Chapter 11. A WINNING, PERFORMING-UNDER-PRESSURE ATTITUDE

Attitude is a matter of choice.[19]

An attitude is a predisposition to respond. It's a consistent way of behaving that makes it more (or less) likely that certain things will happen. A winning attitude is a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that predisposes us to success. A negative attitude is one that predisposes us to disappointment, dis-ease, and failure. And a performing-under-pressure attitude is one that enhances success in high-pressure situations. Here are three things to keep in mind about attitude:

  • Our attitudes color our perceptions and affect our actions.

  • Our attitudes are our own. We create them.

  • Our attitudes can be changed.

Professional sport appreciates the impactof attitude on performance. When scouting a young prospect, a baseball organization considers both physical and psychological attributes in determining who has the potential to become a big leaguer. When I worked with the New York Mets, each player in the organization was reviewed periodically with regard to both their physical and psychological "make-up."

Make-up, a term that describes character, incorporates motivation, commitment, practical intelligence, coachability, confidence, composure, and command. Composure and command relate specifically to how a player deals with and performs under pressure. There are innumerable examples of players with seemingly limited physical skills, who were initially passed over in selection drafts and organizational ...

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