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Mind Games: A Tip from Her Baseball Playing Brother Has Helped Coco Gauff Manage the Majors Better

Codey, a young baseball player, has helped his sister deal with the mental challenges of competing at a Slam.

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday January 19, 2024

A year ago Codey Gauff, one of Coco Gauff’s younger brothers, gave her some sound advice: trick your mind for better results.

Gauff used his advice at the US Open, and it made reaching a seemingly impossible goal much easier to manage.

The 19-year-old American plans to keep using the mental tactic at this year’s Australian Open, where she is into the round of 16 after a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alycia Parks on Day 6.

How does it work?

“Have fun and relax,” Gauff told reporters. “I think as you get later, the trophy obviously gets closer and closer. You have to treat it that it’s as far away as it is if you’re in the first round. That’s what I approached that final. I didn’t approach it as I just need to win two sets and I have it. I approached it as I need to win seven matches again and then I’ll get it.

“It was actually something my brother told me, which is crazy.”

Gauff said that Codey, who is a baseball player in the high school class of 2026, tipped her off on a key mindset to incorporate.

“He told me, ‘Pretend that you have to win three sets instead of two,’” she said. “If you put your mindset into the extra mile, then it seems easier I guess in a way. He would say, ‘Okay, if you want to win the Grand Slam, say you have to win eight matches instead of seven.’ It’s like changing your mindset so it feels further.

Gauff said the pair had the chat about a year ago.

“It always stuck with me,” she said. “I think at French Open I felt like it was so close, and I just got so tight. At the US Open it just felt so far away from the very first point of the match literally until match point was over.

“I think tricking your mind kind of relaxes the body because your mind controls your body. You have to trick your mind a little bit.”

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