'The fear of failure can be greater for a defending champion'

Germany is just the latest defending World Cup champion to fail to advance to the knockout stage of the following tournament. Sports psychologist Jens Kleinert spoke to DW about the "curse of the World Cup champion."

DW: Is it generally the case that any given athlete's hunger for success drops off after reaching his or her ultimate goal?


Prof. Jens Kleinert: It is true that we value things that we have already achieved differently than things that we have not yet achieved. If my overarching dream is to become world champion, and I have already achieved this once, then the drive to do so, the fire, is gone. And these are the kinds of words some of the players have used.  So in that case, one needs to change one's motivation.

Professor Jens Kleinert specializes in motivational psychology as well as research into team and group dynamics. The 53-year-old Kleinert is head of the Psychological Institute at the German Sport University Cologne. 

The complete interview, conducted by Stefan Nestler, on www.dw.com ...