Dr. Timothy Noakes, MD, Ph.D. – Character, Self-Belief, and the Search for Perfection

1 CEU Credit



A coach can be a crucial component of an athlete’s success., and the key to great coaching is to be egoless, to care about the athlete’s total well-being, and to work constantly on the athlete’s self-belief, since self-belief ultimately produces the performance. Great coaches take extraordinary athletes and convince them to be beyond extraordinary.

Here, Prof. Timothy Noakes shares his hypothesis that self-belief ultimately shapes how an athlete will perform. In supporting his hypothesis, he draws examples from  famous moments in sports history and describes the physiological changes that occur during sports competitions:  “If you put two competitors against each other, the instant the one guy goes ahead, the other person’s physiology changes,” he explains. The brain regulates the exercise performance … the athlete who wins a close race chooses that outcome. This conscious/subconscious choice reduces illusory symptoms of pain and fatigue produced by the brain. The brain of the athlete who comes in second exaggerates those same symptoms to justify the decision not to try harder. The athlete quits whilst appearing to be giving a maximal effort.”

Speaker Bio:

Professor Timothy Noakes (OMS, MBChB, MD, D.Sc., Ph.D.[hc], FACSM, [hon] FFSEM U.K., [hon] FFSEM Ire) studied at the University of Cape Town (UCT), obtaining a MBChB degree and an MD and D.Sc. (Med) in Exercise Science. He is now an emeritus professor at UCT, following his retirement from the Research Unit of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. In 1995, he was a co-founder of the now-prestigious Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). He has been rated an A1 scientist by the National Research Foundation of SA (NRF) for a second five-year term. In 2008, he received the Order of Mapungubwe, Silver, from the President of South Africa for his “excellent contribution in the field of sports and the science of physical exercise.”

Noakes has published more than 750 scientific books and articles. He has been cited more than 16,000 times in scientific literature and has an H-index of 71. He has won numerous awards over the years and made himself available on many editorial boards. He has authored many books, including Lore of Running , considered to be the “bible” for runners; his autobiography, Challenging Beliefs: Memoirs of a Career; Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports (in 2012); and The Real Meal Revolution (in 2013).

Following the publication of the best-selling The Real Meal Revolution, he founded The Noakes Foundation, the focus of which is to support high-quality research of the low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, especially for those with insulin resistance.

He is highly acclaimed in his field and, at age 67, still is physically active, taking part in races up to 21 km as well as regular CrossFit training.

Learning Objective:

  1. Understand how self-belief can effectively and positively influence an athlete’s total health and well-being.
  2. Understand how a team mentality can promote self-belief in a way that supports an athlete’s overall health and well-being.
  3. Understand the physiological changes that occur in the context of athletic competition and affect an athlete’s performance.


Disclosures relevant to speaker:

Commercial Support: 

This activity is not commercially supported.


Dr. Timothy Noakes, MD, Ph.D. reports no relevant disclosures related to the planning or presentation of this activity.

Non-relevant disclosures:

  1. Chairman of The Noakes Foundation
  2. Author – Publications can be found here.
  3. Paid content contributor to CrossFit, Inc. 


  • $25.00
  • 1 year
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