Without confidence, a golfer is little more than a hacker.
-Bobby Jones

Feel free to substitute the word “golfer” for “tennis player,” “salesperson,” or “musician.”


Recently I created a type of meditation called, the “Now” Meditation, inspired after talking mental toughness with a former New York Yankee. Here it is:

1. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths (in through the nose for four seconds, out through the nose for four seconds).
2. Clear your mind from thoughts and external distractions by repeating the word, “now,” bringing you to the present moment.
3. Your mind may wander, this is normal. When this happens, just accept the thought or distraction and go back to focusing on the word, “now.”

One of the keys to sports success is relaxing under pressure. With the “Now” Meditation, you will be able to relax any time, any where, whether it is before a competition, test, or presentation. Kung-fu masters use something similar called xi sui to keep a clear mind.

With practice, this meditation will also help YOU become more focused, relaxed and able to do your best when it means the most.

Practicing the “now” meditation only takes a few minutes, so there’s no excuse not to do it, even on holidays.

Speaking of holidays…

Happy Fourth of July!

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Did you know, in addition to coaching, speaking and writing, I am in sales?

I actually have the most difficult sales job—I sell people on themselves.

Let me explain…

I feel that the biggest sickness in this country is low self-esteem. Many people don’t believe in themselves, or feel that success is possible.

“I can’t beat that player.”

“I can’t start my own business.”

“I can’t get good grades.”

I was coaching a high school tennis player the other day and by the end of the lesson, he was a totally different player.

Guess what?

I didn’t work on his technique much at all.

I worked on his attitude, effort and reactions to situations. I was selling him on himself.

In my recent TEDxPrincetonLibrary talk, I spoke about the greatest joke.

The greatest joke is the one-liner we keep telling ourselves. A limiting belief.

You can only become as good as your self-image.

What’s YOUR self-image?

For a free 10-minute peak performance consultation, call 609.558.1077 or email .

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


In Steve Siebold’s book, 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, Secret #92 is “The World Class Catapults Their Consciousness By Overcoming Obstacles.” On the page, there is a quote by author, Thomas Carlyle…

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the path of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the path of the strong.

The action step Siebold recommends is: Make a list of the three biggest obstacles you currently face. Next, determine the worst thing that could possibly happen if you decided to mount an all-out assault to overcome them. If you can live with the worst-case scenario, suspend your fear and attack your obstacles as if it is impossible to fail. If you succeed, your self-confidence will soar. If you fail, you will live to fight another day.

Wow. That’s powerful stuff.


Recently, cognitive science and performance expert, Sian Beilock sent me a copy of her new book, “Choke.”

People choke all the time, in sports and life. Below are some anti-choke techniques that Beilock recommends.

1. Distract yourself—Sing a song or even thinking about your pinky toe as Jack Nicklaus was rumored to do can help prevent the prefrontal cortex from regulating too closely movement that should run outside awareness.

2. Don’t slow down—Don’t give yourself too much time to think and to control your highly practiced putt, free throw, or penalty kick. Just do it.

3. Practice under stress—Practicing under the exact conditions you will face in a do-or-die situation is exactly what is needed to perform your best when the stress is on. Get used to the pressure so competition is not something you fear. Also, by understanding when pressure happens, you can create situations that will maximize the stress in your opponents.

4. Don’t dwell—Take that past performance and change how you think about it. See your failures as a chance to learn how to perform better in the future.

5. Focus on the outcome, not the mechanics—Focusing on the goal, where the ball will land in the net, helps cue your practiced motor programs to run flawlessly.

6. Find a key word—A one-word mantra (such as smooth during a golf stroke) can keep you focused on the end result rather than the step-by-step processes of performance.

7. Focus on the positive—Don’t be helpless. If you focus on the negative this can make you feel out of control and increase the likelihood that you will not work as hard to obtain future performance goals.

8. Cure the yips by changing your grip—An alteration in your performance technique reprograms the circuits you need to execute your shot, hopefully clearing your brain and body of the motor hiccup.

Thank you, Sian.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Diogenes was an early Greek philosopher.

When asked why he begged money from a statue, Diogenes said that he was practicing disappointment.

At first this seems like a negative attitude, but I think it is brilliant.

In sports and life, there will always be disappointment.

There will always be challenges.

But we never practice what we will do when those situations arise.

Most of us react emotionally.

The key is to react intelligently.

Take some time today to think about a potential challenge that may come up, and think about what your ideal reaction would be.

If it happens, you will be prepared.

You might even enjoy the challenge.


“Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them”

Happiness in sports is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.

Anyone can deal with playing well, but most athletes cannot deal with playing poorly. But most people don’t get it—it’s not about getting rid of problems/challenges, but how we react.

How we make adjustments.

The next time you are in a tough situation, think NOT of the situation, but HOW you are going to react.

Then just do it.


Yesterday, I talked about one of my she-roes, my mother.

Today, I want to talk about another one of my she-roes, the great Rayna DuBose (ABOVE at the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore with yours truly).

For those of you who complain about the little things in life, after reading today’s message, there’s a good chance you will never complain again.

From Rayna’s website:

What started as a dream in 2001 quickly turned into a disaster for Rayna DuBose, a highly recruited student who was granted a full athletic scholarship to play Division I Women’s Basketball at Virginia Tech. Rayna entered Virginia Tech in 2001 as a part of the women’s team which was in the Big East Conference at the time. By the time April 2002 had approached, Rayna was struck with a deadly bacterial disease known as meningococcal meningitis, which then led to 96 days in the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, with collapsed organs, non-functioning kidneys which had her on dialysis, in a coma, liver problems and worst of all no blood circulation to her hands. She was a vegetable fighting for her life. Soon enough the day came when all four of her limbs were amputated and she became a bi-lateral amputee.

After the pain, therapy and what seemed like torture, Rayna returned back to Virginia Tech in the summer of 2003 to return to her normal college life as if nothing had ever happened. With a year off from school in 2002 she still remained active, taking on-line classes and staying a part of the Virginia Tech Women’s Basketball team by serving as a Student Assistant Coach, still traveling and being a part of the team. In 2003 she received the Most Courageous Award at the Men’s Final Four in New Orleans. In 2005 she received the Wilma Rudolph Award. She was also given the 2009 National Ethnic Coalition Organization Congressional Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and was the 2009 McDonalds Athlete of the Day for the Military Paralympics. Rayna has also made appearances on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, CBS Sports, the CBS Early Show, Cayman Islands news, and local news stations. Just recently completed the USA a2 sitting volleyball training camp.

I caught up with my inspirational friend earlier today on Facebook (Yes, she uses Facebook—in fact Rayna and I text all the time).

The first time I met Rayna, I asked her what she did first thing in the morning.

She said, “Put on my arms and legs.”

Anyone feel like complaining about the fact that it’s “Monday”?!?

Today, Rayna told me, you have to appreciate what you have because you never know what can happen. She has actually said that becoming an amputee was the best thing that ever happened to her because now she is helping others.


DuBose also said that the secret to life is to love yourself. I like that.

I asked Rayna if she thought anything was possible.

“EVERYTHING is possible depending on how bad you want it and how hard you will work for it.”

That’s mental toughness.

Rayna does not feel that she is handicapped. It just takes her a little longer to do some things. She even drives when she goes out with her friends!

Sports and life is not about what happens to us, it’s all about how we respond.

So the next time you feel like complaining or feel that you can’t do something, remember Rayna’s words.