Friday, June 14, 2013

Can "Will to Win" Make Up for Training?

The short answer is, "No".
The slightly longer answer is, "Sometimes."

Saying "no" might seem hypocritical when my last post was all about how wanting to badly enough is key to winning.

My point is, though, you have to want to every day, not just at that moment of competition. In fact, the two feed into each other in a virtuous circle.

If you really, really, want to win, no matter how much you hate getting up in the morning, no matter how much you hate sprints, you will get up at 5 a.m. and run sprints up hill every day. Not only will you be in better shape than your opponent, but in the middle of that match, you will subconsciously be thinking,

Bitch, you are NOT going to beat me. Do you realize I got up at 5 a.m. and ran sprints up hill every god damn day for the last three months to train for this? Oh, no you are NOT beating me!
I was sitting next to one of my teammates on a flight to Europe once and asked her how her training had been going. She explained that she had to work, go to school, had some injuries, so that she had not been doing a lot of physical training but she had been doing lots of mental conditioning.

I asked,

So what you are saying is that you haven't really been doing judo but you've just thought about working out a lot?

She gave me a dirty look and responded,

Well, it sounds kind of stupid when you put it that way.

Guess which one of us won the tournament.

If you really want to win, you will be training. Someone who wants to win really badly isn't going to win against someone else who wants to win just as badly and trained more. You might ask if they wanted to win just as badly why did they train less? I'll pretend you asked that, anyway. The reason might be that the person to lost is just younger, newer to the sport, they had fewer years or months to train.  So, other things being equal (the Latin for this is ceteris paribus, abbreviated as c.p.  - when you get that question right on your SATs , you'll thank me), c.p., you will win if you are the one who wants to the most.

Wanting it more than the other person can make up some distance in technique, tactics or physical conditioning, but it cannot substitute for it completely.

I remember one of my brothers trying to put off cleaning his room asking my mom about some of the Psalms in the  Bible that say good things come to those who wait on the Lord. Without missing a beat, Mom turned on him and said,

Good things come to those who wait on the Lord. Better things come to those who work like hell while they're waiting. Get up there and get to work!

------------- Allen Wrench says you should buy Winning on the Ground

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Anonymous said...

"No bitch, you're not beating me." that hostility towards an opponent is never something I've been good at. Even in matters of self-defense, I've always been taught "fighting for life is necessary, baring hatred towards the one who attacked you isn't." Also, taking things personally can be a distraction. I agree that the will to win can push you beyond. But some people live training intensely as a way of life, so slack doesn't apply because it's their every day. As I type, I'm wearing a 40 lbs. weight vest, leg weights, ankle weights, the entire all pro outfit of body weights and I only take it off when I'm about to go to sleep.

Growing up, I used to be like you and Ronda. Every time I would lose at something, ANYTHING, I would get angry and cry. However, I was taught a different lesson; I was being a sore loser, not a winner. Was it a disservice to me? I can't say for sure. But I do know that being the eye of the storm of battle is much more beneficial than being doped up on machismo. It's what the French call "Sangfroid."

Anonymous said...

Your comment on mental conditioning is rather unusual as I would figure a PhD. in developmental psychology (which includes psycho-physiology, I'm sure) such as yourself would be familiar with that technique. Believe it or not, mental conditioning can be just as good as actual practice as long as it's precise and controlled. You can close your hand as if you were holding weights in them and just do the motion of bicep curls while visualizing them (meaning not just what they look like, but how they feel as if they were already there) When combined with training, it's even better! Bodybuilders who visualize the results they want do significantly better than those who do not. I've been in situations where I hadn't sparred or rolled for months because other things were just more important at the immediate moment and in those times, I relied on such training. However, when I cleared them up and got back into the groove, I found myself working at a higher level. Not only that, but it has shown that I was able to work from a greater level of human potential altogether, as opposed to just doing the same thing that everyone else was doing, but bigger and better.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I am not against mental conditioning, quite the opposite. What I do believe and I have plenty of experience to bear it out, is that mental conditioning PLUS physical conditioning is better than mental conditioning alone.

Stonewall Jackson said...

Dr.D, I absolutely love the first-person thought balloons you share in your writing,'No bitch, you're NOT beating me!' Simple and to the point, and not to mention very entertaining. And yes, you are that funny, even if YOU don't think you are.

Stonewall Jackson said...

Oh, and by the way, I absolutely agree with you. Just because I THINK about playing guitar as good as E. Van Halen or Keith Richards, doesn't mean I'm going to. You can't really develop the correct muscle memory hands and fingers need just by thinking about it. Ya gotta press some strings!

John Brooks said...

Thane Yost put this succinctly "The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare."
It is a great point that some athletes seem to think doesn't apply to them, special snowflakes that they are.

Love the blog. Inspired me to start training judo.

Anonymous said...

"What I do believe and I have plenty of experience to bear it out, is that mental conditioning PLUS physical conditioning is better than mental conditioning alone." There can be no denying that.