The Best Sport Psychology Quotes

This blog has some of the best sport psychology quotes. It’s a smörgåsbord of quotes from coaches, athletes and psychologists.

Some of the Best Sport Psychology Quotes …

The right kind of quotes punch well above their weight. In other words for such short sentences they can really make us think. The challenge is picking through them all to seperate the good ones from the well-intended garbage. So we have decided to put on the plastic gloves and do this for you. Below are some of our favourite sport psychology quotes. As you’ll see it’s a smörgåsbord of quotes from coaches, athletes and psychologists. Furthermore, we have unpacked each quote a little. Essentially, providing a quick explanation about why it has been included in this ‘best sport psychology quotes’ blog.

If you would like us to add your favourite sport psychology quotes paste them into the comments section below. Enjoy and please share with your networks. You have our full permission to copy and paste any of these to inspire or motivate or whatever.

Sport Psychology Quotes By Athletes

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts”

Dan Gable

Such a great sport psychology quote. So true. The medal, the trophy, the prize money are just symbols. The real reward it the actual hard work. To this end I am aware of many medal winners who don’t even bother to display them. They are in boxes collecting dust somewhere.


“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Wayne Gretzky

This is a quote for the ages by one of the greatest [ice] hockey players of all time. It allows us to reflect about the risk and reward of taking chances. Mentally, many athletes prefer to play it safe when under pressure. To pass the ball or puck to a teammate instead of taking the shot. Players like Gretzky become great due mainly to their mental and tactical excellence at a time when it was not common for athletes to work on these areas.


“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”

Arthur Ashe

This quote is less well known but is no less inspiring. It correctly suggests that trying to feel more confidence without reason is limiting. At Condor Performance we sometimes say to our clients ‘competence before confidence’. What we mean by this is the best way to feel more confidence is by actually improving your skills and abilities. And the best way to do this is via the right quantity of high quality preparation.


“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them; a desire, a dream, a vision

Muhammad Ali

Not sure ‘the greatest’ meant to infer the following but anyway. Far too much of the sporting pathways overemphasise physical and technical. There is far too little on mental, tactical and personal.


Dreams are free. Goals have a cost. While you can daydream for free, goals don’t come without a price. Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat. How will you pay for your goals?

Usain Bolt

This great quote gives us a possible sneak peak into why UB was one of the greatest of all time. He worked very hard in practice. He then relaxed (or tried to at least) on race day allowing that Time, Effort, Sacrifice, and Sweat to just bubble to the surface.


“I was forced to learn a lot about psychology as a player, and as a captain to get the best out of others. There’s still a lot of scepticism about it in sport and the workplace, but dealing with fluctuations of form, and pressure, and being away from home are more important than your cover-drive.”

Andrew Strauss

This quote is not one that we had not come across before until researching for this blog. Coming from one of the great thinkers of English cricket. It accurately explains that technical abilities (such as hitting a cover drive) don’t mean much without the mental side. Our coaching model Metuf explains this via the use of an analogy of an aeroplane.


Preparation is everything, focus is the key. It’s easy to say you gave it your all out on the pitch, but the point is if you’d prepared you’d have had more to give and you’ve have played better”.

Eric Cantona

This is such a great point from the Manchester united legend. What it sounds like he’s saying is there is only so much you can do on match day. Performers who take short cuts in training hoping to “bring it” on match day are likely to be found wanting.


The harder I work, the luckier I get”

Gary Player

This quote was originally linked with Samuel Goldwyn but later popularised by Gary Player. What he/they are saying is actually 100% accurate. If luck is the random stuff in sport we have no influence over then we can reduce the role this plays in terms of results by ensuring high quality effort. You can read more on the psychology of luck in sport here.


“I got more bruises, grass-burns and cuts in practice than in match play.” 

Jonty Rhodes

This quote is from legendary South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes. Despite retiring more than 15 years ago he is still considered one of the best fielders to ever play the same. The full article, from which the above was taken, can be viewed here.


“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” 

Kevin Durant

There is an argument that the whole concept of talent is a bit of a myth. Essentially, when people refer to talent they are basically meaning genetics. In other words one of the few factor of performance that we have no influence on at all. We will be writing a full blog post on this shortly, when done you will see the link here.

