00:22 22 March 2014 Dallas North American Bridge Championships by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
«I don’t like looking back. I’m always constantly looking forward. I’m not the one to sort of sit and cry over spilt milk. I’m too busy looking for the next cow» – Gordon Ramsey
Tough days are just that – tough.
There are matches that can be won so many different places that any momentary loss of concentration can be fatal. Thinking about a hand that has been completed often contributes to the next atrocity, and not always at the table. I have witnessed more than a few fender-benders in the parking lot after a session, not to mention a few close calls as a pedestrian bridge player or two has wandered into traffic while in deep consideration of an unfortunate experience from the game they just left.
The athletes cope with these issues in widely varied manners. Personally, I lose a lot of sleep over my less than stellar performance – there was one North American Bridge Championship where I averaged less than three hours a night for the last nine days of a ten day event. Fortunately, I am so accustomed to this state that I often play adequately despite being virtually bereft of any energy. I had one partner that could sleep no matter how he had played – the only truly annoying trait he exhibited to me over the ten or so years we played together.
It is not that I do not withstand loss, for my lifetime as a competitor has been full of it. It is just that I cannot believe how an athlete of my skill and experience can make some of the mistakes that I do. However, I take comfort in something Bob Hamman expressed in words similar to these:
All the great players play bad, everybody else plays worse.
I must be improving.