MESSAGE #1638 HOW TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD…

Martina Navratilova is a former World No. 1 female tennis player. In fact, Billie Jean King said Navratilova is the “greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”

I played some doubles with Martina when she was getting ready to make her comeback back in 2000. I vividly remember the first time I hit with her. She and I were warming up and I quickly began thinking, “I’m hitting with a living legend…” I was nervous and my strokes and body were extremely tight.

Fortunately, I quickly thought, “She’s just another tennis player. Have fun.” And I did exactly that and played quite well.

Here’s what happened:

1. I was having nervous thoughts which created nervous feelings.
2. My nervous feelings created my tight strokes and behavior.
3. My thoughts changed and quickly my strokes and body became more loose.

Here’s what you should understand:

1. Feelings are not created by external events, e.g., line calls, spectators, comments or Martina Navratilova.
2. Feelings are created 100% by your own thoughts (often without you even realizing that you are thinking).
3. When you are experiencing negative feelings, you don’t have to “do” anything about them. All it takes is the UNDERSTANDING that your thoughts create your feelings (you are the thinker) and if you don’t take them so seriously, your mindset will naturally rise back up.
4. With this understanding, your mind will clear and you will increase your chances of having a peak performance.

Thoughts?

Leave your comments below.

For a free 10-minute phone, Skype or FaceTime consultation on the mental game in sports, academics, business, or life, email: ed@edtseng.com.

Thanks for reading.

MESSAGE #1636 LIFE IS A MARATHON…

Today is the 116th Boston Marathon. A 26.2 mile physical, mental and spiritual test for over 26,000 runners. And today is going to be a hot one.

Tom Fleming is a marathon runner and he actually was runner-up at in the Boston Marathon two times. When he was at his peak, Fleming would run between 150 and 175 miles a week. An amazing feat in itself. Somebody once asked him, “Do you ever NOT feel like running?”

“EVERY DAY I don’t feel like running…until I start running,” responded Fleming.

Now you may not be a marathon runner, but I can guarantee that at some point today, there will be something you don’t “feel like” doing, whether it’s working out, cleaning the house, practicing or studying. You may not be able to run 175 miles a week like Tom Fleming, but you can certainly have the same attitude as him—-do it whether you feel like it or not.

It’s a choice.

Here’s another great quote by Fleming:

Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.

Good luck today to all the marathoners…and good luck to YOU.

Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon; take it one step at a time.

Thanks for reading.

Ed Tseng
Peak Performance Coach
Pro of the Year USTA 2005
Author of “Game. Set. Life.”
Keynote Speaker
ed@edtseng.com
609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1635 FINAL FOUR, FINAL THOUGHTS…

Tomorrow, college basketball really heats up…the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State and Kansas will be competing to see who will get to the final round.

I have have been a consultant for some Final Four teams and if I were to give a talk to the teams right before they played tomorrow night, I would give them this bit of advice…

At some point during the game tomorrow night, you will have a negative thought in your head.

“What if we lose this game?”

“What if I miss this foul shot?”

“I can’t handle this pressure!”

Well, let me explain how your mind works…

Your feelings of nervousness, lack of confidence or anger cannot hurt your performance…unless you let them. Your feelings come from your thoughts, not from an external source like a game, the crowd or even the referees.

Feelings and thoughts are neutral (and random). It’s normal to have negative thoughts pop up in your head, but you have the choice of which ones to focus on.

If you were enjoying a movie at the theater and a random thought about what you were going to eat after the movie popped into your head, wouldn’t you just dismiss that random thought and focus back on the movie? Of course you would.

You can also dismiss any negative thoughts on the court in the same way, even if you’re on national television.

We can’t control what thoughts pop up in our heads, but we can choose which ones to focus on.

If I am in New York City waiting for the C train, but the A train, the B train and the D train keep arriving, I cannot control that. But I can control which train I get on.

Your thoughts are the same way.

In other words…

Don’t take your thoughts so seriously.

It’s not what’s happening around you. It’s not what’s happening to you. What really matters is what’s happening INSIDE you.