The Michael Jordan Section:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

This is arguably one of the best sport psychology quotes of all time. It helps us to understand that performances at all levels and all types are full of errors. Knowing that processes (effort) and outcomes (results such as winning) are seperate are key here. And as performers knowing we have a lot more influence over the former also helps.


“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

Michael Jordan

Against Jordan is showing us that it was his mindset that made him so special. Being able to distinguish between effort (“trying”) and results (“failure”) is so very important. Once way to do this is forget about being able to control anything. Instead consider the amount of influence you have. The more influence the more mental value you might to put on those areas.


“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Michael Jordan

This quote is all about creativity. For example, during the Corona Virus, which was full of obstacles, did you stop? Or did you find another way to do the tasks you value?


“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.”

Michael Jordan

Actions and desires are not as linked as you might think. In the work we do as sport psychologists and performance psychologists we don’t do as much work on thoughts and emotions as you might imagine. Why? At the end of the day, especially in sport, it’s all comes back to actions. Would you rather kick the ball in the right way whilst thinking negatively or kick it incorrectly whilst thinking positively?


“The minute you get away from fundamentals – whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing.”

Michael Jordan

As knowledge of sport psychology and sport science explodes we are at great risk of getting away from the fundamentals. In other words it is becoming harder and harder for athletes to stick to the basics. The great coaches can have it both ways. Their sport psychology knowledge can grow without letting this overcomplicate their coaching. Do you know what your fundamentals are?

Sport Psychology Quotes By Coaches

“It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts”

John Wooden

John Wooden is considered by many as the first real mental coach in sport. He was either the first or one of the first to really take the mental side of performance seriously. In this sport psychology quote he highlights the importance of never ending learning.


“Good teams become great ones when the members trust each other enough to surrender the Me for the We”

Phil Jackson

This quote speaks for itself.


“Comfort the challenged, and challenge the comfortable”

Ric Charlesworth

This quote is more or less about the concept of flow. Flow is basically trying to find the sweet-spot between too easy and too hard. As coaches or psychologists we’re trying to help those we work with to not only find this middle ground. But we also want them to have the skills to thrive once they find it.

Sport Psychology Quotes By Famous People

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.”

Mark Victor Hansen

Perfectionism is a common mental block in sport and performance. You can have some of the motivational qualities of it without the ugly side with a simple reframe. Instead of striving to be perfect aim to just be better. And do this through the right quantity of high quality preparation. This quote is similar to a bunch that are related to ‘great being the enemy of good’.


“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

Vincent van Gogh

You might be starting to sense a theme from some of these great quotes now. Doing and thinking are not the same. Focus more on the doing and less on the thinking. Would you rather be the best thinker of doer in your sport or performance area?


“Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have.”

Brian Tracy

Have you ever heard ‘fake it til you make it’? Maybe a better version for sport psychology consulting is ‘fake it til you feel it’. This is so powerful. Waiting until you feel a certain way before you act that way is so very limiting. If you don’t know how then hire an acting coach and ask for them to help you. Or get in touch with us and we can include this as part of a larger mental training plan.


“Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.”

T. Harv Eker

Similar message. Thoughts and feelings are not fused with behaviours. You can still do remarkable things regardless of how you might be thinking and feeling.


“The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.”

William Jennings Bryan

This quote speaks for itself.


“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

This quote speaks for itself.


“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

This is such a great quote. In sport, worrying about what others (teammates, coaches) think of you is so common. Yet, it happens so much less than we realise. Furthermore, this has been confirmed via a number of lab experiments.

Sport Psychology Quotes By Psychologists

“Multitasking is seriously overrated. Try to do one task at a time and learn to do it with more intentionality”

Gareth J. Mole

From Gareth himself: I could write a whole book on this subject. Maybe I will one day! By multitasking I are not referring to doing more than one thing at a time. After all breathing is doing. It’s about trying to complete more than one non-automatic task at a time. For example, eating your lunch and typing an email. In my view these kinds of tasks are always best of being done separately. There are many reasons but the main one is this kind of multitasking means the quality of both tasks is compromised.


