Winning – Expect to Win

There is a huge difference between WANTING to win and EXPECTING to win. If you want to win you’ll try pretty hard and might even make it. If you expect to win you will accept nothing less and do everything it takes to take the victory.

It is no coincidence that successful sports teams score late goals (or points if you’re in the States) to win matches or snatch a draw instead of defeat. These teams are brainwashed by their managers and coaches that it is their full entitlement to go out there and win the game in front of them. This is the  most difficult job of a manager or a coach but if it is done correctly it can lead to unrivaled success. If they do their job properly they will have the full belief and buy in of their players and every game will be approached in the same manner, and as a result no matter what the odds stacked against them are they will break down all obstacles before them in an attempt to win the game.

I’ve watched many successful football teams over the years scoring last minute, or even injury time, winning goals and I have listened on all those occasions as people around me  ranted and complained about how lucky these teams have been. Luck doesn’t even come in to the equation. The team were not lucky to be throwing attack after attack into the opponents box. They were not lucky to be pushing and pressing until the very last second of the match. This was not luck – this was purely down to the ingrained expectation that they could win the game … no matter how the result stood throughout the game, they believed they would come good and secure victory.

To the untrained ear this may sound farcical or simply nonsensical … but think about it – it cannot be a coincidence that these teams kept on going and going until they took something from the game. They had the vision in their heads that they would win, the manager had forced that in there … and they kept going with the belief that they could make it happen right up to the final whistle.

I’m sure we have all seen some teams change their manager and the team go from heroes to zero’s in dramatic fashion. The new manager can have all the skills in the world but if he cannot get his team to believe they are capable of winning each game in front of them then he has to rely on the self-motivation and self-belief that each individual player already has. This may carry him to some victories but when crunch time comes and the chips are in against a tougher opponent the team will undoubtedly fail as they are unable to rise to the occasion with enough belief.

Take this approach into singles sports or other events as well – believe that you will win, expect that you will win and more often than not you will. If you “hope” to win, “try” to win you are entering doubt immediately into your head. Try makes it sound like it is not definite, just an attempt. Hope makes it sound like it is out with your control, reliant on others or luck. It is not, it is reliant on you. Before a game / challenge / test … start expecting the right result. Remove all doubts.

Talk as though it is a foregone conclusion that you will succeed, especially the self-talk in your head or out loud. If you do this in public you may be seen as arrogant or over-confident so watch how much you say … but no matter what you do don’t use words phrases like “I’ll try my best to win” or “I hope I can get it” … remove the doubt, and use phrases like “I will do my best, I will give 100%” and “I can do this”.

If you use this approach you will start expecting more success and though you may not win all the events or games you enter you WILL have considerably more success than if you had entered with the half-hearted “trying”, “possibly”, “hoping” attitude.

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