One thing that I have learned here in Orlando talking to some great coaches and mental toughness experts is this…

Champions are not normal.

They don’t have normal brains.

Lorenzo Beltrame shared a story about when he beat Pete Sampras twice on clay during a training session. He didn’t know how to console “Pistol” but before he could think of something, Pete said “This is great! I feel like I’m playing well and ready!”

That is not normal.

And last night I spent some time with Mark Dickson, former World #32, who has beaten Lendl and was even Agassi’s doubles partner. He was telling me about the days leading up to his match with Lendl, then #1 in the world. He visualized his strategy every day and EXPECTED to beat him. In his mind, he thought, “I can’t believe I’m going to beat the World #1.” And then he did in 45 minutes. I asked Dickson if he ever went into a match thinking he didn’t have a chance. He said “No.” And when he did lose, he thought, “What a great learning experience!”

That is not normal!

Well today I will be wrapping up a great 2.5 days at the Human Performance Institute and heading back home. Next stop, Philadelphia!

Have a great day everyone!

Homework: Don’t be normal today.


I had an amazing day yesterday (despite no sleep the night before) at the Human Performance Institute with Lorenzo Beltrame, who has worked with Pete Sampras and Jim Courier. Mark Dickson (US Open Quarter Finalist in Singles and Doubles and founder of the Mark Dickson Tennis Academy) and mental training coach, Rob Polishook (Inside the Zone)were there as well.

We had a great day talking about the keys to mental toughness and sharing stories.

As I was looking through my notes last night, I found a great quote by Horace Mann…

If an idiot were to tell you the same story everyday for a year, you would end by believing it.

So create the story of the player/person you WANT to be…write it down (by hand) and tell it to yourself over and over again.

And now for Day 2. Time for some breakfast and get picked up by the Mark Dickson Tennis Wagon…stay tuned.