Avoid the negative effects of success and failure in sport

Avoid the negative effects of success and failure in sport

The Post Competitive Period, of Transit or Restoration; It is valued as very important when analyzing the results, positive or negative, that obtain the Athletes in the competition, they will cause certain psychological effects that, if they do not receive the appropriate treatment, can generate personality disorders, with dire repercussions for its future performance.

The preceding reason requires special attention from the Psychologist and Coach, as appropriate, with the following issues in mind:

  • Psychological effect of victory and defeat.
  • Analysis of the results.
  • Individualized therapy.
  • Stimuli and penalties.

The previous table reflects a summary of the aspects that should be taken into account when concluding the competitions, to establish the mechanisms that allow the channeling of the attention that some of the doctors and / or psychologists may need, or specifically from the Coach.

First, it must be analyzed whether the results obtained by each of the Athletes correspond to their:


  • 1 Levels of aspirations
  • 2 Positive effects or consequences of victory (success):
  • 3 Positive effects or consequences of defeat (failure):
  • 4 Negative effects or consequences of victory (success):
  • 5 Negative effects or consequences of defeat (failure):
  • 6 Analysis of the results
  • 7 Individualized therapy
  • 8 Stimuli and penalties
  • 9 Future Goals

Aspiration levels

If they aspired to have lower or equal results than those obtained in the competition, they will experience:

  • Successful experiences.
  • It will increase their confidence and willingness.
  • Your mood will be positive.

For these reasons, strict control of the level of aspirations of each one, with respect to the competences, must be carried out periodically, since the results of these significantly influence the individual and team emotional states.

The use of methods of psychic self-regulation, when facing these situations, they will help you avoid the negative effects that can lead to victory and defeat.

Positive effects or consequences of victory (success):

  • Satisfaction.
  • Security.
  • Greater dedication
  • Stability.
  • Joy.
  • Desires to compete more.

To the same extent that victory or success originates the aforementioned effects; also the defeats or failures, provide in the Athletes those that are related next; to facilitate reflections on how to use them based on their education.

Positive effects or consequences of defeat (failure):

  • Increase in energy
  • Self-critical ability
  • Volitional Development
  • Real self-assessment
  • Desires to solve difficulties.
  • Search for possibilities.

If these positive effects or consequences are properly exploited, the future results will be superior, but it is not good to trust too much, because both victory and defeat also cause negative effects or consequences.

Negative effects or consequences of victory (success):

  • Overvaluation
  • Arrogance.
  • Excessive value.
  • Loss of interest in training.

Negative effects or consequences of defeat (failure):

  • Resignation.
  • Undervaluation
  • Pessimism.
  • Indecision.
  • Apathy.
  • Conflicts in the team, etc.

With Athletes who manifest these negative effects of victory and defeat, differentiated attention should be planned, based on their psychological characteristics and appropriate procedures used to lead them along the path of critical self-analysis, of proper self-assessment, of the self-regulation of their emotional states, their way of thinking and acting.

Analysis of the results

If the team or Athlete obtained the victory, it is advisable that the analysis of the results of the same, focus on:

  • The assessment of the difficulties that still persist, determining with the active participation of all, the action plan to eradicate them.
  • The collective recognition of those who stood out the most, of those who contributed to this victory on a larger scale.
  • The establishment of higher goals, in correspondence with the level of individual and collective aspirations and with the real possibilities of each Athlete and the team.

In the analysis of defeat it is recommended that:

  • Do not develop in the moment that occurs, as almost always, as we say popularly: the spirits are heated and very often far from making appropriate assessments, what they all do is to discharge their anger with those who interpose or simply not listen with excellence, since everyone has their attention focused on what they think should happen, blaming themselves or others.
  • Stimulate the critical self-analysis of each of the team members, guiding them in an educational way to assess whether the insufficiencies they presented are related to their poor theoretical, physical, technical - tactical preparation, with the inadequate psychic self-regulation; among other.
  • Get the coach to self-assess mentally, with the help of a guide for self-analysis, the degree of responsibility he has had in defeat. If you have played your role as the maximum leader of the team and that you set your own goals to solve the deficiencies that are still present.
  • Do not allow them to blame each other; This can cause conflicts between them that threaten the necessary climate or psychological atmosphere that must exist to turn the reverse into future victories. Remember that: to criticize constructively, without cruelty; to guide and to direct, there is the Coach.
  • Highlight the performance of those who, despite the defeat, excellently fulfilled their duties and are deserving of the recognition of the team.
  • Develop, with the active participation of all, an action plan to solve the difficulties that prevented the victory.
  • Stimulate the establishment of individual and collective commitments for the eradication of the difficulties that arose, with precise short and long term goals, as appropriate.

Individualized therapy

Occasionally the defeat originates in some Athletes, certain traumas or psychological disorders that require the attention of a sports psychologist. Given this situation it is recommended that it is necessary if they really require such attention. If so, then they must be prepared psychologically to receive their services and collaborate with the information they have about them, as a product of the characterization that has allegedly been achieved during the various Training Periods and Stages.

It is recommended that they prepare themselves psychologically for consultation with the psychologist, because if they are not convinced of the help that they can provide to solve their problems, due to the specialized knowledge they have in this regard, the treatment will become more extensive in diagnosis and communication, since it will significantly interfere with the barrier of distrust.

It is also appropriate to insist that the policy of:

Stimuli and penalties

It must be used in correspondence with the effect that each of the Athletes could have; so that the sanctions really have the educational character by which they are conceived and the stimuli act as true motivational springs for the fulfillment of higher goals.

When it is intended to sanction it is essential to assess the fairness that it must have and in the meaning it has for the Athlete. Also assess the psychological characteristics of it, if the measure would really solve the problem and if it would have the educational function expected of it.

The cruelty, hurting their feelings, can be dire for their future development, as an athlete and as an active member of society. They should be punished in correspondence with the fault they commit, always try to ensure that the measure has a close relationship with the error or indiscipline they had.

Keep in mind when stimulating, the tastes and interests of those who receive the stimuli; to be effective. Always think that if the mechanisms or resources used for stimulation mean nothing to the person to whom it is directed, it accepts them for delicacy, but they do not have the desired effect, they do not motivate them to continue striving for superior results.

Future goals

When analyzing with Athletes what is related to the establishment of goals, it should be taken into account that they, by nature, help stimulate their motivation and self-confidence, but their improper planning can cause frustrations, if the level of aspirations is far superior to their chances of compliance.

  • It is necessary that they stimulate themselves to propose individual goals, real and possible, that imply self-demands in the realization of the efforts.
  • That they make sense to them, that they correspond to their aspirations, otherwise they would not have a reason to strive to fulfill them.
  • They must relate, of course, to the future objectives of the team and which tend to improve the current results.
  • It is very useful that they write these goals individually and indicate dates on which they must meet them, since if they do not do so, they are unlikely to meet them.
  • That they keep their systematic control, critically assessing daily progress. This control should be checked periodically, to stimulate or demand them, as appropriate.

By way of conclusions: if all the issues raised in this article are taken into account, the negative effects of defeat and victory will be avoided; contributing thus to raise the scale of successes of the Athletes, in the sport and social plane.

Prof. Wilfredo Denies Esquivel