16:34 21 July 2014 Las Vegas North American Bridge Championships by GS Jade Barrett CsbNews.org correspondent
“Mass transportation is doomed to failure in North America because a person’s car is the only place where he can be alone and think” – Marshall McLulan
The benefits of the two day drive from the Great American Bridge Tour Headquarters in Elk Point, South Dakota to the North American Bridge Championships in Las Vegas are varied and welcome. To be able to take a trip that allows you to view your surroundings at ground level contributes dramatically to the sense of well being so required of a great performance. It is easier to reflect on past tournaments traveling at 130 km/hr, as opposed to the loud and emotionally exhausting airplane journey, which seems to only exponentially increase my team’s stress level.
The creator of bridge must of realized the impact of the game on its proponents is his later years, for I am certain his own partners and cohorts lost hours of sleep recounting the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that they had experienced throughout their respective competitions. While the years seem to run together, there are always the exceptional circumstances that are forever lodged in the memories of the mostly willing participants. It is the managing of these thoughts that allow greatness to form.
The miles rolled by as we enjoyed the scenery of the Great American West, though I am certain that both my wife and I missed more than a few spectacular vistas while in deep discussion of our bidding and carding methods. We had promised ourselves that we would take the opportunity to work on our game during the twenty hour trek, and as most well practiced athletes, we kept to our task as we could.
It is not enough to just be good, for the competitors are always improving – the vast number of excellent players is ever growing – our entire mental and emotional state requires training as well. Recognizing the best state of mind for competition is essential to long term success, and preparing yourself for the battle of wits begins with the developing of your intestinal fortitude. It seems odd to many that the key to success lies hidden within the shadows of failure, but it is a certainty that gain comes from loss. Perhaps it is through the action of preparing one’s self for defeat that the true ability to win is obtained.
So each day brings new challenges, new hurdles or even mountains to climb, requiring our full attention to focus on every detail. With that effort comes the reward of accomplishment despite the outcome.
Our travel to that location of excellence is never ending.
PD: Only 7 points away from the top of the world, the Heifer International Bridge Team takes 5th in Las Vegas North American Bridge Championships!
From left to right: Apolonari Kowalski, Karen Lee Barrett, Anne Dawson, Jeff Roman, Captain GS Jade Barrett, Jacek Romanski