Success, Attribution and decision-making

I have watched the events of the last few days in sport play out with some interest. In particular Laura Robson’s fantastic victory against Venus Williams in the first round of the WTA event in Rome 6-3, 6-2; the sacking of Roberto Mancini by Manchester City Football club, and Tiger Woods latest tournament victory.
With Robson the thing that struck me was that while she talked about how she had played in the post-match interviews it seemed to be more about the reasons why Venus was not at her best. This is interesting as Robson appeared to be attributing her success, in part, to her opponent being below par. I appreciate this might just be a public view expressed to the media and not necessarily Robson’s real view, but it will be interesting whether the victory acts as a spring board to beating Serena Williams in the next round by affirming how good she (Robson) is, or serves as a limiting factor in highlighting she won because the opponent was below there best, and in the next game that will be different. Either way time will tell.
LR
Regarding Roberto Mancini, there has been a lot of speculation for months on his future as Manchester City Manager with the final nail in the coffin appearing to be the lacklustre and flat performance in the FA Cup by City against the underdogs Wigan in what represented City’s final chance of winning a trophy. The hierarchy of Manchester City cited a lack of achieving the goals/targets set by the club as the primary reason. While it is true that City have not won a trophy this year they have won three trophies in three years. This is particularly interesting as, if the media is to be believed, the successor in waiting is Manuel Pellegrini who at Malaga has spend a lot of money and yet still not won a trophy. If this appointment turns out to be true it is interesting that City appear to be using different criteria to determine success for their outgoing and potential incoming manager.
RM
It was also interesting listening to Tiger Woods being interviewed following his victory in the Players Championship at Sawgrass. He was very definitely attributing his success to his fantastic performance levels and ability. While sounding a little arrogant this attribution of success internally would have definitely helped Woods in his climb back to the number one ranked golfer, it would also be interesting to see whether he attributes failure externally, with it possibly being someone else’s fault.
TW
It is interesting to explore in the case of Robson and Woods the impact that the reasons they believe for their success or failure have on their next performances. It is also interesting how the attribution of reasons for success and failure can influence the decisions that get taken in professional sport.

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