“They don’t hand out winners medals for those who were feeling the best”.

Gareth J. Mole

From Gareth himself: I am not sure if I can claim this or not. If it’s not something that popped into my head then I am not sure where is comes from. The full version is something like this. ‘They don’t hand out winners medals for those who were feeling the best. Nor do they for those who were thinking a certain way. They only give winners medals to those who did the best. Ran or swam the fastest. Jumped the highest or furthest. Threw the longest. Scores the most goals. Shot the most.


We have this thing in our mind of I gotta feel perfect, calm and confident and THEN I’ll perform well. Mate, if that’s the case you’re going to perform well a very, very small portion of the time”

Peter Clarke

This quote is taken from the first few seconds of Peter Clarke’s interview on the podcast Under The Lid with Scolls, Buck & Burkey. Once again it points out that we don’t need to be feeling a certain way in order to execute our motor skills under pressure. And in fact waiting to feel that way will limit the number of chances you give ourselves.


“Listen to everyone because even an idiot will have a good idea once or twice in their life. Then evaluate and pick out what works for you and commit to it.”

James Kneller

Our own James Kneller reminds us about the importance of listening. In sport we so often talk about the importance of experience. Well that experience is comprised if you’re always listening to the same people over and over again.

Sport Psychology Quotes By Unknowns

You are NOT your thoughts.”

Unknown

This quote might not even qualify as a quote. Maybe it’s just a fact. And certainly in the work we do as sport and performance psychologists it’s a fact worth remembering.

If you have a great sport psychology quote you know of that is not shown above please copy and paste it below. Once we verify it we’ll consider adding it to the correct sections above.

More Quotes To Be Added Soon

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”~ William Arthur Ward

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” ~ Babe Ruth

Sport Psychology Into The Future

Sport psychologist Gareth J. Mole muses about where sport psychology is headed and guesses what the field will look like in 2050.

What will the sport psychology landscape look like 30 years from now? Picture from FROM MOVIESTORE COLLECTION/REX/REX USA.

Back From The Future

Ok readers, I borrowed the Delorean and just got back from the year 2050. And you will not believe what I saw. Doncaster Rovers F.C. win the English Premier League for the second year in a row. And sport psychology is nothing like it is in 2020. It’s mainstream, it’s normal and it is regarded as the most important part of competitive sports.

I am of course kidding (wish I wasn’t). And in case some of you missed the Delorean reference let me context you. In 1989 the writers and producers of the classic movie Back To The Future 2 made some predictions about what life would be like in 2015. Marty McFly (pictured above) then went into the future in a Delorean time machine (also pictured above).

This Vanity Fair article actually shows how accurate some of these educated guesses turned out to be. Forecasting the future is one of the most remarkable aspects of being human. No other species can do it quite like we can. But it’s both a blessing and a curse. The upside is our ability to plan and things three moves ahead of our opponent. The downside is wasting mental energy such as “I just know I am going to play poorly tomorrow”.

Sport Psychology In 2050?

During a number of interviews between UK sport psychologist Dan Abrahams and his guests on the highly recommended The Sport Psych Show he asked them to imagine using a time machine to go back in time. I thought it might be fun and thought provoking to use it to go into the future instead!

In this article I will predict what the sport psychology landscape will look like thirty years from now. Just like Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (creators of the Back To The Future Trilogy) I will make some educated guesses. Feel free to save a copy and then get in touch in 2050. Let me know how accurate or inaccurate they turn out to be. I will not, in this article, focus on the problematic aspects of future-based thinking. But I will say this. We now know that one of the key aspects of sporting mental toughness is being able to focus at will on the present moment. In others words there are many occasions in a competitive sporting situation in which we literally want to ‘turn off’ our ability to think about the future. More on this during another article (which when written I will link here).

3 Majors Changes To Sport Psychology Are Coming

I hypothesise three major changes in the coming decades to dramatically change what sport psychology looks like. I predict that by the middle of this century the following will be taking place or have happened already.

