Screenshot from http://www.dailymail.co.uk - Photo by Dave ShoplandJackie Chan when she was 17. Jackie pitched in by supporting her travelling expenses.
She was ranting for dear life as she was also in Sydney and Athens but with nothing to show. Angry, she said that refrees can rule and ruin one's life. At 25, she may be past her prime when the London Olympics comes around in 2012.
An appeal was made. The battle lines on another front was drawn. But Sarah and her officials were not expecting to win this 'fourth' round away from the competition mat. No appeals against refreeing decisions in the Olympics has ever being successful.
And when they got what they wanted, a shot in the semi-finals, to an opponent she has met and defeated twice before, Sarah was not ready psychologically and emotionally. Worse she has only 20 minutes to prepare as the show was already back up for more than an hour and must go on for the cameras and the big shots.
This was the post-mortem after the defeat:
1. "It was tough, I wasn't ready, it was too much for me to handle and I just lost it," 2. "The crowd got to me and I didn't have time to get a strategy."
3. "We can prepare for the competition but not for that sort of stress,"
Learning from this incident:
Emotionally she has a roller coaster ride. She came back from the depths of despair, anger and screaming bloody robbery. Her body though competitive was not ready. She sprained her ankle and lost 4-1.
Psychologically she did not expect to win the appeal. They tabled it out of spite. There were too much negative energies around. It poisoned the body. It get knotted up and no longer tough, supple and agile.
Strategy-wise there was none for the fight. There was no time to prepare for the fight. Sure way to lose.
Mentally, she was weakened. She was stressed out. It was too much too handle. The crowd not only booed her but also supported her opponent. She lost focus and the fight.
Tuning in and sharpening focus
1. Believe in the impossible. Keep the focus on the job at hand and also winning. Expect to succeed even though the appeal has never being successful. Otherwise, don't appeal. Once committed believe in ourselves.
2. Shield the competitor from emotional and psychological harm and distractions. Let the handlers do the job away from the mat. But Sarah was too much part of the anger that she was a spent force and was not ready when called on to fight.
3. Tactical discipline and formation must be maintained under stress and external opposition. Someone obviously forgot his/her job to control and prepare Sarah. Division of work is important. Staying discipline under all circumstances separate the gold medalist from the silver and the bronze.
4. Be firm for all you want but also be polite despite provocations. This tune the body and cool the mind and keep it under control. Sarah was sreaming, "Its a blatant robbery."