Talk About Pressure (and concentration)
Anita Sharpe on Life
Imagine yourself in this situation: you and your team have worked for months to make it to the finals of a huge presentation or sales contest that will be televised nationwide to millions of people. But just hours before you are to take the stage, you are sitting in a courthouse receiving a (deferred) jail sentence related to drunk driving.
Despite the humiliation and the eyes of the world on you, you're expected to deliver peak performance. That was the scenario for Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal, who last night hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning -- with two outs and two strikes -- to win the game and tie the National League Division Playoff series against the Houston Astros.
After his teammates mobbed him, a somewhat somber Furcal told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 'For me, when I come to the ballpark and open my car door and walk into the stadium, I forget everything. I put all my concentration on the game when I got to the field. Then after the game I can go to my house and take care of my problems.'
In no way do I want to defend the actions that got Furcal into his legal fix, but I can't help seeing this extraordinary ability to focus as what separates the champions from the merely talented.