Ask an Expert: How do you keep your head in the game when paired with a slow playing partner?
Q: What’s a sound strategy for staying in the game when I’m playing with a maddeningly slow partner?
—S. Morris, Saginaw, Mich.
A: Playing with a slow partner is no different from any other distraction: It’s a circumstance outside of our power in which we have no control. But you do have a choice. You can choose not to play or figure out a way to play along with the distraction. This puts you back in control!
Instead of getting frustrated or angry, try leaning into the distraction. What I mean is, invite the feeling, use it as a signal that your attention isn’t where it needs to be and gently guide it back. This is what we call awareness. Without it, we respond to distractions with both anger and fear, two swing killers. When we are aware, we’re able to create the space needed to guide our attention back to the task at hand without any judgment.
Calling out the distraction, in the moment, allows us to see it from a different perspective. The desire to change it is no longer needed. We can use it as a reminder to simply return our attention to where it needs to be.