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Beating the Odds

Previewing Success

Lawrence Tynes did more than kick the New York Giants into the Super Bowl for the second time in his NFL career. He gave an example of a powerful mental technique that anyone can use.

“I imagined this last night,” Tynes said after his 31-yard field goal 7:06 into overtime gave the Giants a 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. “It was 42 yards.”

No matter about the distance. The point is that Tynes previewed his own success. And he wasn’t the only one. According to this blog item by ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Giants’ special teams player Devin Thomas saw himself making big plays. And he did, recovering two fumbles, including one that set up Tynes’ game-winner.

“I knew I was going to do it,” Thomas said. “I was just thinking today was one of those crazy days where something crazy’s going to turn the game. And I had a vision in my mind that I would be the guy who did it.”

Charles Garfield, author of the widely acclaimed “Peak Performance” trilogy, has noted the effect of previewing success

.“I’ve discovered that numerous peak performers use the skill of mental rehearsal of visualization,” Garfield said. “They mentally run through important events before they happen.”

Aided by all this visualization, the Giants now enter Super Bowl XLVI for a rematch with the New England Patriots, who advanced when Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff failed where Tynes succeeded.

“The timing was just a little off,” Cundiff said after missing a 32-yard field goal attempt that would have sent the game to overtime. “I’m disappointed. I let my teammates down.”

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis disagreed. “Not one play won or lost this game,” Lewis said. “There’s no ‘Oh, Billy’s the fault. Billy missed the (kick).’ There’s no freaking ‘Billy missed the kick.’ It happened. Move on.”

For some people, it will be harder than for others.

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