03:25 22 September 2013 by GS Jade Barrett, USA CSBNews correspondent.
«Great moments are born from great opportunities» 1980 USA HOCKEY TEAM Coach Herb Brooks
Many players fall into the trap of self defeat. They are leading an event and begin to question their right to win, much less their ability to do so. They recognize that their more experienced opponents are «supposed» to succeed, that they are expected to fail, and so they do.
In the locker room before the USA – USSR Semi-Final, Herb stated that the Russians would win a game between these two teams 9 times out of 10. After a moment he said «Today is the tenth day».
The same is true for all players, certain days will be yours, the key is to recognize the moment. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory has become an art form for some, regularly finding new and different ways to lose. For these unfortunate souls, accepting defeat has become a habit.
Winning is a habit as well. Champions expect to win, and are very surprised when they do not. They are unafraid of taking the risks required to attain the victory, firm in the belief that losing by 1 and losing by 100 bear the same weight in a Knock – Out. My longtime partner and friend Lt Miles Adkins was fond of reminding our teammates that «It’s better to win ugly than lose pretty». I have that phrase etched into my competitive psyche.
When we are winning, we need to accept our success, nurturing it as it grows. Allow yourself to grow with it, using its strength to sustain you against the moments of self doubt. Against the strongest opponents, you will have to weather a few storms as they attack your lead, challenging you as they need to do in order to fulfill their goal of victory. They will score well, but their efforts are not without risk. Provided you are vigilant, they will leave themselves vulnerable to your advantage. Make them pay for their largesse.
Your right to victory is the same as anyone else’s, your practice of that belief will assure your place at the top of the podium.
18:09 19 September 2013 by GS Jade Barrett, USA CSBNews correspondent.
«How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice» – possibly great pianist, Artur Rubinstein, but no one knows for sure.
Some players never truly rest their game, and I am certainly one of them. Not a natural player, my skills require constant sharpening and thanks to www.bridgebaseonline.com I have the opportunity to practice any hour of the day.
Typically a partner and I will play 2 1/2 hours at a time, sometimes as many as four times a day. Like grooving your golf or tennis swing, we work our system as hard as we can. We spend hours practicing defense, as well. But Declarer play is different.
There are three aspects to the game, two social and one intensely personal. The only «I» in bridge, the Declarer faces the opponents all by themselves. While the benefit of seeing two hands has its advantages, the opposition sees two as well. In this sport, two on one is not bullying, it is the norm. The Declarer is the only position in the game where unilateral decision making is acceptable, for no one chooses the line of play, but them.
They must solve the problem, despite the best efforts of their adversaries who will work in tandem to overpower through strength or misdirect by subterfuge by using every technique at their disposal. Wary of every step, the Declarer must navigate this minefield with due care, with only his cheerleader to support him, his rights limited by the Law, but still his all the same.
Given the personal nature of Declarer Play, I spend hours using the greatest piece of training software ever developed: BridgeMaster. My team’s results are a direct result of this exemplary tool created by Fred Gitelman. We owe him a debt of gratitude for our careers. My wife especially thanks you, Fred, she now only has the occasional nightmare when I am playing the hand.
18:54 17 September 2013 by GS Jade Barrett, USA CSBNews correspondent.
«Home is where one starts from» – T. S. Eliot
While we are home in South Dakota we do not rest.
After arriving in Omaha, Nebraska at 01:30, Tiger Li Li Williams drove me the two hours home to Elk Point, South Dakota. By 09:15, Karen was programming and I was running a Director training workshop in Sioux City, Iowa.
A Club Director has a much different role than a Tournament Director does. They act as the Master of Ceremonies, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, Dorm Supervisor, Bartender, Bouncer, Judge, Custodian, Matchmaker and Confidant. They oversee the health and well-being of the local community of bridge participants, recruiting the uninitiated and restoring the lost sheep to the flock, while maintaining order during the occasionally chaotic environment of their club.
The club itself rarely prepares its directorial recruits for the job they want them to do – who can blame them, given the full scope of the tasks placed before them? Better to have them ignorant and committed before they recognize the enormity of the work.
That is not to say that there are not people who are well-suited to the responsibility of the role, for there are thousands of well-qualified Club Directors worldwide. They do yeoman’s work, keeping long hours while performing Herculean efforts to ensure the smooth operation of the daily tournament that is their charge. It requires a special person to continue to excel in this capacity, day after day, year after year. Unfortunately, they are also frequently under-appreciated by their game’s regular attendees.
These ambassadors for the game are the most influential personalities to the new player, and how they relate to these novitiates will often be the deciding factor that leads the neophyte into a lifelong relationship with bridge, or turns them away from the community of players forever.
The preparation for this position should not be dismissed as unnecessary, as the job is sometimes joyless (the pairing of the partner-less is often a miserable task with varied results and opinions offered by each of those involved in these frequently temporary marriages of inconvenience), and each person who wears the mantle of the Club Director needs all the help available to them. They are, in fact, the keepers of the bridge home.
So our company assists those who seek to serve, providing them our insights into the human nature of the bridge athlete, as well as guidance regarding (but certainly not limited to) Movements, Judgment and the Law.
We can also teach them how to bake a great cookie.