My latest column, Belief and Breakthroughs, is up at Runner's Tribe. It's a very Optimal Training-esque look at the connection between a runner's belief and their ability to "break through" to another level.
I had been toying with writing a column on Belief for a few weeks when I read this great post called Magic of the Mind by Ryan at Flotrack. Ryan did a great job of using the current crop of women's distance runners to draw the connection between an athlete's belief and their performances. I didn't think I would do any better so instead I decided to write a kind of follow-up to his, where I looked at just how that connection happens and how athletes can strengthen it.
The article looks at three types of Belief, how one can build Belief, how Belief is tied to breakthrough performances, and then a short look at what we can expect in Berlin given what we've seen in Europe thus far. A snippet:
The mind really does seem magical when it comes to its effect on performances. Unlike the body, the mind seems to be able to switch from off to on in a blink, and its impact is disproportionate to the amount of time we pay attention to it. Ryan's comparison to magic is apropos. For many, even athletes competing at an elite level, it might as well be magic.
With that said, there's really nothing magical about Belief, or the mind in general, when it comes to success. The mind is equally as trainable as the body, and like an athlete's fitness, their Belief will go through similar ups and downs and plateaus. Great coaches train bodies to perform, but they also train minds to allow bodies to perform, and often it's the latter that's the difficult task. So let's take a look at the mechanics behind the magic.
Click here to read the full column.