It’s all in your head by G.S. Jade Barrett
In a matchpoint game where you play 26 deals, each hand is worth 1/26 or 3.846 %. That means that if you have a zero on the first board you still have 96.154% of your game left. If you average 55% over the remaining 25 boards you will have a 165 on a 156 average, or a 51.56% game. You need only one top board to raise your score to 170.4 (54.62) and two tops will lift your score to 175.8 (56.35). 58% games score 3rd or higher a vast majority of the time.
Since you are almost certainly going to suffer a bad result during any game, giving more weight to an early poor result can cause you to affect a different style of play for the rest of your game.
Playing from behind will raise your stress level as well as that of your partner, primarily due to the departure from your normal style of play. Any time you remove your partnership from its comfort area you are testing its strength.
Every player manages his or her loss differently. Each terrible result I generate I sign off on my scorecard. This allows me to be accountable and to obtain closure. Before I started doing this I would carry the poor result into the next deal. This would distract me from the current hand and often cause my partnership to suffer yet another awful board. Most players have bad boards in pairs for this very reason.
Grief management will improve your scores immediately. Both partners need to use grief management in order to obtain the full value of the practice. That does not mean that you cannot discuss the hand, but that you discuss only as much as is required to improve or confirm your bidding or carding agreements (since declarer play is so personal, conversations regarding your partner’s play of the hand are rarely constructive and often actively destructive).
Bridge is fun, do not let an unfortunate hand detract from the overall enjoyment of your game (I have had 11 80% plus games and four of them had a bottom board), you can still score very well and at the very least, enjoy the company of your partner and your opponents.
“All of my partners enjoy my declarer play, it provides all of them an excuse to visit the bar”. Robert Cox ACBL Lifemaster # 304