With Billie Jean King at my US Open book signing

Champions keep playing until they get it right.

I once had a student who began playing tournaments. In her first tournament, she lost first round. In the next tournament, she had the same result. And the next, and the next. For practically the first year, she didn’t get past the first round.

I told her, “This is a great way to improve, learn and develop as a player.”

She agreed with me, although she wanted better results. Well, she stuck with it and then started getting results.

She started winning some matches. She got to the 2nd round, then the 3rd and now it is rare if she doesn’t make it to at least the semifinals. She is also on her high school varsity team.

Most people give up too soon. They want immediate results. The great ones persist.

You need to hang on until you catch on.

Winning may feel good temporarily, but you learn more from losses.

The two most important questions you can ask yourself after a game/match/practice session are:

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how did I play?

2. What can I do differently next time to get to a 10?

Focus on constant improvement and as a by-product, you will win more.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to all the great basketball/tennis players, coaches and parents that attended my “Mental Edge” seminar.

In my seminar today, in conjunction with the great Micah Lancaster’s basketball session, I talked about how to get the mental edge in sports and life. I shared some of the mental secrets of the world’s greatest athletes.

One of the keys I stressed was that knowing the mental secrets was not good enough–you need to APPLY them.

Information is nothing without implementation.

Everyone knows what they need to do, but most people don’t do it.

And here’s the secret…

A real champion does what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they feel like it or not.

You don’t have to feel like a champion to act like a champion. It’s a choice, and it can begin right now.

A special thanks to Brian Klatsky for making “The Mental Edge” possible today.


When you talk about success, I think it all starts in your mind.

It starts with that little voice inside your head.

And if you’re asking yourself right now, “Do I have a little voice inside my head?”…that’s the voice I’m talking about.

In order to be successful, you need to have the right mindset.

1. You need confidence–believe anything is possible (even if you have to fake it).

2. You need to accept and let go of negative thoughts (yes, they will arise).

3. You need to set goals (specific mastery goals).

4. You need to add value and help others (then you will get what you want).

5. You need to focus on the process (attitude and effort) instead of the product (winning/losing, making the sale, final grade, etc.)

Once you make this paradigm shift, you world will change.

And your results will change.


Did you know that whatever you think about during the 30 minutes before you go to bed gets replayed in your mind 15 or more times while you’re sleeping?

What do you do right before bed?

Do you watch the news, ie, the down economy, terrorism, food recalls, shootings, etc?

Or do you cultivate gratitude for all you have in your life?

Do you think about what you have to do tomorrow and visualize it going the way you planned?

Your focus is your future.

Think about what you want to happen and don’t give energy to what you don’t.


The other day I was getting ready to teach a young boy. Before we went on the court, I said, “This just might be the best lesson you’ve ever had.”

“I thought EVERY LESSON is the best I’ve ever had?” he responded.

I liked his answer.

So we went on the court and his energy level was exceptionally high, even in the warmup. We started hitting and he was totally focused and high-energy.

It truly was one of the best lessons he ever had.

And he created it in his mind first.

The problem with many people is that either they act how they feel or they think negatively.

And that’s what they get. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Does your day determine your attitude, or does your attitude determine your day?


I work with athletes but I also work with salespeople to help them increase sales.

When I was interviewed for my forthcoming book, “Success Simplified” with the great Stephen Covey, the interviewer asked, “Do you have experience in sales?”

I said, “No, but I do have the most difficult sales job–I try to sell people on themselves.”

You see, this blog is not just about mental toughness, it’s about believing in yourself.

Believing in your abilities.

Believing in your potential.

When you look at all the successful people in the world, they were not born to be great athletes, salespeople or musicians–they were trained to be.

Anything is possible with the right training.

What do you want to be great at? Who’s already doing it? Why aren’t you copying them?

I asked minor league baseball players, who do you want to be like? Mariano Rivera?

Are you doing what Mariano Rivera is doing right now? Are you training like him?

The answer is usually no.

You don’t have to wait to become successful to do what successful people do.




“I believe that if I can take twenty or thirty minutes before each game and visualize what’s going to happen, I’ll be able to react to it without thinking, because I’ll already have seen it in my mind. When I’m lying down before the game, I can see myself making a shot or boxing out or getting a loose ball. And then when I see that come up during the game, I don’t think about it, I do it. There are no second thoughts, no hesitation. Sometimes, after the game, I’ll go, ‘Wow! I saw that! I anticipated it before it happened.”
-B.J. ARMSTRONG, Chicago Bulls


I know something about you.

You want to become successful at something.

Perhaps it’s in sports.

Perhaps it’s in business.

Perhaps it’s in school.

I know something else…

The reason why most people do not become successful.

They don’t take action.

Knowledge is only good if you use it.

It’s the start that stops most people.

You know what you need to do, so don’t think about it, just do it.

With all the great athletes I have encountered, I noticed a quality that they all share.

They all do what they need to do, when they need to do it, whether they feel like it or not.

If you’re a runner, just start running.

If you’re in sales, just start making those calls.

If you’re a student, just start studying.

It’s that simple.