I was very fortunate to sit in as part of a live audience for Mike Boyle's 3rd DVD, "Functional Strength Coach Volume 3", today and needless to say it was a great experience. About 30 great coaches came in to watch the filming and take part, talk shop, etc. about what is going on and it was basically a day long conference about what Coach Boyle has been doing with training since last Summer (when Volume 2 came out).
Of course I can not give away all the details, but one thing that definitely stuck out to me was a quote I think he got from Alwyn Cosgrove that states "Psychology Always Beats Physiology", or in short, the mind is stronger than the body. Of course we've all heard this before, but let's put it into real World practice. I think the best example of this occurrence in the weight room is on testing days. Coach Boyle stated that team testing really boils down to order of testing. For example, if one of the strongest athletes tests first, they will set the bar higher for their teammates to reach. For example, if the first athlete squats 200 lbs, the next athelte who normally tests at 185 may be more inclined to try 200 as well.
Although this may seem like a recipe for disaster, I think the mental side of testing and using competition to your advantage can also be beneficial in reaching new heights in the weight room and other areas of sport as long as safety isn't compromised. There are so many ways to incorporate competition into our workouts to increase motivation. Implementing a different mindset elicits different results. You may be amazed when you see the effort you get from athletes trying to be the best in part of a competition rather than just practicing a skill as part of a practice.