"A strong belief or guarantee that something will happen." In athletics, there are no guarantees. Too many variables exist for guarantees to exist. To expect a specific result from a competition is only setting yourself up for disappointment and is a source of undue stress and pressure. The only expectations that one should ever have are behaviors that they have complete control over. Expectations to be committed, to work hard, to sacrifice, and to give the best effort possible are realistic expectations. Expecting to run a specific time or finish in a specific place are completely random results and are out of your control due to the other individuals in the competition or the conditions of the game Unrealistic expectations lead to most of the sadness and disappointment that we experience in life. We expect to live to a certain age or feel a certain way or to have specific events occur at desired times in our timeline. When those expectations that are based on random thoughts and feelings don't unfold as we desire, we react negatively. That negativity can be avoided by setting goals instead of expectations. Goals give us a direction to focus our energy and behavior. Achieving the goal is less important than striving to achieve the goal so when the goal is either met or not, it doesn't alter the benefit of striving for that goal. Set goals not expectations.