I like that article. I could see where a coach might succeed with the old mental toughness model. If one had recruited enough bodies to buy into the screaming, no pain, no gain, second place is the first loser mentality, then he needn't worry about cultivating athletic intelligence. He could keep inciting his athletes to give 110% and if some break down he would have another mindless body to throw into the fray. Of course, his athletes would have problems adapting to unexpected situations.
In my junior year of high school, I wanted to win a state track title with a passion. I did extra workouts two mornings a week (with coach's supervision) and I did all of my workouts hard. (I didn't learn the meaning of easy run until college.) I was injured and ended up having a disappointing season. My senior year, I had the same coach, but we didn't do the extra workouts. I still ran all of my workouts hard or moderately hard, but I didn't break down. I ran very well and ended up with two state titles. I did have mental discipline and I lived in the moment of the workout or the race. My attitude at state was summed up by one thought before my first race that day, “Let's see what happens.” I didn't have any expectations or preconceived notions. I just relaxed and ran my race and ran well.
This summer, I've run three 5K races. Before the first two, I worried about my fitness or my lack of warm up and I ran too conservatively with disappointing results. In my most recent race, I warmed up well and focused on competing and improved my time by 50 seconds. Not worrying allowed me to run a better race. I feel as if I gave myself permission to run well in the last race and withheld it in the first two.
[color=rgb(51, 51, 51)]working hard + smart > working hard[/color]