When playing tournaments, try to avoid emotional highs and lows. You will likely spend a lot of time and money on going to the tournament. I realize that you want to win. Yes, I realize that. However, if you become too emotional, then you will not be able to think clearly and perform your best. Let me illustrate…
I recently watched a match at the US Open, a 60-year-old guy playing against a 40-year-old lady. As I watched each game and observed and listened to the coaching between games, I began to realize that the situation that I saw is actually extremely common.
After winning the first game, the 60-year-old guy danced happily over to his coach with a smile that stretched from Vegas to New York. From what he said, it was apparent that he had no clue how he won or what he did, he was just overjoyed to win the first game; it didn’t matter how he won. The 40-year-old lady wrinkled her brow and frowned at her coach, pouting that the game didn’t go as planned.
As you can probably guess, the players switched off winning and losing. Each player returned to their respective coach after each game – the winner with an emotional high and the loser griping and complaining. Neither player was able to explain what happened or why they won or why they lost or what they planned to do differently. The winner wanted to continue the same tactics, but didn’t even know the tactics. The loser wanted to play better but didn’t know what was going wrong. Both of them were playing too emotionally and it blurred their mind to think clearly.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, it is vitally important to have the same approach to the game in practice and in tournament matches. Many people see me practicing and ask me questions such as, “Did you beat Yahao Zhang? Did you beat Chance Friend? Did you beat Angela Guan? Did you beat Wang Rui?” And of course, I reply that that was just a practice match that they had been watching.
A US Open Experience