(By Larry Hodges)
Is there a certain score or situation where you play best? Some players play better when they are behind; others play better when ahead. Some play best when they are way down, say, 4-10, and figure they have nothing to lose and so play relaxed. Others play better when up 10-4, since they are confident. Others play better under pressure, and might play better when up 10-8 or down 8-10, or maybe some other score, like 3-7. Some play better in big matches, others do better in less important ones. Which type are you? Perhaps, next time you play, imagine the score or situation is whatever makes you play your best. Perhaps imagine you are up or down 10-4, 10-8, or 7-3, or it’s the men’s or women’s final at the Worlds, or it’s just another match at the club. Imagine the psychology that allows you to play best at that score or situation. Then, after a time, you might learn to match that psychology no matter what the score or situation is.
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