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The Dangers of Success and Failures
You are a 1800-rated table tennis player competing at the 2014 North American Teams. So far, you have had a great tournament with several good wins. Your goal is to break 2000, and you need one more good win. You are playing in the last team match of the tournament against three 2100 players. Your goal is to win one match. That’s all you need, one win. Surely you can beat one of them.
Don’t let a win or a loss on the first or second match hurt your performance for the third match. For example, if you lose the first and win the second, then you might be inwardly celebrating and not give your full focus for the third match because you have already met your goal. On the contrary, if you lost the first two matches, then you might be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself that you must win the final match. This added pressure can hinder your performance.
Instead, you need to take each point like a separate tournament. Instead of thinking about previous or future table tennis games, stay in the present. Focus before each point on what you need to do and let the winning happen. Have fun and do your best!