Preparing for Super Rematch
With less than a week until Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, the New York Giants and New England Patriots have been preparing for a rematch, after the Super Bowl upset, which left the Patriots with one loss in the 2007 season. For the Patriots, losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, deemed one of the greatest upsets in sports history, was a devastating defeat to a near perfect season. Now that the Patriots have a chance to play the Giants again in the Super Bowl, can they move on from their defeat and be well prepared for a rematch?
Boston University sport psychologist Amy Baltzell and author of Living in the Sweet Spot: Preparing for Performance in Sport and Life, recently joined WBUR’s Morning Edition in Boston for some insight into how competitive minds cope with such a challenge.
Baltzell noted that helping athletes stay focused on the present is a challenge that sport psychologists face when athletes need to overcome a devastating loss. It is human nature to have thoughts of doubt, whether you’re a Super Bowl athlete or a three time Olympian, she stated, but it’s how quickly athletes can focus on positive thoughts and points of focus that will help them perform.
While Tom Brady is only one of seven returning players from that Super Bowl loss on the Patriots team, he admitted that he can’t watch replays from that Super Bowl. Has Brady overcome that loss? Baltzell stated that what may help Brady succeed in the Super Bowl this Sunday is if he lives “in the sweet spot.” Brady must acknowledge the Super Bowl defeat, focus on the upcoming game, fully enjoy the process and stay focused moment to moment, blocking out worries about what may come or has happened. Will Brady be able to overcome his previous Super Bowl loss? We’ll just have to tune in and see.