestimate the risk of failure?

One has to differentiate between the emotional experience of the athletes and the rational assessment of their abilities. It is understandable that everyone wants a medal. But at the same time, the athletes know about the qualities of the competition and their performance compared to the opponents. The more an athlete identifies with his sport and aligns his life accordingly, the more serious and emotional the disappointment after a defeat will be.

What can defeats do?

Defeats can for example result in a restart. The external and internal pressure on the athlete changes. Sometimes the athlete hires a new coach or tries out other training methods. Losing has a purifying effect, and it can act like a wake-up call.

FAZ Beilage – Olympia 2008