  • The phasing out of generic (non-sport specific) sport psychology.
  • The phasing in of much greater checks about qualifications (or lack of).
  • A spike in sporting coaches working 1-on-1 with sport psychologists / performance psychologists. And the first few head coaches who are in fact sport psychologists themselves.

I will now go into more detail about each of the above.

Phasing Out of Generic Sport Psychology

By the end of this decade it will be universally accepted that the ‘interventions’ used to help someone with clinical depression are different from ‘the mental tools’ used to motivate a mentally well athlete whose training enthusiasm has dropped. (For those of you who are reading this who think this has already happened trust me it hasn’t. But we are getting there).

This move towards more specificity will then continue past 2030, More and more will accept that snooker and boxing are too different to be aided with the same psychological tools. There are so many sports now and we can’t pretend they all have the same mental requirements and therefore solutions.

Let’s Consider A Couple Of Key Questions

  • How much do the general strategies used by most (non-sport) psychologists apply to athletes and coaches who are trying to improve the mental aspects of their performance or coaching abilities?
  • How ‘transferable’ are various mental skills from one performance area to another? Or even from one specific sport to a different sport?

When trying to answer the first question we need to be a little careful not to imply that all psychologists use the same models. But there are some well established models which are likely to be more prevalent than others. That is for sure. So, how easily do these methods apply to sport and performance? The simple answer, in my opinion, is ‘about one third’ (see below for more on this).

For example, if the athlete is functionally well (without a recognised mental illness) then at Condor Performance we would not focus significant attention on a long and detailed history of the client’s mental health and wellbeing. We would most likely measure it via the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale every couple of months just to keep an eye on it. But the majority of the sport psychology sessions would be related to the mental aspects of the client’s sport.

This is not to say that some of the mental methods we often use from the get-go don’t have clinical origins. But the final versions which are presented to our clients would be largely unrecognisable to our non-performance focussed colleagues.

Examples

A great example of this would be our approach to goal setting. When we help our clients set goals we often introduce a level of accountability to these targets that some mental health practitioners might find objectionable. But from our standpoint, this level of accountability is a key ingredient in helping them get to the next level. If it is confronting for the client (‘you committed to 5 hours of practice a week, this didn’t occur, what happened?’) then we will use that to further the discusses by asking lots of ‘why’ questions. A practitioner with more of a mental health angle might default to just making the client feel better about this type of non-compliance. (‘You committed to 5 hours of practice a week, this didn’t occur, totally understandable given the current challenges’).

Another example might be mindfulness. Mindfulness looks rather different when you are doing some at home with few outside distractions to the version you might use on the golf course, for example. And the version you might use on the golf course is hopefully only partially the same as what a competitive tennis player might adopt.

How Transferable

So, how ‘transferable’ are mental skills from one performance area to another? Or even from one specific sport to another? In answering this question I often like to use the rule of thirds. Roughly a third of the mental ideas are due to generic sport psychology principles. Another third wants to acknowledge that although Olympic bob-sleighing and Clay Target Shooting are both sports they are bloody different pursuits. And the final third is further adapting the mental training program to that individual. To that person’s personality and learning styles.

In other words, the sports psychology services that we’d deliver to a competitive pro golfer with a drinking problem and a rugby league coach looking to improve their coaching abilities might only have a crossover of about 15 to 20%. One of the commonalities between these very different hypothetical client might be using some key aspects from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. For example, educational processes around “we are not our thoughts” might be useful for both of them. I have found a Behaviour First (only) approach to be universally beneficial in my sport psychology work regardless of who I am sitting in front of.

Some Sports Are Mentally Very Similar

Although I predict a phasing out of generic sport psychology we need to remember some sports are psychologically very similar. When you put the technical and tactical aspects to one side the same kinds of mental tools should work just as well for certain sports. Probably the best example that comes to mind is the work we do around Short Performance Routines to aid with concentration and execution under pressure. In helping a golfer create or improve his or her Pre Shot Routine(s) the principles will be almost identical in working a snooker player on their PSR.

Greater Checks about Qualifications

This is how I think it will work in 2050. If you want to charge a fee for advice on X then you need some kind of approved qualification in X. No exceptions. So if you want to be a personal trainer that goes to people’s houses and gives fitness advice in exchange for a fee you’ll need to genuinely qualified. I gather the whole physical conditioning industry is trying to make this happen at the moment.

