One thing that really stuck with me from the lecture given by Tracy on Thursday was the focus on sports psychology. I have always been fascinated with the idea of psychology in sports because as an athlete I know that I often think or behave irrationally in sports, yet do it anyway. For instance, Saturday night my team suffered a loss in which we played well as a team and executed our game plan well; however, our shots didn’t fall and the other team’s did. They held on at the end and we ended up with a big fat Loss. It is interesting to me because rationally I know I shouldn’t be that upset about one game. One loss. One forty minute period of my life. However, as an athlete there is so much more emotionally locked up in that “one game.” One game resembles everything you work for and work at, not only as an athlete but as a person. Sports are such a metaphor for life and competing as a collegiate athlete has taught me that the psychology in sports is extremely applicable to the psychology in life.
The loss sticks with you so badly as an athlete because of the investment of time and energy and love. The loss is as public way of announcing a failure. A failure where you may have even sometimes outperformed your opponent, but a failure nonetheless. Such is life. The psychology in sports that is often most trying for me as an athlete is sometimes knowing you outwork or outperform your opponent and you have nothing to show for it. No trophy, no championship, no glowing accolades of a “winner.” Yet, this is life. Competing as an athlete will demonstrate this to you time and time again. Sometimes the game isn’t fair. Sometimes life isn’t fair. This is what is most difficult to grapple with.