Wimbledon Wednesday!
Wow, what's going on at Wimbledon this year? So many of the top seeds are out and so many of the underdogs are really excelling and winning. It's making fascinating viewing not just for the tennis but also for the visible change in mindsets.

Have Nadal, Federer, Sharipova and the other top seeds forgotten how to play their best tennis overnight? I think not. they can still remember the technical skills and they are still fit. They obviously haven't suddenly forgotten all that they have been taught and learnt over the years. And for the unseeded players that are suddenly winning, they haven't miraculously learnt how to play better overnight. So what's happening? Alien intervention?!

The only thing that has changed is in what they are thinking: the quality of their thoughts and this in turn affects their mindset that ultimately affects how they play. The interesting thing that is happening is that once a "seed of doubt" or a "seed of belief" starts to germinate it grows and has a magnified effect on all the other players. Anything becomes possible.

When a top rank player goes out of a tournament it plants a "seed of doubt" into other top ranked players: "If that player can loose to someone ranked much lower then it is entirely possible that might happen to me." If unchecked that thought ends up becoming the focus of attention, it literally plays on the mind, changes the mindset and affects how they play. As a result another top ranked player goes out and this simply reinforces the original doubt, amplifying it even more each time. Before you know it you have a domino effect with more top ranked players losing.

Conversely for the unseeded player that wins, the "seed of belief" is germinated that the impossible is possible. For other unseeded players in the tournament it positively amplifies their self-belief about winning. It becomes something they can REALLY believe without any doubt. The quality of their thoughts change which changes their mindset from being less accepting of their ranking into believing that they too can win. The result is that the quality of their play becomes much more instinctive and free of over-thinking what they should be doing. The player is "in the zone" or, as some of my athletes like to call it, competing "brain-free". Consequently they make the shot, which of course simply amplifies the belief in themselves and the possibility of winning even more.

So what makes the difference between winning and losing? Is it the level of technical skill? Fitness? All of those things play their part but if that were the only thing then the top ranked players would still be in the tournament. We can clearly see at Wimbledon this year that it is the quality of a player's thinking that determines whether they win or lose - not the quality of the grass!