Most of you are too young to remember this(I was just a little kid myself),but you can research this and you'll see it's true.There was a stretch from the mid-70s-1980 when Navratilova CONTINUALLY melted down and sprayed errors everywhere in tight matches vs. Evert.To her credit,Martina realized that she couldn't just 'wait for her confidence to return' or 'get back in match rhythm';these are some of the NON-solutions that people have suggested for Ana.I'll bet you that Henin could stretch out and get her body loose for a few minutes...and then beat Coin in straight sets without having picked up a racket for months...Serena could do the same.
My point is that sports counselling has helped MANY top athletes get where they are;there's no shame in it.Ana wouldn't sit on a couch and tell some shrink a dream about clouds she had in her childhood.NO,the sports counsellor is almost always a former athlete--with a little counselling background,of course--who can teach someone,based on first-hand experience,how to handle those pressure situations.Martina trained with gringa basketball legend Nancy Lieberman who helped her workout preparations AND,more importantly,showed her how to still her nerves when facing Evert....Martina credits this for her legendary streak of dominance.
From a results standpoint,it is INEXCUSABLE that Ana should lose badly to players of Coin's caliber.She should NOT lack confidence after winning RG,and other major tourneys,and achieving world #1.Maybe she WILL have a great Asian season(I sure hope so
),but this problem will NOT go away for Ana.It'll KEEP coming back,OVER and OVER again,unless she takes CORRECTIVE action as Martina did.This is NOT that complicated.A good sports counsellor would NOT subvert Sven's positive coaching influence or authority,and Ana wouldn't have to change her style of play or become a different person.Again,look at the list of sports champions who vouch for this(Navrat is just one example);I'm SURE this would help Ana adjust so much better on those days when her shots aren't falling so easily,and this would lead to more unshakable confidence for her.
Don't be scared to open the door, Serena. It's not the Land Shark, it's only the doping agency
Propaganda Director for the Olympic Slam Queen
aboard SS Dementieva
Ste. Kim, we didn't have you for long enough, but we appreciate what you gave us