Overconfidence creates triple squeeze chance

As an international shooter, my most memorable matches were events where I performed well against opponents who were also playing at the top of their game. I know of very few athletes who are excited by beating opponents who are not playing well or who are having an off day. It is much more exciting […]

Anger Management

One of my partners maintains an impassive expression no matter how awful the final contract. We are not all blessed with such equanimity in the face of an unexpected action by partner. Some players will often sense that their partner is unhappy with a bid which has been made or a signal which has been […]

Keep calm and don’t panic!

In previous articles I have written about comfort zones and maintaining a positive outlook at the table. Sometimes circumstances combine at the bridge table to create a challenging and unfamiliar environment for players which stretches our comfort zone and tests our ability to stay positive. Recently my comfort zone was stretched when I lined up […]

Match Pressure

Pressure comes in a variety of ways in all types of activities. Bridge players are not immune to this and may also feel pressure when playing an event. Whether it is the pressure of leading the event, the pressure of expectations, time pressure to finish because you are a slow player or have slow opponents, […]

Managing Internal Distractions

Occasionally in bridge you play against one of those pairs whose bidding style might be described as optimistic. They push for every marginal game and slam. You just hope that today isn’t going to be one of those day’s when all the marginal games and slams come home. Recently I sat down in a team’s […]

Dealing with distractions from the opponents

As the tennis season approached in the Australian summer, it brought to mind various matches I have watched over the years, both in Australia and from overseas tournaments, where a lesser ranked player will find themselves holding a winning position against a more highly fancied opponent. It is heartbreaking to then see the lower ranks […]

Concentration

Loss of concentration can be devastating for our results as bridge players. It is easy to dump 20 imps in the space of 3 or 4 boards through poor concentration. Top athletes generally have superb concentration – it is a skill which is developed over time – and if they lose concentration they have mechanisms […]

Match Fitness

In sport, coaches often talk about being ‘match fit’. Practice form doesn’t always transfer to the playing field where nerves and the pressure of competition play a part. As an athlete, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on practice, and practice matches, the first ‘real’ competition of the season is always hard. It […]

Maintaining Focus Part 2

In an earlier article on maintaining focus, I discussed some tactics that could be undertaken to cope with distractions that occur during bridge events. These distractions could be external such as noisy players, director calls, noisy room, etc; or internal to you such as when you have made an error and your mind cannot let […]

Maintaining focus

When I competed in my first Commonwealth Games in 1994, I walked into the shooting range on the practice day, and right behind my shooting bay was a TV camera. Well some sports people experience TV cameras all the time, but in shooting this was an anomaly. In fact it would be fair to say […]