Is it better to NOT LOSE or to WIN?

Is it better to NOT LOSE or to WIN?

Some recent research has just been carried out at John Hopkins University on ‘choking’ (i.e. freezing up and performing badly).
It’s pretty interesting, see what you think.

Question is this:
When you compete/fight, what’s more important to you – To WIN or to NOT LOSE?

Once you cut through the bullshit that you *don’t* care if you win or lose that is.

Here’s how I see it. Although we train and fight to win, it seems that we place more emphasis on *not losing* rather than winning.

Try this thought experiment…
You’re going to have a fight.
There are different results to the fight, one where you lose, and one where you win.
Imagine getting the win as vividly as you can – notice what that’s like.
Now,
Imagine losing as vividly as you can (horrible as it is) – notice what that’s like.

Which gives you the strongest reaction?

For many, the strongest reaction will be from the loss. Which is weird, given that a win is well, what we *should* want, by all accounts.

So it seems some people are Highly ‘Risk Averse’ – i.e. they absolutely HATE losing, and some people are Less risk averse (i.e. they don’t go quite so mental when they lose.)

Have a think and figure out which you think you are more of (hit me up if you need help), and then think about your next event.
What will motivate you more in your fight camp, the prospect of losing, or the prospect of winning.

By the way, it’s ok for you to hate losing more than winning if it:
a) Get’s you to smash it in training
and
b) Gets you the Win.

If it doesn’t. then change something up.
What would happen if you spent the first half of the camp thinking about NOT wanting to lose and the second half WANTING to win?
Or swapping them around.
See what happens.
Explore.
Find what works for you.

One final point on this…..

When the stakes are higher (think title fights etc) the different types of people respond differently.

High risk averse folk who are coming off a loss seem to perform better in the next challenge.

Those who where low risk averse seemed to get more wins until they reached higher stakes (again think title fight), and then they choked!

If none of the above seems to work with you then just focus on being ‘in the moment’, in that flow state, in your zone.

Any research dweebs can look at this study for more brain melting info: Journal Reference:

Vikram S. Chib, Shinsuke Shimojo, and John P. O’doherty. The Effects of Incentive Framing on Performance Decrements for Large Monetary Outcomes: Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms. The Journal of Neuroscience, November 2014

Leave a Reply