(By Larry Hodges)
Tip of the week: Are You a 10-8 or an 8-10 Player?
Some players play best when their back is to the wall – when they are down 8-10, they come alive and play like champions. Others are best when they are ahead and have more confidence in going for their shots or playing their game – and play best when they are up 10-8. Or perhaps it’s earlier in the game when a player might play his best when he’s up or down, such as at 3-7 or 7-3.
If you are one of these players, then you should take advantage of it. Suppose you play best from behind. Then when the score is 0-0, imagine that the score is 8-10 – and do this every point! It’s especially effective near the end when nerves become a bigger factor – so if you are an 8-10 player and find yourself leading 10-8, image it’s 8-10, and vice versa.
This isn’t a perfect system. Often a player comes alive near the end of a game because he’s gotten used to the opponent, so you might have to work your way into the match, and use this mental technique only after you have done so. But once you are into the match, start imagining the score where you play your best, and you’ll likely play your best. If you do this enough, soon you won’t have to do this – from habit, you’ll mentally begin to play your best at any score.
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