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Beating the Odds

What Should Nate Kaeding Do?

For Nate Kaeding, or anyone else who’s not doing their best when it matters most, there is help.

It comes in a book called “Go Girl,” which tells how Olympic volleyball player Natalie Cook made the jump from bronze medal winner to gold medal winner.

Kaeding may want to read it. He doesn’t have much to lose after his missed three field goals allowed the New York Jets to oust his San Diego Chargers yesterday in the NFL playoffs.

Kaeding had missed only three field goals all year long, so the three misses came from his mind. That’s where Cook’s book comes in. After winning the bronze medal in Atlanta in 1996, Cook embarked on a mission to build up her mental game. She tells of the effort to achieve real confidence. Sure enough, she won the gold in 2000.

Book or no book, Kaeding better do something. It’s hard to imagine his teammates having any real kind of confidence in him. This isn’t the first time he has fallen short in the playoffs.

Like Kaeding, the Chargers must confront a reputation for choking in big games. Unlike Kaeding, they can make some personnel moves. They can let some people go, and bring in others. Kaeding can’t do that. He can’t fire or trade himself.

Fortunately for Kaeding and the Chargers, change is possible. Look at Jets coach Rex Ryan. He changed the culture in the New York locker room in just one season.

Now the Chargers must figure it out in a hurry.

Volleyball, anyone?


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