Is it the biggest killer of performance?

Lin Dan - Badminton athlete in a mood

“Perhaps the biggest killer of performance? Mood! “I’m not feeling it today…” “I feel a little flat…” “I feel lethargic…” In my humble opinion, mood is one of the biggest killers of performance. The biggest? I don’t know. But I know it’s one of the most frustrating for coaches. At the competitive level (lets say 14 years and up) players tend to be inconsistent. Why? In part because sports are complicated. By that I mean sports are hard to play…they’re difficult. But another explanation is because people are complex. They work on several levels…biologically, psychologically and socially. The deepest level…the biological one…is enormously powerful, and that is where mood emanates. Mood emerges from the depths of competing hormones. It shapes itself as negative feeling that sticks like super glue. It throbs…sometimes from head to toe. It saps energy and rocks a competitor back onto their heels. Aggressive, front foot play becomes impossible with mood. So my friends in coaching, put Psych-Social first. If you want to help players manage that horrible, sticky feeling that be mood, you need to master the ability to help players regulate themselves. You need to master the ability to help players master themselves. And that needs a Psych-Social plan..”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at

When I was about 17, I remember my coach said to me, whatever happens to you, come down to training. If your cat dies, if you are feeling ugly or just broke up with your girlfriend. Come down to training. When I read the above, I can relate to his words and it was not a matter what mood I was in. Now I know, he knew he could make a turn of my mood.

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