Get your free Emotional Toughness E-book
Get your free Emotional Toughness E-book
Contact us on 0800 123 4567 or

Apolo Ohno lets denial be his friend

Apolo Ohno lets denial be his friend
February 27, 2010 Ignacio Fiallos

As a business speaker and business keynote speaker, I am always looking for many great examples of successful strategies. Here is one:

Apolo Ohno was disqualified in the 500m race tonight at the Winter Olympics. Afterward, Apolo told Chris Collingsworth that that he should not have been DQ and more importantly, he said the judge (who was Canadian) was biased. Apolo’s DQ allowed the canadian skater, who fell in the race to win Bronze. Apolo had his hand on the Canadian’s hip and then he fell-causing his disqualification.

Why did Apolo blame the judge and not take responsibility? Are we not told to take responsibility for our actions?

In sport, as in life, denial can be our friend, at times. If we deny our responsibility for a failure, and blame others, as Apolo did-this mental strategy can keep our confidence. Apolo had the relay in just a few hours after the 500m race-he needed to keep his confidence-Denial says to us “it is not me-it is them” and this mental strategy helps to keep our confidence when needed.

People in sales can use this strategy to keep their confidence. When failure happens, as it does time and time again in sales, blaming others  can help maintain our confidence. Sometimes, there is no obvious reason why a sale fell through-some times it just happens. In this case, don’t take the blame.

But if you know your actions caused the failure, then take the responsibility and improve your shortcomings. However, if no exact answer is apparant, then do what Apolo did and use denial as your friend-it may help increase your speed to excellence!

To learn more about mastering our emotions, please see Full Throttle on

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a sport psychologist to many professional athletes, motivational speaker, business keynote speaker and sales training speaker. To see more about mental toughness strategies and going Full throttle in your sales, business and life, go to and see his new book, Full Throttle on To see more about his coaching go to and to see his products go to


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.