A 3.5 club tennis player came to Head Coaching with a long memory for failure and a short memory for success. She was ruminating about an important match she had lost in a district tournament—the previous season! During this significant episode, she had won the first set and was up 5-1 in the second set when she lost the next six games. Unable to let go, she was consumed with disappointment and anger more than a year later and this was preventing her from reaching her full potential in the current season.
The Head Coach Approach
At Head Coaching, we worked with this client to emphasize one of the most important principles of focusing—stay in the present! Dr. Petro accentuated the fact that, while it is important to learn from past experiences, it is even more important to be able to let disappointing performances go, and refocus on the present. In addition, Dr. Petro initiated a “pat on the back” strategy for the client’s sport successes. This forced her to concentrate on her positive skills and allowed her to have a stronger (and longer) memory for her successes instead of holding on to her past performance mistakes.
As a result of Dr. Petro’s work with this client, she is better able to focus on her present situation when she is on the court. Her concentration and her game have both improved; she is now winning more matches and having a lot more fun playing the game!