Psychology in sport is years behind our S&C friends and co-workers but we will catch up. Over the next 30 years there will be a gradual phasing out of entities charging a fee for psychological advice (even if they call it something else) who doesn’t have some kind of approved training in psychology. This is a very difficult area and I suspect that more than a few tears will be shed along the way. The hardest part will be to get everyone to agree on what ‘approved training in psychology’ is. And then afterwards educating the public in such a way to reduce assumptions that Mindset Coach and a Sport Psychologist are one and the same.

More Coaches Working 1-on-1 With Sport Psychologists

This has already started to happen. In 2005 I worked with no sporting coaches. In 2020 roughly a third of all my monthly clients are coaches. The premise is this. Coaching education programs the world over are lacking in highly effective mental toughness training elements. We could try and improve all of these coach ed programs or even ask the coaches to do ‘approved training in psychology’ but there is an easier and better way. All sporting coaches, especially at the elite level, will be working behind the scenes with a genuine expert in sporting mental toughness.

This coach-sport psychologist collaboration will eventually result in sport psychologists taking up positions as assistant coaches and then eventually getting the ‘top job’ themselves. When this happens, and these professionals are successful and they stick with the title sport psychologist over Head Coach or Manager whilst in the top job, we can say we’re made it.

If you are a sporting coach and would like to get ahead of the curve then start by completing this questionnaire. This questionnaire will assess, amongst other factors, your current mental coaching abilities. You will then be contacted by one of our team within a day or two.

Psychology of Luck In Sport

How much does luck play a role in sport? Mentally, how do you deal with good and bad luck? Gareth looks at the psychology of luck in sport.

“The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Get”

Samuel Goldwyn
Which way will the ball go?

Luck in sport! I recently rewatched the 2006 Woody Allen movie ‘Match Point’. The film starts with slow motion footage of a tennis ball hitting the net and then going straight up. The voice over says ‘there are moments in a match when the ball hits the top of the net, and for a split second, it can either go forward or fall back. With a little luck, it goes forward, and you win.’

During the days after I watched the film two of my sporting clients mentioned luck during the our Zoom sessions. One spoke about ‘good luck’ and the other about ‘rotten, filthy luck’. One even asked me ‘mentally, how should I deal with luck?’ The question came at the end of the session which luckily allowed me to do a little reading up before replying via email the following day.

First of all I wanted to consider the question of what exactly is luck. More specifically what is it in the context of competitive sport. And is there a healthy way to interpret what luck really is from a mental toughness point of view?

Before we go through some common examples let’s try to define luck in sports as a generic concept. Luck would appear to be the word most commonly used to describe the variances in outcomes most impacted by chance. Lexico define luck (the noun) as ‘success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions’. For sport I would adapt this to something like the following. Luck (the noun) is ‘success or failure apparently brought more by chance than than through one’s own actions’.

So some sports have a greater luck component than others then? And indeed this is the case. The below video shows the results from Michael Mauboussin’s research on this very question.

Examples of Luck In Sport

There are too many sports and too many examples to choose from to do any justice to the section. So I will simply go through three scenarios that I have found quite common in my work as a sport psychologist.

Example One

Let’s go back to the footage that was used at the beginning of the movie Match Point. But let’s make it more specific. You are a tennis player who is serving to stay in match that is of great importance to you. Having lost the first point of the game the second point turns into a slugfest from the baseline. An attempted cross court winner from you results in the ball smashing into the top of the net where it bounces right up. It then drops down millimetres onto your opponents side of the net. You win this point and the game. You then go on to win the set as well as the match. 

Example Two

You are a young baseballer who decided to specialise as a pitcher early on. You live for your fastballs and your curveballs. When you finally make it onto your Division One college squad you realise that this particular team has a much better pool of pitchers than batters and fielders. It feels like rotten luck that your place in the team will probably depend on others either getting injured or under performing in the upcoming season. Dirty, rotten luck.

