THERE are a number of reasons why older people would relay their stories to others that their time of athleticism can be better than the time spent by the youth at present. Aside from the worldly wise events that they've gone through, in general, they present an excellent area of subjects and criterion to communicate something of value.

Talking about sports, in an attempt to measure interest and effectiveness as well as the new approaches in the implementation of programs and practices, most if not, the general response of our mentors is most gratifying and encouraging. But the need to provide greater motivation and refinement of the practitioner in a particular sport is suggested.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

I had "table talk" with judo mentor and Sensei Benjamin M. Caguioa who is an authority, as far as I know, and the most experienced judo athlete. He is also considered the father of the sport in Baguio because he started it in the city in the 1960s. And he still practices the sport even though he is already in his 70s.

Caguioa was an instructor in the US. He has seen the athlete of "then and the now" and he stresses their positive attributes.

Rationalizing, he says, that success becomes a measuring cup for an athlete young or old because it means recognition for hard work and superior ability. He describes success as the claim for talent, praise, financial reward, friendship, and respect or the feeling of self-worth and fame, however, athletes rarely think about the negative aspect or other meanings attached to being successful.

An assumption made in every sport meet, is that the athletes desire success in their respective events. Athletes will invariably say that they desire success, however, the behavior of some appears to indicate otherwise. They feel the strain of holding back psychologically, while trying to let go physically.

They are what are called the "success phobic" athletes. The anxiety about such personal conflict becomes a manifestation of a number of physical symptoms.

The obsession of winning, or conversely, the fear of losing, frequently indicates athletes have attached a personal, psychological meaning to their performance and to the event. Because, they literally freeze when they think of opponents against whom they must compete. That is, to some, to compete against an Olympic player might bring an attitude of, "What is the use of playing? He'll definitely beat me."

Described as a defeatist or pessimistic attitude, the feeling is of futility.

Others who exhibit this syndrome are athletes who are so affected by an outstanding performance of an opponent especially in techniques they are unable to perfect. They use their opponents' performance as a yardstick for themselves. They usually have the attitude of setting their goals higher than those of their opponents even if it becomes impossible to reach.

Simply, this is a way of not facing their own potentials and frightened by the knowledge that they can be beaten. Erratic performing athletes who fall under this syndrome are frightened by their own outstanding performance. They are capable of being champions a day and third rate the next, because they feel that by becoming champions, they have a world of responsibilities on their shoulders.

These attitudes of being a "success phobic" in athletes have one common root, the conscious and unconscious fear of succeeding. It will appear as though success holds some dread for them, and athletes who are continually confronted by this problem find themselves in a psychological conflict.