Sports Psychology: How To Have A Winning Attitude

5 min readAug 8, 2016


The most famous athletes in sports are the winners. In the words of Walter Hagen, “no one remembers who came in second.” And it’s no surprise. The people that you and I look up to are those who are successful in what they do. But what makes these athletes successful? What do they all have in common? The answer is simple: A winning attitude.

When it comes down to the final minutes and the game is even, it will all boil down to the athlete’s mentality. After minutes and hours of pushing your body to extreme levels just to win, it is only natural for the human body to feel burned out. When that happens, nothing else is going to push you even harder but your own psychology and it is evident in the greatest of winners. Read further to find out what it takes to have the winning attitude.

A winning attitude is must in order to win


Training is a huge part of what makes our favorite athletes so great. It’s not all about talent. As NBA superstar Kevin Durant once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” You can be blessed with all the talent in the world but if you don’t work hard to achieve your potential, then someone else will always be wearing that gold medal. It’s very important to keep in mind that most games are won or lost even before it is actually played. Most games are decided in the athlete’s preparation. If you want to win so badly, train as if your life depended on winning. Aim to better yourself each and every day.


There is no champion in the entire world that doesn’t love what he is doing. Be obsessed with every single detail of the sport and it will all play in slow-motion. Be consumed by your desire to win and be the best. Just like in relationships, however, falling in love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. You have to be ready to take whatever hardships that comes with the sport. Enjoy it — the good and the bad. Which takes us to the next item on our list..

Fall in love with your sports. Image Source (Link)

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OPTIMISM Can Help Achieve Winning Attitude

Michael Jordan, widely known as the best player in basketball history, once said a very good quote with regards to success. He said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.” If one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen has had his fair share of failures, why should you be afraid to fail? In any sport, there will always be roadblocks that will try to hinder your progression but that doesn’t mean it can stop you. In fact, it shouldn’t. There’s a mountain up ahead? Climb it. You’re at the edge of a cliff and the finish line is at the bottom? Either find another way or learn how to fly. You will have your share of failures and trust me. That’s okay. Let your loss be your motivation to win even more.

Michael Jordan is a great example of winning attitude


Every superstar didn’t just become big overnight. They dreamt about it. Kobe Bryant wrote about it in his farewell to basketball. In his poem, he said he was six years old when he fell in love with basketball. That’s when he started dreaming about shooting game-winners. Lebron James, the reigning NBA finals MVP and world champion said he’s always dreamed about winning a championship for his hometown. Tiger Woods, arguably the best whose ever played golf, has dreamt about surpassing Nicklaus’ record. The list goes on and on and on. Every great athlete has imagined themselves becoming one. Set goals for yourself and work hard towards achieving that goal. Don’t be afraid to dream about things that no other athlete has accomplished. As Mike Tyson once said, “I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”


The one thing that separates great athletes from the ones who are just there to play is a balance between self-confidence and humility. Too much confidence is narcissism and lack thereof doesn’t mean humility. Have you played with anyone who just keeps on talking but isn’t really all that good? It’s not always the case but chances are that guy who keeps running his mouth is making up for his lack of skill. Don’t mistake trash-talk for confidence because it can also be just another cover up. Have confidence in the things that you poured your heart in to. Be confident in the things you practiced to the point of exhaustion but don’t let that confidence trick you into thinking that you’ve already reached your peak. The best athletes are humble enough to know that even after becoming champions, there is always something they can work on to become even better.


A winning attitude isn’t something you can have overnight. It’s a habit and like any other habit, it will need numerous times of repetition. Also, habits are very hard to form which is why a winning attitude is crucial to an athlete’s success. The good news is, although hard, it is very much possible. So as early as now, start forming this habit. At the earliest part of your day, remember to believe in yourself. Wake up with confidence and don’t let a day pass you by that you’re not thinking about and working hard towards your goal. Do this today and every day after, then who knows? In a few years, you might see yourself among the ranks of the all-time greats.

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