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English: Bromo-Seltzer advertisement for heada...

English: Bromo-Seltzer advertisement for headache medicine. Lottie Collins sings Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-de-ay! after being healed by the medicine and this effect makes her to dance and sing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several years ago I went out to dinner with a singer/client.  Although she had a pounding headache, she was delightful company.  She was joking, laughing, and making wonderful contributions to our conversation.

How was she able to be so personable, considering that she had a headache?

Well, she was compartmentalizing.  I didn’t understand how to do that at the time. But I worked on it, and am now so much better!

Which brings me to the point:  What happened to Andy Murray in the quarterfinals at this year’s US Open?

He tanked!  There is plenty of video footage of him smashing his racquet against the court and screaming during his match with Stan Wawrinka. That was   between points. During play, he looked like a bump on a log. He let shots go without moving at all, netted several returns, and generally looked disengaged.

Don’t you think the spectators who paid for those expensive tickets expected to see both players at their best?

I should say that I have long thought Murray’s game was erratic.  He is extremely talented, but his widely variable focus and frequent lack of will make his game so inconsistent.

What would happen if he could put his frustrations in a box for the duration of the match?  Does he need to vent so much that it saps his concentration?

Try this:  When you are practicing and feel distracted, frustrated, angry at the company you spent an hour on hold with just now, or worried about something else, take out your imaginary box.  Put all of that in the box, then go to the front door.  Open the door, and place your imaginary box out in the hallway.

All your “stuff” will still be there when you’re finished practicing.  You can have it back if you want it.

By the way, the same procedure works just as well for rehearsals, auditions, juries, and performances!

Related article

Murray Loses Cool and, Soon, the Match

NYTimes.com 

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