Are You Better Than Some of the Pros Playing in the US Open?

I was at the National Tennis Center yesterday watching the US Open. As I watched, I was surprised at how many errors the pros made. Of course errors are inevitable, but they were making “bad” mistakes and at that level, it is unacceptable. A “good mistake” is when you have the right game plan, but didn’t execute properly. At least you had the right intent. A “bad mistake” is when you make the wrong shot selection. Here are a few examples…

When in trouble, you go for a winning shot instead of hitting a defensive shot like a lob.


When you are playing doubles and you try to go down the line when you should be continuing to hit cross court.


You get an easy ball and you make an unforced error.

I also saw many players mis-hit the ball. That is a ball that hits off of the frame of the racquet. At that level, they should not be mis-hitting the ball, at least not on a fairly easy ball. That is just lack of focus.

So do you hit a defensive shot when you are in trouble? Do you keep going cross court in doubles until you get the ball you want? Do you win the point when you get an easy ball?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are better than some of the pros out there. Do that consistently and you are on your way to playing at the next level.

Homework: Watch the US Open and see if you can detect when they make a “good mistake” and when they make a “bad mistake.”

Special Guest Ghost Blogger Today…

Today, I have a very special guest blogger. She will be writing on the topic of asking the right questions….

Have you heard the story of the Jefferson Memorial???
I saw a video presentation on it and the message stuck with me. Here’s the story:
The memorial in D.C. was getting badly deteriorated at an alarming rate compared to other memorials and the park service needed to figure out what to do about it.
Here was one option for the quick-to-reactive: Replace the crumbling sections of stone at an unbelievably high cost and requiring the memorial to be closed for an extended period.
But what was smart to do in this case (and in much of life) was to ask, “Why?”
Why were the stones crumbling?
Because they needed to be cleaned very frequently- more than the other memorials…
Well, because there were so many pigeons (what my friend calls flying cockroaches)!
Ok, here we go again…”Why?”
Because there were so many spiders living there…”Why?”
Because there were so many itsy bugs called midges living there…”Why?”
Because of the strange lighting conditions happening at the site!
All these links in the chain of a problem were fixed by turning on the lights just a bit later in the evening. No new formulas developed to clean the stones, no devised methods to control the pigeon, spider, or midge population…none of these complex, elaborate schemes to fix the problem! A simple solution emerged because someone took the time to figure out what the real problem was!
A great lesson, no?

So, what does this have to do with you? Well, take the lesson as you like! For me, it reminds me to constantly move beyond the surface, superficial problem. Why deal with the side effects when you can cut to the core and deal with the root problem? It save a whole lot of time, trouble, effort, heartache, etc…the lessons are infinite! It’s all about thinking outside the box!
In a society of quick answers and results, we need to often slow down and take the initiative to understand the dynamics of a situation before formulating a plan of action.
So, what do you want? What really is the problem???? Be brave enough to ask the question and act upon the answers!

Your homework: The next time you find yourself in a situation, try a new way to react to it.

For a bit more contemplation on the questions and answers of life:

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try
To love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written
in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not
be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the
point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even
Noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
In Letters to a Young Poet

Secret Success Formula…

This post is especially dedicated to Coach Rob Polishook and his girls tennis team at Summit High School…

D – T = N

A Dream minus a Team equals a Nightmare.

Those of you that are on sports teams, remember this formula.
Those of you that are in the business world, remember this formula.
Those of you that are in the medical field, remember this formula.
Those of you who are part of a family, remember this formula.
EVERYONE…remember this formula.

If you went up to the most successful people in the world and asked them how they became so successful…if they are honest with you, they will mention several names of people that helped them along the way or tell you the members of their “team.” Nobody can do it on their own.

Someone once said, “I use all the brains I have…and all that I can borrow.”

This formula works because not only do you get new ideas, but you inspire each other and push each other. If you hang around successful people, you will become one. You can’t stick your hand in a pot of glue without some of it sticking. People are also holding you accountable. When you make a public statement about what you’re going to do and people know about it, you are more likely to get it done.

So if you can read this…you need to start forming your team. But remember, success is about balance, so if you only have a great team at work, that’s not good enough…you need a great team in your personal life, for fitness, nutrition, spirituality, finance, academics, hobbies, etc. If you have people that fit in more than one of these categories, even better. Learn from each other, push each other, and support each other.

