I heard this story about the manager of a prize fighter who says to his fighter, who is losing badly, “David, listen to me, it is not what he is doing to you. It is what you are not doing.”
Sit back for a minute, and I’ll tell you what you’re not doing when you play bridge.
You’re delighted to sit down to play a bridge match. You are going to play 24 boards over three hours. Almost a thousand cards will be played at your table. To play at the highest level,
you will need to be fully focused, paying intense attention for the entire game. Whether you realize it or not, you are engaged in a marathon. A world-class marathoner finishes in two hours and 15 minutes, and anything under three hours is considered a good time. Successful marathoners learn to carefully conserve their energy. To prevail, it requires that they finish the event with decent speed and even a closing burst without collapsing in the last mile. How often have you found yourself playing the last three boards terribly? Now you know why: You were running on empty. There was no fuel in your tank.