What a tennis championship match can teach us about emotional intelligence

We are attuned to our expectations; it’s in our brains’ wiring. Anticipation of a positive outcome supplies us with dopamine that motivates and keeps us engaged.

When our expectations are not met, we become disappointed as our dopamine is depleted which robs us motivation and even attention. Along with other chemical changes, this dynamic can lead to despair and disfunction and thus we launch into a downward spiral: mistake, self-criticism, despair, becoming de-skilled leading to more mistakes and down the rabbit hole we go.

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