In Handling Failure/Adversity, Peak Performance Strategies

Having been a long-suffering (no longer!) Red Sox fan, I feel nothing but empathy for the New York Mets who seem to be doing a repeat performance of their tragic free fall of last year, the ’07 season where they blew a 7-game lead with 17 to go to both lose the division and miss the playoffs. In the past 6 days, the Mets have lost a 3.5 game lead and everybody wants to talk about “deja vu all over again.” The fans and New York media are panicking, believing the “here we go again” for their seemingly-cursed team.

Here’s my feeling: What happened last year is,…. well,…LAST YEAR. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with what will happen this year as long as the fans and media allow the Mets to relax and simply do what they should be doing at this time of the season: HAVING FUN & PLAYING THEIR OWN BRAND OF BALL. There have been far too many questions about last year’s collapse and whether we’re seeing it happen again. This is a mini-version of what happened to the Red Sox for all those years since 1918!

The players do NOT want to hear about last year. The players do not want to comment about being cursed pr snake bit! All this kind of talk distracts them from the task at hand and gets them thinking too much. All this over-focus on what if “IT” happens again gets the players too tight to perform to their potential in addition to getting them trying too hard. In their 1-0 loss to the Nationals last night they were definitely pressing too much. They were trying too hard to get hits and make something happen. This is not how you perform to your potential. Instead, you have to be able to relax, have fun and let the game come to you.

The Mets would be well served if they can stop reading what is being written about them, ignore the silly questions that are being asked about last year, stop listening to what the talk show hosts and guests are saying about their supposed “choking,” and avoid watching the sports pundits pontificating about what is going on and what is wrong with them. They should try to relax and get back in touch with why they play this game in the first place: To have fun! To be competitive. To challenge themselves. They need to THROW the so-called IMPORTANCE of each of these remaining games OUT THE WINDOW. Instead, they need to get back into trusting themselves and their teammates, relaxing and letting the hits and the game come to them. Peak performance comes from a focus in the “NOW” of the action, NOT the PAST or the FUTURE. You have to take the game, one play at a time, one at-bat at a time, one pitch at a time. This is how the Amazin’ Mets can get back to being Amazin’ again.


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