The Effects of Performing Below Expectations in an Olympic Year

Wendy Borlabi, USOC, USA

Theme: Elite performance

Program ID: SYM-22

Presentation: October 5, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Napoleon


In the NFL, it is called “Black Monday,” the Monday after the last regularly scheduled game, and coaches are fired for nonperformance. Every sport has a “Black Monday,” and the Olympics are no different. In the Olympics the only goal is to win gold. There is so much hype and energy leading up to the Olympics and this includes the pressure to perform up to expectations and/or be the next breakout athlete. The school of thought in sport is that you hire and fire coaches and trade and acquire athletes until you find the right combination to win the championship. The same can be said for the Olympics and the National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) for each sport; however, there is no million dollar budget for acquiring the right athletes. An Olympic hopeful athlete must medal in the Games to make any money. In other words, he or she has to perform to obtain any money or get recognition. What happens when athletes are not successful? Does this affect his/her coach and support staff? This presentation will focus on Olympic performances that were below expectations and how this affected the current coaches and athletes. In addition, issues related to these sports’ continued training in the future will be addressed.

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