MJR wrote:Because it affects performance, at all levels, that's why. Look at how many times SFH or Steve Holman blew it in big races.
Interestingly, before I scrolled down to your message, I was thinking of Holman.
The original post in this thread raises interesting questions, but unfortunately, doesn't even hint at an answer. There is a reference to studies in the area, but no citations.
There is no hint of an answer because it was entirely a question. I was hoping to find out whether anyone knew of any studies in this area.
I was the coach of a 3X national champion. In subsequent years, she usually performed well below what she had done before, although the workouts were similar and she was much stronger.
There were four notable exceptions: (1) a strong thunderstorm, which drove everyone off the track and I believe loosened her up. Now others have also noticed this phenomena, but relative to the other runners she performed well and almost equalled her PB. (2) after a poor race, there was a long wait, a lot of running around with others and general disassociation with what she was there for. Again, times that were among her best, and could have been much better, except as noted by another, if she had tried harder as in a final, it probably wouldn't have been as good. (3) and (4) Arriving late and focusing on the mistakes made in arriving late. So there was excitement and anxiety but not over the event, but over letting others down. Again, stirling performances.
Over the next 3 years, there were some good times, but never as good as when she was younger. This can't be accounted for merely by change of body shape, because she was both faster at short distances and now easily ran 8 to 12 or 13 miles fairly often. But competition with another girl in her league who could challenge her meant a collapse, particularly in XC. Her track times from 800 to 3K were better than this other girl's. However, by chance, or perhaps by plan for she was now coached in school, they never faced each other in track.
Of course, she did not race in college, but meeting her again, she says that she still runs 30 to 40 miles a week. Never injured.
For anyone looking at any of my posts, I have commented on this before. It is one of the reasons why I am not in favor of pre-H.S. track competition. For those who come up with exceptions who have developed well, I suggest that there are many many more who did not run before h.s. and did exceptionally well and there are many many more exceptional age-group runners who dropped out.
In fact, I think that the exceptions to my rule would have done just as well without the earlier training. Early training plus later success does not mean that the one caused the other. There greater number of failures would indicate that the opposite is more likely true.
Needless to say, this is not physical science. The psychological element is dominant.
To come back to my original question however. If any of you are familiar with sports psychologists, you might inquire whether or not there are any studies that see both success and failure emanating from the same psychological/adrenaline type bundle.