Homework: Start making a list of people who you want on your “dream team” and start taking action. “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with ONE STEP.”

Top Mental Mistakes Tennis Players Make…

1. They are negative. Remember, nothing positive comes from something negative. When you miss a shot, don’t ask “Why did I hit that terrible shot?” Instead, ask “How can I make an adjustment for next time?” Losers ask why, winners ask how. Next time you play, have someone keep track of how many negative comments, sounds, and negative physical actions you make…you’ll be surprised. I was teaching this woman who is one of the most positive people I know, and in the first half hour, had over 20 negative comments or actions.

2. They focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. Sure, it’s fun to practice what you’re good at, but that doesn’t help improve your weakest link. If you have no backhand and I see that in the warmup, guess what? I’m hitting EVERYTHING to your backhand. Practice with a purpose.

3. They think winning is everything. Think about it, if this was truly the case, wouldn’t you just play people you were much better than? Wouldn’t that get boring? So there’s something to be said about a challenge. Winning is internal. If you give it your all and push yourself to play your hardest, and then some…guess what? You’re a winner. And if you learn from that, you’re on a whole ‘nother level. Because even is you lose 0-6, 0-6, you will still have gotten more out of that match than your opponent. They may have gotten a bit lucky or maybe they ARE better than you, it doesn’t matter, what you should really measure yourself with is YOU. If you focus on constant learning and improvement, the winning will come.

4. They have poor body language when they are losing or playing poorly. What does someone who is negative look like? Don’t they have their head down, shoulders slumped walking slowly? Guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way. You can instantly change your mood by your actions. So instead, when you’re down, snap your fingers and ACT like you’re really energized and ACT like you’re really confident. You will be amazed at the results; and then your feelings will follow.

5. They don’t have goals. Only about 3% of the population have goals, written goals. How can you get to the next level, if you don’t even know what that next level even is? If you’re trying to find your way around New York City and you have a map of Philadelphia…good luck. Once you have your goals, write the top 5 on an index card and keep it in your tennis bag. Read it before you step on the tennis court and then you will have a plan instead of just “seeing how you play.” The average tennis player says “Let’s see how I play today.” The great tennis player says, “This is how I’m going to play today and this is my strategy.” Instead of just “playing tennis,” be a “tennis player.” There’s a difference. If you’re just PLAYING tennis, youre hitting tennis balls. If you’re a tennis PLAYER, you have the mindset of a champion.

Homework: Watch the US Open and see if the pros make any of these mental mistakes…and see how that affects their performance.

Here’s How You Can Be Like Roger Federer…

As you’re watching the US Open these next two weeks, think about the following questions…

Who has a better serve, you or Roger Federer?
Who is faster, you or Roger Federer?
Who is stronger, you or Roger Federer?

If you ran 5 miles, did 10 sprints, hit 100 serves and practiced for 5 hours, would you REALLY be that much better tomorrow? The answer is no.

Do you know how you can be the same or BETTER than Federer, instantly?
With your energy, attitude, passion, desire. You can ACT like him right away, and guess what? Once you take action, your feelings follow and before you know it, even if you are not playing like Federer, you will at least be at a whole ‘nother level than you were…and that’s the beginning of greatness.

What it all boils down to is energy. This is what Dr. Gilbert, Darren Ventre, Andy Hernandez and I spoke about yesterday at Jackson Liberty High School. We didn’t give them tips on how to improve their skills…we talked about how they could be more motivated, and focused and ENERGIZED so they could achieve better results as a by-product. We spoke about how to dig down deep and give it that “extra” in front of ordinary and create “extraordinary.”

So as you’re watching the US Open this week and next, look at which players have the most energy. You will be able to see who is “playing tennis” and who is a “tennis player.” More often than not, the person with more energy wins. That is why I am never surprised when someone in the top 100 beats someone in the top 10.

Homework: Next time you go out and practice/play or go to work or do homework, ACT like the best or the most enthusiastic, and see what type of results you get.

Ed’s Top Motivational Quotes…

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

“People are like teabags, you don’t know their true strength until they’re in hot water.”

