Dealing with your Inner Demons

It’s playoff and finals season in Australia and the last month or so has presented a plethora of events for me and some truly interesting hands. Often as players when we watch these events on vu-graph, or look at the results later, we often wonder how good players could go wrong on some of the […]

Concentration is the key to success

A few years ago, I ran a survey of Australia’s top bridge players asking them to rank bridge skills. In that survey, concentration was ranked most highly as an area that players wanted to improve. This finding was confirmed by a great many of the leading players who were interviewed in Samantha Punch’s recently published […]

Don’t Be Chicken!!

Years ago, I was at a shooting competition overseas and I took the opportunity to speak with one of the German shooters at the event to talk about a tendency I had to hold onto shots for too long.  This top-ranked shooter called this ‘chicken-finger’ and told me to believe in myself and to “not […]

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 […]