McALESTER — When McAlester senior Ngoc Nguyen faced Booker T. Washington’s Micah Cash in the one-singles final of the McAlester Team Tournament last week, a clear contrast emerged. Cash, a freshman, almost immediately took himself mentally out of the game, shouting, throwing his racket, even hitting himself after mistakes.
Nguyen, on the other hand, kept himself calm and focused through both his successful points and not-so-successful points. Even when an earlier opponent called a ball out of bounds that Nguyen knew was in, Nguyen didn’t lose his cool.
“Tennis is a mental sport,” Nguyen said Wednesday.
“I know what’s going to happen when I get mad — I lose points. But if I don’t get mad, I can change the game and control myself and play the way I want.”
Nguyen started playing tennis as an 8-year-old in Da Lat, a city of about 200,000 in southeastern Vietnam. His father, a former tennis player in Vietnam, coached him for the first six years.
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