On Tuesday, I was honored to be one of the people honored by the New York Yankees as part of HOPE Week. For approximately five years, I have been a mentor for Tuesday’s Children, a wonderful organization which began helping children who lost a parent in 9/11.

I became a volunteer mentor because I wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. It turned out to be the opposite – a child has made a difference in my life. I have a feeling this week, the Yankees have a similar attitude.

This amazing day consisted of mentors and mentees attending a beach party at South Street Seaport…with the New York Yankees. Highlights included lunch, ping pong, a water balloon fight, photos, autographs, a water taxi ride, a private Yankee Stadium tour, on field for batting practice…all with the Yankees.

To the Yankees, HOPE stands for: Helping Others Persevere and Excel. This is their way of giving back, but like the volunteer that I am, the Yankees reap the benefits of their charity. All of the players I spoke to felt that HOPE Week is one of their favorite weeks of the year, and it puts everything into perspective.

Even though I was one of the honorees, I was thinking about you (yes you) and how I could help you persevere and excel.

On the beach, I had a wonderful conversation with Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in the history of baseball. I asked him what he did when he didn’t feel confident. His answer replayed in my mind the rest of the day…

“You don’t ask a professional what he does when he doesn’t feel confident. A professional should always be confident. A better question is, ‘What do you do when you aren’t at your BEST?'”

Let’s analyze Mo’s answer.

Rivera says that you should always act confident (regardless of how you feel). He focuses on the positives versus the negatives. When he re-phrased my question, he didn’t say, “What do you do when you are at your WORST?” He, instead, chose to use a more powerful word, “BEST.”

Mariano Rivera doesn’t focus on results, he focuses on the process. I asked him what he thinks about when he pitches. His answer?

The catcher’s mitt.

You don’t have to be the best closer in the history of baseball to have the mindset of a champion.

Stay positive, and focus on the process instead of the results and you too can reach peak performance.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Remember this secret equation for peak performance…

E + R = O

Event + Response = Outcome

Much of success comes from our reactions in situations. If you lose a point or miss a shot, much of the time, it’s your reaction that will determine your results. Will you think a negative thought or a productive thought? Will you get frustrated or fascinated?

A friend of mine who plays in the Yankees organization once said that sometimes you may only have 70 percent of your game, but if you use 100 percent of that 70 percent, you can still win. The key is your response, or adjustments towards the event/situation.

We don’t have control over many of the events that occur, but we have total control over our response. As a result, we will have more favorable outcomes.


A big part of sports (and life) is persistence. Hanging on.

When I gave my recent talk at TEDxPrincetonLibrary, I talked about the word “hope” being an acronym—Hold On Possibilities Exist.

What do most people do when adversity strikes?

They give up.

Do you know what the great ones do?

They hang on until they catch on.

They get fascinated instead of frustrated.

They get intrigued instead of irritated.

If you stick with it when times are tough, you will most likely come out on top.

Why? Because not many people will be left.

If you do what everyone else does, you’ll get what everyone else gets.

Be great today.


To me, sports is not about trophies. It’s not about money. It’s not about saying you’re better than somebody else. The beauty of sports is who it makes you become. It’s about character. Watch the recent Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with one of my favorite athletes, the great Andre Agassi. Enjoy.


Happy Birthday 76th birthday to the Dalai Lama.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
—Dalai Lama

I really like this quote.

Can you apply this to sports? Of course you can.

You can substitute “success,” “peak performance,” “mental toughness,” “personal finance,” and “academic success” with “happiness” and still make this quote true.

It is not our intentions that create our results.

It is not our thoughts that create our results.

It is our ACTIONS that create our results.

Positive actions equal positive results.

Negative actions equal negative results.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Today’s message is especially dedicated to my grandmother, Fung Shee Pan, who turned 105 years young yesterday. Happy Birthday!

My grandmother is Buddhist and I think that is part of her secret to longevity.

Today, you will learn her secret.

Some say much of sports psychology came from Eastern philosophy. Recently, I was reading a great book by former professional baseball player, Shawn Green, “The Way of Baseball.” In the book, Green talks about how meditation and Zen helped him become one of the best hitters in his era.

Green mentioned the following Zen saying:

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

It’s not about what you do, it’s all about how you do it.

Are you fully engaged when you are working, practicing, studying, eating, etc?

Most are not.

Staying present is key to peak performance, satisfaction and improvement. Unfortunately, in today’s world of televisions, iPods, iPads, XBox and iPhones, it is easy to get distracted.

Whether you want to become like Shawn Green or my 105 year old grandmother, practicing meditation can help you perform better, live fully and live longer.

Try my meditation from yesterday’s message to get you on the path (click HERE).

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


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


Well, it’s official, Derek Jeter is in Trenton, so it only makes sense to talk baseball.

I just finished reading Shawn Green’s new book, “The Way of Baseball” and enjoyed it thoroughly.

One of the things that stood out most was his after at-bat routine.

Whether Green hit a home run or made an out, when he took off his batting gloves, the at-bat was over.

He let it go.

Good or bad.

In other words, you shouldn’t get too high or too low.

Once that happens, the ego is involved and you are out of the present moment and cannot reach peak performance.

In competition, you either win or you learn, and regardless of the result, you need to let it go and get ready for the next round/at-bat/shot/point/stroke.




Derek Jeter, the Captain of the New York Yankees, is all the buzz here in Trenton, New Jersey, as he is scheduled to make two rehab appearances for the Double A Trenton Thunder this weekend. And whether you like him or not, you have to admit he is a class-act.

I like that.

You know what I like even more? Jeter’s attitude. Here’s a quote of his I recently came across on Twitter…

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter

You don’t have to be closing in on 3,000 hits to have the same attitude as Jeter. And you can start right now.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center