Overcoming a Tough Hurdle

Sometimes a team or a player just keeps running into the same roadblock. Whether it's a tough opponent or a personal challenge, athletes often have to set their minds to beat these recurring obstacles to achieve their goals.

This week, the WNBA's Indiana Fever will match up against one of their long-time roadblocks in the Eastern Conference semifinals - the Detroit Shock.

History: For the last three years, Detroit has eliminated Indiana in the playoffs. In 2006 and 2008, Detroit knocked off Indiana in the first round. In 2007, the Shock eliminated the Fever in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It's no secret that Indiana would love to get some payback and beat Detroit in this playoff series.

How it Happens: WNBA fans have been saying that Detroit has Indiana's number. This means that no matter what, the Shock always seem to beat the Fever. This happens every once in awhile. For many decades, the Boston Red Sox simply could not beat the New York Yankees. Even when it looked like Boston had the upper hand, the Yankees would find a way to come back and win. Nobody is exactly sure how this happens. One factor is psychological. The more times the Fever looses to Detroit, the harder it becomes to beat them. Teams that keep running into the same road block might start to think that it's impossible to overcome.

How to Beat It: Teams that keep bumping into the same obstacles need to start by thinking positive. Indiana will never beat Detroit unless the players believe they can do it. Once the right attitude is there, the results will follow. In 2004, the Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs and went on to win the World Series. They did it because they believed in themselves. Heading into its series with Detroit, Indiana needs to have faith in their ability and stay determined.

The idea of positive thinking can be applied to more than just sports. Maybe a student has trouble in one class and can't seem to get an "A." If the student believes that she can do well and stays dedicated to her goal, she can achieve it and get the "A."

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