by Allan Waddell
August 15, 2017


When you first talk to competitors about this philosophy they think you don’t want them to win or that you are trying to make excuses for your inability to help them win.


When people put so much weight on a result, especially winning, they fall into a trap of becoming a day dreamer. Their vision is to win which is great but lacks process. For a lot of people their self-worth, ego, status etc are also tied to this outcome. This makes it hard for them to see and even harder to change.

You’ve seen this person in action – they are the cheater or the one that wants to take you on but once they realise they can’t win they quit or they become emotional. This person has formed some rules about winning and losing that are back to front. They have put the cart before the horse so to speak. When you enter into competition to win your attitude can be swayed easy, your confidence can be eroded quickly, and your resilience can be smashed.
Winning is the result of your attitude, your effort, your physical and mental capacity, your desire, your stress management skills, your reflexes, your health, and a sprinkle of luck – all meeting at a spot. That spot is the last millisecond of the competition you entered.


[btx_quote author=”” style=”border”]There are lots of things that go into winning and the biggest of them all is ATTITUDE.[/btx_quote]


So, let’s start at the beginning – TRAIN TO WIN. What does this mean?

This means that when you have made a choice to engage in competition you must put 110% into your preparation. You must be open to instruction, you must be willing to work on your mind and your body. You must be willing to understand who or what you are competing against. Training to win means that you are developing the attitude of a champion. If you are working with partners then you work hard with them but always as a partner never as opponents. Giving each other lots of effort in the spirit of partnership will lift both. If in a team, then the team spirit has to be developed in partnership. Even if one team member is amazing they are not the team and the team should never think of them as the lucky charm.

It is easy for coaches, whose main focus is to win, to glorify a player and give them more than their fair share of match time to the exclusion of others. If the score is running against them then the coach will become worse.

Good coaches know the ATTITUDE NOT THE EGO of the team or player has the most priority. Building the” teams” ability to win is where the foundations need to be set.


When you focus on learning you are more likely to ask questions rather than make statements. This frees your mind to find solutions and notice more. It puts you into a resourceful state.

You will begin to see how to manage your attitude and actions, constantly fine tuning and this will lead you to better results.
My Sensei would say to me, “When someone does something twice, punish them on the third time.” What he was saying is notice what your opponent does and if he makes a habit of it then take advantage of it or neutralise it the next time. To do that you have to be in a “Learner” mindset.
Some people do this naturally, it is in their DNA but most struggle to put their focus in this area.

Making statements like “I can’t do this,” “This is going to be tough”, “You dropped it”, “He’s a Bully”, locks your brain to an outcome and makes it harder to see clearly. This takes no effort and is the usual fall-back position for people under stress. A learner is always asking resources questions like ” how can we do this”, “What strengths will I need,” “What do we need to do to help you catch better,” ” Why is he targeting me,” not just making statements.

Having an attitude of learning in competition can free up a lot of performance anxiety and suggests that competition is part of a journey rather than a destination or an identity.

When you are thinking more resourcefully you are more likely to perform better.


[btx_quote author=”” style=”border”]VALUES drive our BELIEFS, drives our ATTITUDE, drives our ACTIONS, drives our RESULTS.[/btx_quote]

To be thinking about results first is like trying to eat dinner before you’ve cooked it. There is a lot of work to be done before you get to eat. Of course you need to have vision for the meal but the concentration has to be on the preparation especially if the end result you are seeking is greatness.  Working your focus back through your beliefs and attitude and then actions will set you up for great results. This way of thinking will provide a lasting and fulfilling experience of competition.

After all, shouldn’t competition just be a “QUEST TO BE OUR BEST” – Interestingly the word quest comes from a Latin word meaning to ask/ seek.

Makes you think doesn’t it…