The work ethics and rigorous maintenance that athletes retain have always intrigued me. Hence I decided to give the Think Like a Winner episode of the Freakonomics podcast a listen. The podcast focused upon the various beliefs that athletes base their strategies on and also questions some myths in sport and their practicality! An interesting link that the podcast also talked about was why economists hold interests in analyzing sports and what meaning it amounts to.
The construction of the podcast was also very well made, it was engaging and constituted of the right amounts of all the elements needed to keep a listener on board. The podcast starts with a pre-intro bumper that contained only the most interesting parts of the podcast so as to try and encapsulate the general idea of the podcast in a few seconds and give the listeners a feel of what they were going in to.
Following the intro-bumper, the podcast went into analyzing the first sports myth which was “the hot hand’s theory” and how predictable it really was. Similar to this many other sports myths were scrutinized while taking the opinions of professional athletes. The podcast then leans in to talk about the effect of confidence and belief in a game and the power the big game has on your performance.
The podcast in its construction has also utilized additional elements such as live sounds of the place and time being described so as to make the claims seem more real. The effect of this is that it also creates an ambiance and adds meaning to what the interviewee is saying.
The podcast then delves into the mental side of the sport and the effect it has on performance. Personally one of my favorite parts was when Bob Tewksbury, a mental-skills coach for the San Francisco Giants and also a retired pitcher in the major league said this; “Confidence is a choice. A lot of people think it’s a feeling. But if you wait for that feeling, it may never come.”. After which the podcast transitions into an interview with Shawn Johnson, a four-time Olympic medalist in gymnastics who speaks about how she is now terrified of gymnastics. Following these interviews, Kerri Walsh Jennings, one of the best beach volleyball players in history who won three Olympic gold medals had this to say; “Do you got it, do you want it? Yes? Carry on.“. She was referring to her training and preparation for her sixth Olympics and also touches upon her insecurities about contesting against new and young players now that she is 40. But her perseverance still remains. After this, the podcast incorporates snippets and clips from different games alongside opinions from several other professionals and acclaimed players such as; Mark Teixeira, Doug Pederson, Brandon McCarthy, etc. It then continues to dive further into the different aspects of the mental game using perspectives from; Robbie Gould, J.J. Redick, and Toby Moskowitz.
The podcast helps me think about the challenge I would like to choose as it extends concepts of determination and confidence that anything is possible with the right mindset. The podcast has given me a new perspective that confidence is a key factor in everything you do and makes me question myself on things like; “What’s truly holding us back” and “is too much confidence good?”. The podcast overall was very well made and the story is very honest and blatant and answers all the questions in the heads of the listener while including perspectives on different experiences.