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University of South Carolina Men Team News
Gamecocks Earn Competitive Edge Through Psychology
Tuesday, 01/26/2016

It's no secret that psychology can play an important role in the heat of athletics competition. For South Carolina men's tennis coach Josh Goffi, mental exercise training can be just as important as working on a backhand, forehand or serve. The purpose of these exercises is to give his team a better understanding of the game, as well as a mental edge over their opponents.
"What we try to do every day is not to strive to play our best every time because that's holding a standard you really can't accomplish," Goffi said. "If you're trying to be great every day in a sense that you have to be perfect in order to win, the pressure you will feel going on to the court is so immense that you end up crumbling."
Whether it's seeking "the hidden score," remaining "positive neutral," showing the ability to "keep your thumb on top," or simply "starting the clock," Goffi has applied what he learned growing up under his father (Carlos Goffi), a renowned professional coach, as well as from his college and professional playing experiences to shape his psychological coaching style.
"Every day, every word that is coming out of my mouth is embodying all of that," Goffi said. "Our individual time on the court is very skill-oriented, developing each player's skill, but team practices are all about competing. So it involves all of that. There are classroom sessions we have about that. With the freshmen, we bring them in for one-on-ones and go slow with them so they get the general idea. Then we watch a video and that's when it's really apparent to everybody, and they start learning and applying it on the court."

Click here for the full release from Brad Muller, Director of Content at USC Athletics.