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Understanding how we (I) limit our (my) performance – Part 1

November 18th, 2009

I propose that many of us, whether we think it true or not, are often wrong when it comes to our self analysis relating to what we consider valid and/or necessary in our training. Regardless of whether or not a coach/mentor is involved,…many athletes decide their fate by over-riding sound advice and adopting beliefs based on nonsense.

How often have you heard fellow athletes talk about their races with a warped sense of what actually transpired? How often do athletes incorrectly determine their limiters, and falsely determine what course of action is required? I am definitely guilty of all the above – I find it bizarre how easily it is to believe so strongly in something flawed; abetting the inertial forces that prop up our self-constructed illusions.

W.V Quine and J.S. Ullian wrote, “the desire to be right and the desire to have been right are two desires, and the sooner we separate them the better off we are. The desire to be right is the ‘thirst for truth’. On all accounts, both practical and theoretical, there is nothing but good to be said for it. The desire to have been right, on the other hand, is the pride that goeth before a fall. It stands in the way of our seeing we were wrong, and thus blocks the progress of our knowledge”.

How do we change??? I propose, we should be humble in reminding ourselves of our relatively inept ability to perceive truth. Having the courage to accept fact and/or the best advice from coaches and the people who know us best, might help avoid thinking the truth as an inconvenience. We are all inherently guilty of wishing false things to be true; perhaps the more we accept this, the more palpable swallowing fact may be. After all, there is a great tragedy of Science, involving “the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact”. Evid. Based Med. 2009;14;68-69. Just as there may not be such a thing as a stupid question, we can be rest assured that there are many ugly facts that we have yet to accept.