Food for Thought: Disappointed in Competition?

Losing a game, getting an injury, not improving your personal record; disappointment is synonymous with competition. As The Open drew close you too may be felt disappointment. James FitzGerald, Founder and Director of OPEX Fitness, offers two helpful perspectives.

1.Understand the fantasy of marketing and your maximum physical potential

“The market and media contribute hugely to an individual’s sense of disappointment with physical performance. They see a video on YouTube or in their Facebook feed of a fifty-two year old female crushing it in the gym and conclude because she’s doing it, they can too. But progress is not a linear, ever ascending thing. That’s a complete fantasy, a marketing device.

As a coach with twenty years of experience in progressing people physically I can tell you there is such a thing as maximum physical potential and it differs for every individual depending on age, genetics and mechanics. The best thing you can do is not look to that fifty-two year old woman for guidance on your physical potential, but turn your attention to where you sit on your continuum. Knowing where you sit will enable you to adopt realistic expectations around performance and hopefully, stave off disappointment.”

2.  Know that sport is a long game

“If people are disappointed with their performance in The Open it’s often because they’re failed to realize they’re participating in sport and they don’t have the characteristics necessary to participate. This is where it’s vital people understand the difference between fitness and sport. Fitness is participatory; anyone can do it with little or no preparation. Sport is not. Sport requires training and strategy over years, sometimes decades.

You’ll known when you have the characteristics necessary to participate in the sport of fitness, when you can look at the workout and the tasks and say fuck you, I’m going to show you how to do this. When you can truly challenge the workout and not have that workout challenge you then you’ve earned the right to participate. Until then, return to the gym, keep training and know that success in any sport takes time. It’s all about playing the long game.”