The Fear of Success can also influence athletic performance. This may sound downright silly, but it does occur. It may even occur more than some of us realize. The Fear of Success can also impede athletic performance. The Fear of Success encourages athletes to hold back their performances for, again, a perception of too much responsibility, attention, or higher expectations or a lack of self confidence. For example, there may be an extremely talented 2nd string cornerback on the team. He can easily beat out the 1st string CB for the starting position, but he chooses not to. He may not do so because he may not think he’s not good enough to start, may become anxious by the thought of more attention on him, or various other reasons. Again, this is more of a perception issue rather than an actual issue. This is another interesting concept to be mindful of when working with athletes.
The perception of success and failure can motivate athletes to perform in certain ways. Whether this perception be grounded in personal experience or completely created by the athlete in his or her head, it should be addressed in a way that allows for understanding and improvement by the athlete. Just a little nugget of information I wanted to pass along!