Have you ever seen a talented person, a high potential with brilliant mind to process complex matter in single glance decided not to fight anymore after encountering a challenge? It puzzled the superior, the HR and the whole organization.
Apparently such phenomenon exists in tennis court, too. The term “tank” where an athlete simply giving up – losing the game without even trying to put any effort.
Patrick Mouratoglou (one of the best tennis coach) was puzzled also, why athletes that busting their a** off day in day out, practicing like hell decided to give up in the competition.
Until one day he realized what’s going on. One of the most important thing to a talented player is their “talent” that’s what makes them special. If they had to head on with someone less talented and lose, that is like admitting they are less talented and they are not special anymore. They would rather sabotage themselves by showing a poor play hence at the end of the game they can blame they were not focus enough or not feeling well and many other reasons.
One day Patrick encounter his tennis player tanked. He walked to her and ask what happened? She starts saying that she was not feeling well, she did not follow what is instructed by the coach etc… (read: DENIAL) , so Patrick did something really interesting he decided to put the focus not on her talent or effort and said “I am sorry that you lost it is all my fault I should have coach you better”. The tennis player was surprised to see that comment and from that they on she never tank – win or lose.
What an interesting approach to preserve what’s valuable to a talent and yet drive the performance.
A full coach rule is available in Netflix “Playbook” recommended entertainment to watch.