02:20 27 March 2014 Dallas North American Bridge Championships by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
«Focus on one pitch at a time.
Hook on to one thing.
Be absorbed in the moment, no matter what’s at stake.
Let results be the by-product of what you’re doing.
Don’t judge yourself while you’re performing.
Don’t rearrange your work; rearrange your focus» – from One Pitch at a Time
by John Eliot Ph. D.
The journey to excellence is arduous. The key to traveling that path is to take each step. Many new players are impatient, expecting excellence from themselves almost instantly. A great many of them were fast learners in their formulative years, able to grow and adapt in life and business at the speed of thought. As a result, the majority of them also experience the surprise of disappointment when they are not immediately successful in the game.
The learning curve of bridge seems directly connected to the ability to be flexible in thought process, as well as the ability to withstand loss. In my experience, these two traits are strong indicators of the future of a budding athlete. Dissatisfaction with poor results will be used as a motivation for growth by these participants, as they are more open to testing different methods or perspectives when experiencing defeat.
In addition, these people are also more likely to return to the fray unburdened by the memory of their personal previous less than excellent performances – something absolutely necessary to success. The result of these efforts is typically a strong development in their ability to focus during the competitions.
With each hand, they move forward on the road to success. In a discussion with Dr Donna Wood, Director of Operations for the Great American Bridge Tour Training Facility in Solana Beach CA, she expressed her own recognition of the nature of time.
«When I was 13 years old, the Boston Red Sox were in a race for the American League Championship (Major League Baseball). I kept track of all the teams and knew how many games out of first place my team was. One night, Jim Lonborg was on the mound for the Red Sox and I suddenly realized that with every pitch, that we were one step closer to winning the Championship. Bridge is the same way. With every hand – actually every trick – comes the opportunity to learn, with every lesson, the preparation to win».
Champions use the details, but are not distracted by them. They recognize the value of their defeats, and use them as investments in their future.