View Full Version : Your opponent feels the pressure, too

08-17-2004, 07:01 AM
I felt the pressure in a tournament match last night--my mouth got dry, I had to work at aiming, and I lost that "dancing" feeling the Cassman has been talking about. My opponent's hand was soaking with sweat when we shook hands after the match; I hadn't noticed that he was feeling the heat also, but it's obvious that he was. We focus on our own feelings and tend to forget that pressure affects everyone.

The good news is that tournament play becomes more routine after a while. When you've played in a lot of tournaments you don't react to each one like it's a life-and-death matter. Also, you learn to recognize, accept, and play through a certain amount of nervousness. You don't have to be a block of ice to play well and win. I played damn well last night even though I was nervous, and the guy with the sweaty hands hung tough and beat me.