00:21 21 April 13 2014 San Diego, California by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
«Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek» – Mario Andretti
Sometimes my greatest desire is to play just one perfect hand.
The idea of attaining expert ability without adequate practice is a common one in all human endeavors – we all are surprised when we err attempting a seemingly mundane task. Like not drawing trumps, or failing to give partner a ruff.
During my Basic Training at Fort Gordon back in the late 1970’s, my Drill Instructor, a grizzled Sargent Major named Manuel Benavides, told his recruits that all the training he provided would not prevent us from being killed if we let our guard down. «Vigilance might not save you, but at least you won’t embarrass me!» Apparently shame should be a good motivator.
To maintain a state of heightened awareness is challenging, but it comes easier with practice. I have adopted the posture of an optimistic pessimist – hoping for circumstances to be favorable, while preparing for the unfortunate. It has stood me well.
The focused opponent is my greatest rival. They are always probing my defenses, challenging my view of the hand through deceptive bidding and play, all the while making their own effort to adequately communicate with their partner as conditions require. It is a good thing for at least one competitor to know what is the truth of the hand.