The game within the game is always fun. In the 90s while coaching the USA team our number three player was matched up with a player from Canada. Our guy was cruising. He won game one, and was ahead most of game two but he began faltering, ran out of gas and lost a close game two and a tie-breaker. Almost one year to the day the two were rematched. The match progressed much like the past year with one exception. This time our guy did not falter, but won in two games. Toward the second half of game two the Canadian athlete calls a timeout and begins talking to our athlete in a hushed tone that nobody can hear. My asst Coach says to me, “What is he saying?” I reply, “I know exactly what he is saying. He is saying one year ago you had me in this situation and I came back and whipped you and I am going to do it again.” My Coach says, “I hate that guy!” That totally cracked me up. I actually liked that guy. He did everything he could to win and our athlete stepped it up, said, “Not this year!” and whipped him. That win meant more to our athlete than it would have in normal circumstances. If the USA athlete had not been in great shape and on top of his game, the same scenario would have happened again. Two things went on here, and the first was the attempted head games by trying to cast doubt on the effort. The second thing, and probably most important, was the conditioning that our athlete had done. “Not this year!” happened more because of the training below the neck than the mental acuity above the neck!