By Arthur Jones



Apart from intensity of effort, confidence may well be the most important factor for the production of the best rate of training progress; without confidence in his ability to produce good results, a trainee will seldom be able to produce them -- and never in proportion to the efforts expended.

It is not the authorís intention to go into the possible causative factors behind this situation -- nor is it meant to be implied that these factors are identified or understood; quite the contrary, while a very large number of theories exist on this subject, the author has little if any confidence in any of the theories that have come to his attention -- and absolutely no intention of becoming involved in a detailed recounting of such theories.

But -- beyond any shadow of a slightest doubt -- it is clear that lack of confidence in a particular mode of training can, and probably will, reduce the results produced by such training to a marked degree; a similar, if opposite effect is well established in the field of medicine -- the placebo effect.

In some cases I completely agree with the methods practiced by coaches in attempts to inspire confidence, and in a few cases I do not agree with the methods being practiced -- but my personal likes or dislikes are of no slightest importance; results are what count, and any reasonable method -- and some apparently unreasonable methods -- that will produce the required results should be practiced.

I could almost literally hammer this point into the ground, with hundreds of examples of cases where confidence -- or a lack of confidence -- greatly influenced the production of results from physical training; but no amount of repetition can make the above points any clearer.

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