Nowadays almost any advice is accompanied by a footnote with a disclaimer saying the past is not a reflection or guarantee of the future.
On the other side, there is the notion that history repeats itself.
When making my way as a player I came up against stronger opponents. On one occasion I found myself leading against someone I perceived to be on a different level.
The realisation of this caused me to stall and, consequently, I lost.
An expensive lesson. But one I quickly learnt from.
As a coach accompanying players to tournaments I noticed the vast majority of all entrants looked at the draw and plotted their way through the rounds. This is a natural humanistic thought process, despite the ongoing advice to focus on the current task.
Sport is littered with unexpected results. Look at Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
At Wimbledon the top 10 women’s seeds were eliminated before the quarter-finals. This has not happened since the introduction of the seeding system in 1927.
In the FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Spain were all contenders to make it through to the semi-finals, but fell to less-fancied nations.
It takes self-belief to defy the odds. In order to realise your dreams you must believe anything is possible.