Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Tennis and bridge — thinking

At my last tennis clinic Joe gave us a lecture on the need to think when we played tennis. We need to think about where the ball was coming, what kind of shot we would play, how to position ourselves, where we wanted our shot to go and so on. As he put it we needed to always be thinking.

Ray has also made comments like this to me. If the wind is blowing towards you then your opponents shot needs will go farther. Start working out where the ball will go when you see what your opponent is doing etc.

Today it was windy and I was having a little trouble hitting the ball in my lesson. So Joe asked me to decide how high the ball was coming in and whether it would be long or short.  Suddenly I was hitting every ball. Joe explained that all he was trying to do was to get me thinking and concentrating.

The same is true in bridge. The winners are the people who can concentrate deeply and who are focused on what is happening at the table. Focus. All winners have it. It is easy to drift when you are playing. “I wonder how I did on that last board. How many people will play in notrump?” “Who is that player at the other table?” “I wonder where we will go for dinner!”

I always knew concentration was important at bridge and one of my stronger traits when playing seriously is the ability to narrowly focus on the game and the issue at hand. But I have never really discussed this with any of my students. I should.

And yes Joe I wil work harder at concentrating when I am playing tennis. I do need to learn more about what to think about and how to interpret conditions and so on but I realize the importance of concentrating or thinking as you put it in both bridge and tennis.


1 Comment

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 7th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Hi Linda:

Yes, concentration is always important.
However, many senior citizens, after they have reached their prime, have a hard time remembering or focusing on what is important. As most grow older, they slow down physically and mentally. Many are on medications which may affect their memories. Others play with many partners or play complicated systems which entail recalling exactly what each bid means.

I play with Bobby (what he calls) a simple system. If you saw our convention card, you would be amazed.
To me, it is far from “simple.”

I was never a lightning fast player but a combination of age and switching systems has slowed me down considerably.

Yes, focusing is so very important, but easier said than done.

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