Example Three

You are a cricketer who picked up a significant ankle injury just before the coronavirus turned into an official pandemic. In normal years this injury would have resulted in you missing the first ten games of the season. However due to measures introduced to contain the virus you were able to complete a full rehabilitation program during lockdown. This resulted in you missing no games at all. The coronavirus turned out to be a very lucky break for you.

Spectrum of Influence

There are many ways that we can try and see the role that luck plays, not just in sport but in everyday life. But I have a favourite, a preferred way. For those of you who have seen the thought shaping module from any of the recent Metuf programs you will be aware that one of the “mentools” we use is all about influence. Basically, how much influence do you have on various different aspects of your sport? This involves two tricky considerations. First you have to be able to mentally separate things that don’t normally get separated. For example, the rain and putting up an umbrella or someone shouting at you and you walking the other way.

The art of mental separation is a vital pre-requisite in being able to manage Lady Luck in the most effective way. The second skill is knowing what aspects of training and competing you have lots of influence on and which you have little or no influence on.

Try It Now …

Go back and read through the three examples above once again. This time pick out which aspects are contributing to the good and bad luck scenarios. Now try and mentally seperate these from one another. And finally, put them into order from most influenceable to least. In doing this does it change the way you look at the situation in you mind’s eye? Let’s go through them together.

Example 1: The tennis ball hitting the top of the net.

So the main elements involved in this are:

  • the player (me)
  • the ball
  • my racket
  • the net
  • the winner of the point (also me)

For the sake of simplicity let’s assume weather played no part at all. No breeze helped push the ball the right side of the net. In order of most influence to least I would suggest the following:

  • me ~ most influence
  • my racket
  • the ball
  • the result of the point
  • the net ~ least influence

So you could say I have a lot of influence over my shot (intended shot) and none over the net (the height, what it’s made of etc). With this in mind there is a strong argument that your mindset wants to be more orientated towards the yourself. In other words instead of thinking you won that point because of luck of a net consider the amount of power you managed to get on the ball that still allowed it to make it over – albeit by the smallest of margins. Maybe a better mental response in the moment is a change of game plan that would allow you to hit less shots so close to the top of the net.

Example 2: The baseball pitcher who is completing against other excellent pitchers for the first time.

In this vignette, the issue is mentally joining (fusing) the desired outcome (to be one of the starting pitchers) with the abilities of others and the decisions of the coach. Teammates, other baseballers and coaches are just other people. How much influence do you have on them? None, a little, some or lots? I would lean towards some for those you are close to and only a little for the rest. Although I can totally understand why the abilities of teammates can be perceived as a threat (bad luck) the data actually suggests it will have the opposite effect.

In others words, as you will have to work harder (lots of influence) due to the healthy competition it will likely make you even better. So it might easily be said that the above example (#2) is actually a good luck scenario rather than a bad luck one. Regardless, the best mental responses will always be similar. Direct your limited mental energy towards the “stuff” you have a lot of influence on. Elements such as your own effort, your own plans and your own actions. Don’t get too caught up in the abilities of others.

Example 3: The cricketers who got lucky due to Corona Virus.

This is the trickiest vignette as it seems the most innocent. But there is a mental gremlin hiding. Can you find it? Go back and read it and ask yourself what it the danger of this situation?

As a practising sport psychologist I can see the issue from a mile away. The player in the example is potentially giving too much credit to this once in a lifetime (we hope) pandemic. In fact the majority of the credit wants to go to how the player responded to the setback. This is different (mentally seperate) from the setback itself of course.

You can imagine, depending how how luck or chance is perceived two very different statements from this cricketer at the end of the season.

“I got really lucky you know. The virus gave me an extra ten weeks of rehab. In fact, due mainly to the pandemic I didn’t miss a match in the 2020 season.”

Verus …

“At the start of 2020 I picked up ankle injury. As soon as I had my rehab program I was determined to stick to it no matter what. In the end I managed to actually regain full fitness by the start of the season. Oh, and the season started late that year from what I remember.”

Luck in sport and/or life is probably best thought of like the weather. Yes, it varies. Sometimes it will help and sometimes it will make things harder. Just get on with it.

Want Some Help With That?

If you’d like to receive details about our sport psychology services then you can get in touch a number of ways.