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The mental game.

I noticed a quote from Bobby Knight.

Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.

I thought it was a cool quote, but then I played tennis last night. It was some of the best tennis I have ever played. It was with my new Wilson 6.1 Team raquet, qhich I love. I was crushing the ball. The guy I was playing was better than me. I won the first 5 games. My serve was killer. Then I started to crack. I lost two games before winning the first set. Then I lost the second set 6-4. By the third set, I had fallen apart and and lost 6-4.

Now, this guy was good. But I was playing better. I choked on some EASY net shots that I should have put away. That probably lose me the second set. But it was mental game that really killed me. I just couldn’t stay focused. I did NOT have the will to win at all. I had the will to lose.

Bobby Knight also said, “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.” This one hits it right on the head. I have no mental toughness at all. My serve was fantastic. My groundstrokes were strong. My net game, well, they sucked. But it was my mental game that killed me.

Strength of will is the ability to hold a lead. I think it is easy to get something going good. Once it’s going good, there is immense pressure to take it easy. I think many companies fail for the same reason. They get sloppy, slow, bureaucratic. Microsoft has been good as holding their lead. Never give in, never let up. You have to be psychotic to win. Is winning really a good thing?

See, there goes my crazy mental game again.

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