by JAMES HENRY
ATLANTA – On the tennis court – or judo mat – a positive mental attitude is the difference between winning and losing.
“When it comes down to it, obviously skill is paramount in any sport and preparation. But once you have the skill and you’ve done the preparation, then ultimately what makes the difference is the mind,” said retired judo competitor Jimmy Pedro, Olympic Games bronze medal winner in 1996 in Atlanta and 2004 in Athens.
Pedro now coaches Kayla Harrison, who made history at the 2012 Olympics in London as the first American, man or woman, to win a gold judo medal.
“On the mat or on the tennis court, it really comes down to a battle of wills,” he said. “Are you willing and able to go to that place where that other person is not? Are you willing to push the pace? Can you dig deep?”
The BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tournament is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Olympics in Atlanta. Tennis fans can talk and take pictures with athletes and see rare memorabilia in a special exhibit.