Winning at Sports

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The Women’s World Cup match up between Japan and the United States turned out to be a real “nail biter” and a test for mental skills and mental toughness as well as the physical skill, technique and strategy. The U.S. had long dominated Japan in previous match ups and was the heavy favorite to win. In fact, they took most of the shots and controlled play for much of the first half, creating many opportunities but failing to connect.  In a game where  the U.S. was leading during much of it, Japan fought back and tied the score in the regular game and then again with only four minutes remaining in the overtime. In the shootout, it was Japan’s goalkeeper who blocked 2 U.S. kicks and perhaps a U.S. player who may have choked by sending what should have been an easy goal, a dozen feet above the goal bar that made the difference in Japan’s winning effort.

Winning in sports and in life, is trying your hardest and never giving up until the very end. It is holding out hope and playing with uncertainty.In sports psychology, we teach persistence, tenacity and recovering from adversity. This game was a testimony to those skills and ideals. Both teams have much to feel proud about.

Winning From Behind

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Have you ever been losing badly in a game or tennis match and thought you had no chance of coming back or winning? Chances are, you ended up losing. Why? Perhaps because your opponent was playing much better or you were performing below what you normally do. But more likely, you insured your loss by your strong belief that you would lose. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Because you no longer believe you can win, you start slacking off which allows your opponent to finish you off without trying too hard.

In the 2011 Wimbledon tennis quarter finals match, it would have been easy for the under-dog, Jo Wilfred Tsonga, to think that he was done, and give up or at least let down. You see, he was down 2 sets to love against one of the best players, not only in the world, but perhaps one of the best players of all time, the great Rodger Federer. In fact, when Federer was ahead two sets to love in each of his prior 78 matches, he had always won. The odds of Tsonga winning that match was slim to none. However, someone forgot to remind Tsonga because he just stuck in there, raised his game and ended up winning the next 3 sets to win the match!

Bottom line, play hard, play your game and play until the last second or last point.

A positive belief in yourself and your abilities can often improve your chances of success in almost every situation both  in sports and in life!

Most athletes can learn to improve their confidence, improve their ability to come back from behind and play tougher under pressure.

A mental conditioning training program program like Dr. Robert Heller’s TENNISNISMIND,( provides relaxation exercises to calm the body and specific affirmations to train the mind to automatically respond to challenges in positive ways.

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