As I watched the NFL playoff games on Saturday, it became very obvious to me how both the Jets and Seahawks were not given much of a chance to defeat the defending Super Bowl participants, New Orleans and Indianapolis. Even though Seattle had the home field advantage, every so called expert I heard interviewed, gave them no chance to defeat the Saints. Most of these experts stated that even though Seattle would be playing at home, they had a losing record during the regular season. Also, the fact that the Saints were led by Drew Brees, after leading the Saints to a Super Bowl victory last year gave Seattle little chance to win. Indianapolis, of course, is led by future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning. With the Colts playing at home, few gave the Jets more than a remote chance to win. If you have been reading my newsletter , you will remember that I have always emphasized how important the mental aspect of sports can be. The quote my uncle and cousin taught me, “Sports is the greatest theatre in the world, everyone knows their part, but no one knows what will happen,” has been the theme I promote. The results of these games validate that statement. On paper, both the Saints and Colts should have won, but the games are not played on paper. The human element is a significant part of it. Technique and strategies can take you a long way, but the emotional component has to play a role as well. Why did the Jets and Seahawks win? Obviously, coaching and adjustments played a role, but the ability to believe in themselves also played a key role for them. While both teams fell behind at different times in the games, neither gave up or quit on themselves. The four key words I emphasize that effect results, all contributed. They are preparation, focus, attitude and confidence. Both of these teams were prepared, they maintained their focus, kept a positive attitude and remained confident in their abilities until the clock reached 0:00. Is that the approach you take, or do you give in before the game begins?