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On the Tunney Side of the Street 5

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ... In the world of sports, "The Big Mo" is what coaches and observers refer to as MOMENTUM, which can be described in energy terms as: mass + velocity. Albert Einstein (or as ESPN broadcaster Joe Theismann called him when describing a genius - "Norman Einstein") explains his mass energy equivalence as E = mc2, but that may be too deep for an explanation of how an athletic T.E.A.M. loses or gains momentum.

So, how does an individual or a T.E.A.M. lose momentum? A T.E.A.M. wins several games in a row, then suddenly loses a few in succession, why did that happen? What comes to mind is: COMPLACENCY. Players too often become over-confident when winning easily. Complacency then sets in and players all too often don't give the same effort in their preparation - mentally and/or physically.

This happens with students as well, who academically perform superior to others, then slack off thinking that getting top scores has been "easy." The same mindset happens to "top sales people" or "top managers" or "top referees." Subsequent performances drop off resulting in the loss of that "top rating." Legendary Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi said, "Winning is a habit, but so is losing."

There are other factors in a T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) losing momentum, such as: a) losing one's confidence; b) losing confidence in teammates; c) playing "not to lose" - called "survivor mode." One basketball coach described a loss by saying, "Well, we missed our shots, and they made all theirs." OK, but why? How did that happen?

"You play to win the game" we say in my book, "It's the Will, Not the Skill." Simply stated, it's a belief that you - individually or as a T.E.A.M. - always believe you WILL win. "Confidence, one football coach told me, is when you are down 2 scores in the 4th quarter and you still believe you will win!" Does the Pittsburgh Steelers final drive in Super Bowl XLIII with a minute to go come to mind?

You might lose your momentum, but never lose your confidence! That's the key! Confidence! In sports it is often called "being in the zone." Does Michael Jordan (there are others) come to mind? Jordan reportedly made his teammates better; his self-confidence became infectious. Incidentally, Jordan wasn't born with that mastery of self-confidence (he was "cut" by his high school coach!); Michael mentally, as well as physically, developed his belief to be in his "zone."

Will you continue to believe in your abilities even when things are going badly?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to Jim@JimTunney.com