During the winter Olympics, in the women’s figure skating event, Sasha Cohen was the clear favorite to win the coveted gold medal, especially after Michelle Kwon pulled out last minute with an injury.

As she was warming up just minutes before her performance, Cohen missed a jump-turn and ended up falling on the ice. Clearly, not the last thing you want to finish with just moments before possibly your most important performance ever!

Then just moments into her program, she fell! A few seconds later, she stumbled again. Normally, these would be fatal falls, which would eliminate the hope for an Olympic Medal. Rather than give up or make a half-hearted effort to complete her routine, Cohen seemed to brush off these catastrophic mistakes and skated the remaining 3 minutes of her program close to perfection! She earned a silver medal!

The lesson to be learned is, “ It ain’t over till its over”. You do your best and try your hardest until the end. You put aside past mistakes, block out thinking about the outcome and keep your focus on what you can control- the present moment.

As tennis players, we would perform much better, compete more effectively and find matches more satisfying if we followed SashaCohen’s example.

Dr.Robert Heller is a psychologist and performance enhancement specialist. For additional information on services, products, other articles and free e-newsletter, go to

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