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Art: Anger
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Anger. You and your Opponent
By Joseph Delgado on 4/12/08

Anger in a way is seductive. Think it usually feels pretty good your body is drenched in chemicals, your heart races, your perceptions sharpen, your strength increases, there's almost an animalistic focus. You're ready to do battle to the death. Shame, I believe there's a high price to pay for that anger.

I believe the surge of Anger is temporary. If it can go on forever then I'm pretty sure a lot more people would be dead. It's an expulsion of energy that exceeds the normal limits of the body. Of course, it's not like that life and death moment where people can lift hundreds of pounds, but I think it's a little higher than normal output. We all know what happens when we push things a little outside of normal. They eventually break down.

Anger can be internal or external. If I had a choice I would choose external. Internal anger is like jumping ship and rooting for your opponent. Instead of just one opponent you have two and no one knows you better than yourself. Believe some people use this internal anger as a weapon, the more exuberant the performance the more of a chance it has to affect the other guy. Suddenly the opponent is observing instead of playing. Maybe a curse word uttered at precisely the right moment of your shot totally throws you off and you skip. Either way it breaks your focus. Lastly internal anger gives your opponent too much validation that his or her game plan is indeed working. There's no better feeling than having your opponent a complete mental mess.

External anger is another show and the objective is the same to get the opponent to think of something else. Anything other than the angry player is the target. It's like a volcano erupting fire, ash, giant molten rocks raining down. People skilled at this kind of anger can probably erupt on cue and then calm down. The goal to leave the other guy dazed and confused, and maybe a little angry himself. Same net effect, off the game.

I know when I'm angry I want to hit the ball outside of my comfort zone. I want to put the ball through the wall! It also wears me down pretty quick. Everything even running is out of my comfort zone. There could be a stray thought, but it's corrupted by aggression. After a couple, of points I'm worn down and there's nothing left. What remains after Anger? Fear. If you cannot destroy the reason you're angry then I think it's natural to fear it.

See you on the courts,

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