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All about focus

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

August 24, 2006

It is amazing how fans are mesmerized by special athletes. No matter the sport, there are individuals who stand out among their peers.

Look at Tiger Woods. He has that winner's mentality and that ability to finish the task at hand. In major tournaments, he has been tied or ahead entering the final round and in all 12, he has captured the championship.

He simply blows the competition away. Whether you are talking about football, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, whatever sport you want, certain players have that competitive drive and the ability to block everything out and focus.

There are so many people that have the fear of failure that destroys them. It is so important to put that fear aside. If you have the approach to go for it, do your best and see where the chips may fall, you improve your chances of being successful.

I look at the success stories, the Michael Jordans of the world and realize that their greatness came about because of a number of factors. There was work ethic, the desire to be the best they could, a focus and a mental toughness.

Fans should appreciate those characteristics in star athletes. It can be the difference between being very good and great.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.