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Coping With Adversity

February 28, 2006 11:29 AM

Dr.Robert Heller

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

As she was warming up just minutes before her long performance (she was in second place heading into the long skate), Cohen missed a jump-turn and ended up falling on the ice. Clearly, not the last thing you want to finish with before possibly your most important performance ever!

A few moments into her program, she fell! A few seconds later, she stumbled again. Normally, these would be fatal falls, which would eliminate her 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 three minutes of her program close to perfection, earning herself a well deserved 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 Sasha Cohen’s example.

Dr. Robert Heller is a psychologist, sports psychology consultant and certified tennis instructor based in Boca Raton, Florida. He is the author of the 2-volume mental conditioning CD-Rom program, “TENNISMIND.” For information on sports enhancement training, workshops and other services, contact him at (561) 451-2731, robertheller@adelphia.net or visit www.thewinningedge.usptapro.com.



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