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It’s All in the Mind

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Many sports can produce drama and excitement, but some of the biggest adrenaline rushes come from events where the physical side is secondary or non-existent.


In 1985 18.5 million people in the UK watched the dramatic conclusion to the World Championship, as Dennis Taylor triumphed on the final black. Snooker produces gripping matches, based on a combination of strategy, potting, and the ability to hold your nerve.


The players may he renowned as unathletic, but darts is possibly the most visual of the cerebral sports. Quick thinking and strategy are crucial, along with a steady hand and the ability to focus in spite of numerous distractions. Superstars like van Gerwen and Anderson draw huge audiences, and their consistency under pressure is astonishing.


There is a physical side to golf, as strength and flexibility are important, but the success of less athletic players like Craig Stadler and Kiradech Aphibarnrat emphasises the greater role of mental skills. The excitement builds gradually in golf, until a stage is reached where the pressure seems almost beyond endurance. Martin Kaymer’s putt to complete the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ is just one example.


Possibly the ultimate mental challenge. The world championships have historically produced mind games that have captivated the world. From the Cold War match between loyal Soviet Spassky and unstable American Fischer, to the battles between establishment man Karpov and renegades Korchnoi and Kasparov, chess has rarely failed to deliver surreal controversy.


The great players, like Daniel Negreanu, earn millions through a combination of nerve, steely focus, and acting skills. Imagine how you would feel if you were going to win or lose a life-changing amount of money on the turn of the next few cards. Poker is much more accessible than the other sports listed here, so if you want that feeling, get out there and start playing.

  • Published On : 4 months ago on
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  • Last Updated : March 15, 2019 @ 1:25 pm
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