A New Perspective on Choking:
Part 2

Olivier Lingbeek, Phd

A big point at any level is like entering an arena.

You can compare playing a big point at any level to entering an arena. The moment a player has to start serving at an important point in the match, a field of tension arises in that arena between two poles. (Click Here for Part 1 in this series.)

Healthy versus Unhealthy Tension

On one side is the goal, and on the other side the individual playing the point. Players try to bridge the distance between the two poles—by winning or by not losing. This increases the tension between the player and the goal. If, after repeated attempts the goal is not reached, then the frustration increases and the tension can become unbearable.

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Olivier Lingbeek is a tennis coach at several clubs in the Western part of the Netherlands, focused on helping people with their gameplay, both technical and mental. Upon obtaining his PhD in 1998, he worked as a lawyer for several years. An avid tennis player from a young age, he decided to pursue a career as a tennis coach and freelance writer.

In his practice he explores the potential of Rational Emotive (Behavioral) Therapy - RET or REBT - for improved mental ability of tennis players. He finds that RET, more than other interventions, offers a practical and effective way to strengthen players' minds.

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