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

“It’ s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

“How much time you put in is not nearly as important as what you put into the time.”

“Your outcome is determined by your outlook.”

“Feel the fear and take action anyway.”

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you need to start to be great.”

“Losers ask ‘why?’ Winners ask ‘how?'”

“Winners and losers feel the same feelings, they just react differently.”

“Life is 10% what happens to us, 90% how we react.”

“You can’t drown in sweat.”

“Enthusiasm is contagious…start an epidemic.”

“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”

“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.”

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

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

“Winners are not passionate because they’re successful. They are successful because they are passionate.”

“Vague requests equal vague results.”

“If great is an option, good is not enough.”

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

“Those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.”

“Anal glaucoma: ‘I can’t see myself dragging my butt to work/school/practice today.'”

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

“You can’t drown by falling in water. You drown by staying there.”

“If you have a big enough ‘why’ you’ll always find the ‘how.'”

“The road to success is always under construction.”

“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”

“People are like 10-speed bikes; most of us have gears we never use.”

“What losers call failure, winners call feedback.”

“To get what we’ve never had, we must do what we’ve never done.”

“Everyone starts from scratch, but not everyone keeps scratching.”

“Never try quitting and never quit trying.”

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

“We can do no great things, only little things with great love.”

“Energy flows where attention goes.”

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is sometimes more important than the outcome. Not everyone can be #1.”

Homework: Write down your favorite quote and put it under your bathroom mirror and look at it first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.

Join the High Achievers Club…

Do you know what all successful people have in common? They surround themselves with other successful people. You become who you surround yourself with. If you want to be a great athlete, find the great atheltes in your sport and hang out with them. Train with them. If you want to be a great student, find the best students, and study with them. If you want to become a successful businessman/woman, find the best ones and learn from them. Then, you can not only benefit from their experience, knowledge and work ethic, but before you know it, guess what, you become just like them. Simple theory, but how many people are doing it? I know someone…me.

So last night I attended a seminar up at The Yogi Berra Museam at Montclair State. The featured speakers were Coach McCarthy and the great Dr. Gilbert, himself. The talk was geared towards the Coaches and Captains at the Montclair Kimberly Academy. Guess who else was there? Darren Ventre, coach, motivational speaker and owner of an entertainment company…Tom Fleming, one of the great marathon runners of his time, who I talk about a lot…and Lisa Sargese, the amazing woman on a mission who has ALREADY lost 125 pounds. Truly an inspiration. Pretty powerful room, if you ask me.

That is who, I, Ed Tseng surround myself with. How can you not be inspired and motivated being in that type of atmosphere? After that, I proceeded to have dinner with another powerful person, Melissa Sapio, the psychologist who was the only person to get a 4.0 all 4 years at Montclair State. We had some amazing sushi and amazing conversation about our goals and dreams. And Melissa is holding me accountable this week for taking some action to get me closer to my goals. Think I’m not going to do them? You bet I am…or she’s going to get on my case. See, if someone doesn’t hold you accountable, it’s easy to put it off.

When I have a day like that, of learning, teaching, inspiring and dreaming, I glow and can’t wait to start taking action. That’s fulfillment. And that’s what life is all about.

Homework: Seek out successful people in your field and spend some time with them…train with them…work for them…become friends with them!

Be 100% Responsible for What Happens in Your Life…

One of the most important ways to achieve success, is to be 100% responsible for what happens in your life. If you’re honest with yourself, you can make changes. If you avoid the things that are holding you back, you will not be able to fix them and improve. Say, for example, that you are lazy and don’t want to exercise. Admit it. Then you can do something about it. Get on a workout plan and psych yourself up. If you need more experience in competition, admit it. Take action and enter some tournaments or instead of just practicing, play some matches against people you know. If you always show up late for things, admit it. Make a note to start leaving a little earlier. Keep doing the same, thing, and you won’t improve your situation. So face it, and make it better. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Homework: Make a list of things that have been holding you back and make a plan to change.

You Only Have One Body…Take Care of It

So it’s 7:40am on Sunday and I just finished my power breakfast consisting of the juice of oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, red grapes, white grapes, and carrots. Yes, I DID spring out of bed after only a few hours of sleep and do my power half hour with the pup. Truly invigorating. I then thought, what will happen when it gets cold in winter? Quickly I said to myself that it will make me tougher and at least I don’t live in Antarctica.