Good luck in the Final Four and if you’re an accountant in Boston, Massachusetts or a musician in San Francisco, this applies to you too. We can all improve our performance by mastering the mental game.

Thanks for reading.

Ed Tseng
Peak Performance Coach
Pro of the Year USTA 2005
Author of “Game. Set. Life.”
Keynote Speaker
ed@edtseng.com
609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1634 HAPPY PI DAY!


Today is Pi Day (3.14).

Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so the whole Princeton area is going insane. There are pi fights, pi eating contests, all sorts of mental olympics and even a geekiest geek contest!

Since Princeton is going “insane” on Pi Day, I want you to go through your day thinking about one of my favorite Einstein quotes…I know I will especially if I drive by his house on Mercer Street today.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Do you keep doing the same thing?

Are you complaining about your results?

Then change what you’re doing on the field, in the classroom, in your relationships and at the office.

To get what we have never gotten, we must do what we have never done.

Happy Pi Day.

Ed Tseng
Peak Performance Coach
Pro of the Year USTA 2005
Author of “Game. Set. Life.”
Keynote Speaker
ed@edtseng.com
609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1633 IT’S NATIONAL PROCRASTINATION WEEK!

Well, it’s National Procrastination Week, and I’m all for it.

In fact, I want you to make EVERY week, Procrastination Week. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to procrastinate practicing, paying your bills, cleaning your house or any of that sort of thing.

Actually, there’s only one thing that I want you to procrastinate.

I want you to procrastinate procrastination.

Put off putting things off.

Do you know the five words why most people fail?

I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT.

Feelings are just feelings, you don’t have to act on every one of them. The most successful people in the world do what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they feel like it or not.

Don’t train yourself to be lazy or hold back.

Train yourself to give a full effort.

I have lazy feelings all the time, but I rarely have lazy actions.

The other day I was working with a young gymnast and she said to me, “When I walked into the gym today, I felt very tired, but then I just acted like I had high energy and then I became energized!”

Effort was a choice for this young gymnast, and effort is a choice for you.

So as everyone else is celebrating National Procrastination Week, I challenge you to procrastinate procrastination. And when next week rolls around and everyone else is playing catch-up, you will be hitting the ground with your feet running.

Ed Tseng
Mental Conditioning Coach
Pro of the Year USTA 2005
Author of “Game. Set. Life.”
ed@edtseng.com
609.558.1077

MESSAGE #1632 LEAP YEAR

Well, it’s February 29th on this Leap Year, so I feel it only appropriate to tell you one of my favorite riddles…

Three frogs were sitting on a log.
Two frogs decided to leap off.
How many frogs were left?

Answer: Three. Just because the two frogs DECIDED to leap off, doesn’t mean that they actually did.

Just because YOU decide to eat healthier, practice more, or quit smoking, doesn’t mean you actually will.

Can you? Absolutely.

Will you? That’s up to you.

How about this for a Leap Year’s Resolution: Don’t be a frog.

MESSAGE #1630 PERSISTENCE

Recently, I was watching the press conference for Yankee catcher, Jorge Posada’s retirement from baseball. As Jorge spoke, reflected on his career and answered questions from the media, I couldn’t help but think about a story I once heard about the young Posada in Puerto Rico.

When Jorge was just starting out in baseball, Jorge Sr. insisted that Jorge become a switch-hitter, but Jorge hated batting left-handed.

“He cried and he cried, and he cried, because in the game he would strike out, and strike out, and strike out,” his father said.

In fact, in his first 17 left-handed at-bats, the young Jorge struck out each time.

Then, in his 18th at-bat Jorge hit a home run. After he rounded the bases, the proud young Jorge said, “Oh father, thank you. Thank you, father.”

The greatest athletes in the world know that persistence pays off.

Are you willing to put off what you want now for what you want most?

MESSAGE #1629 ALL YOU NEED…

Poor people have a big TV. Rich people have a big library. Enlightened people know that all you need is already inside you.

MESSAGE #1628

MESSAGE #1627

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
-Martin Luther King, Jr

Negative thoughts cannot drive out negative thoughts; only positive thoughts can do that.