In a recent comment on athletesfirst.ca I wrote that we Paralympians “wrestle with the thought of losing at every training session. Our goal is to perform at an optimum level so that we can win. When we lose though, we lose. We need to work harder next time and although a hug from our loved ones might soften the blow, it does not equal success.”
Over the last days, I poured my maximum effort onto Portuguese boccia courts and came up short. I had some great performances, solid strategies a good mental game and even a reasonable level of consistency. Against the top players in Europe and the Americas, that was not enough. In the game of millimetres that we play, every millimetre counts.
The 2012 Masters began with doubles play, where my partner Marco Dispaltro and I were in a pool with Slovakia and Brazil. In the first game, we started strong, bringing the score to an even 2-2 after 3 of the 4 ends. In the last end, we were focused and ready to surge ahead and take the win. Adrenaline pumping, we missed a few key shots and made, what would end up, a fatal strategic error – attempting a more complicated shot, that would have resulted in the win and a completely blocked jack, instead of a simpler shot that could have just as easily won us the match. The complicated shot did not pan out, and we lost 2 – 5.
We then faced Brazil – two very solid players.