Adversity and Rivalry Found to Boost Performance.
An article published this week in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport concluded that “Adversity-related experiences are vital in the development of superior Olympic Performances”. It suggested that carefully managed adversity can provide the perfect growing conditions for elite development.
The research reminded me of a speech given in 2008 by JK Rowling to graduating Harvard University students titled “The fringe benefits of failure”. In a beautifully crafted talk, she outlined the strength she had got from her “rock bottom” realisation of what was important. Failure she says allows a clearing of the mind that allows the development of focused determination. Her 21 minute talk is inspiring and really worth watching.
As well extolling the benefits of failure, research this week has also highlighted that developing a rivalry also has distinct benefits for sporting performance. Studies have shown that general performance is improved when people are watching and elite sporting performance is greater in competitions that feature an individuals rivals.
Perhaps what doesn’t kill you does make make you stronger……