So I promised you more on nutrition…I feel that too many people wait until they’re sick or overweight to start eating right and working out. I am a big believer in preventive medicine. Basically, I eat right and workout regularly to PREVENT future illnesses. Many people tell me that every time I see them I actually look YOUNGER. I forgot to tell you that I’ve managed to reverse the aging process. Just kidding, but it sure feels like it.

The world is about 70% water and our bodies are about 80% water. If this is true, why do we eat so much protein? What we should be doing is consuming foods that contain mostly water, such as vegetables, fruit and sprouts. These foods will help your body function at a higher level and prevent illnesses. I’ve recently heard some pretty disturbing stories on beef, besides, our bodies don’t really need that much protein. I haven’t had a steak since. I try to do mostly salmon and chicken now. Aside from the mighty juice in the morning (did you buy your juicer yet?), I highly recommend having a salad with every meal in addition to a side of steamed broccoli or spinach on the side. I love a large salad with some salmon or chicken on top. I’m not saying you can’t have a regular entree, but keep in mind the following food combinations that are NOT good.

Meat and potatoes
Cheese and bread
Milk and cereal
Fish and rice

The reason these are not good combinations is that they need two different mediums to digest (alkaline and acid). These mediums cannot work at the same time, so digestion is very difficult. As a result, you will have stomach problems, gas, and prone to illnesses and diseases. This is a lifestyle change, not a diet. We’re only on this planet a short time, so doesn’t it make sense to make the most of it by having out bodies function at a high level and help extend our lives so we can live, love, learn, contribute, and enjoy longer?

Your Greatest Asset…

Do you know what your greatest asset is? No, it’s not money. No, it’s not the car you drive or your house. Your biggest asset is your BODY. What can you do without your body? How will you perform if you don’t have a HEALTHY body?

It’s 7:52am right now and I truly feel like a million bucks! Now, mind you, I am not a morning person, but I decided recently that I would going to be one. Here’s what I did this morning so far…

Like most other people, it’s a drag to get out of my comfortable bed in the morning. But as soon as my alarm went off, I SPRUNG OUT OF BED! I proceeded to take my puppy for a walk and begin to CREATE my day. It’s supposed to be an hour of power, but I shoot for 26 minutes, at least 5 days/week. Basically how it works is you start walking briskly and focus on your breathing…4 quick breaths in through the nose, 4 quick breaths out through the mouth. Start feeling the energy and blood flow. The next step is to have gratitude. Think about all the good things in your life. Truly APPRECIATE all that you have. Most people focus on all the negatives or their past failures, and guess what they get? The next thing you should do is VISUALIZE all of your goals and pretend that they have already been attained. Remember, your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you visualize and what is actually true, so the more you do this, the more it will help you get to your goals.

I can’t tell you how amazing this feels. I feel so alive and gracious and ready to have an amazing day while getting closer to my goals. I came home, fed the pup, and revved up my new juicer. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a juicer. This is probably one of the best purchases I have EVER made. It gives me so much energy. REAL energy, not caffeine from coffee or tea or those ridiculous energy drinks. You get the same effect with real fruit juice. This morning I used oranges, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, red and white grapes, and carrots. Talk about a powerful drink! Note: you should consume fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices on an EMPTY stomach. If you consume them after a meal, it doesn’t have the same benefit.

Now, you may be saying, Ed, I don’t have TIME to get up early or make fresh juice. My reply to you is, “You don’t have TIME for HEALTH?!#” You don’t have time to increase the quality and length of your life? Don’t you think that LIVING should be on the top of your list of things to do? If you’re too busy to do this…YOU’RE TOO BUSY!!!

Try it for a week and please tell me if it doesn’t make a difference in your life. I’ll give you a free 1 hour private lesson if you don’t feel ANY change in your energy/life/motivation/body.

So here’s a review:
1. Do your hour of power…or at least 20 minutes (brisk walk, breathing, gratitude, visualization)
2. Buy a juicer…choose your favorite fruit and chug it down on an empty stomach.

Is that too much to ask? More on nutrition tomorrow…