One of my favorite sayings is:

“Doubt your doubts.”

We all have a little negative voice inside our heads that shows up every once in a while (more often for some people).

Recently, I was coaching some tennis players and I introduced topspin to them. Before they even hit one ball, one of the players said, “Oh, I can’t do that.”

I was in shock.

This was a grown woman and she was counting herself out before she even started.

Fortunately, I was able to help her re-frame her negative voice and she actually performed quite well, but it could have been ugly. This type of limiting attitude is quite common, but we can choose to believe it, or doubt it.

Choose wisely.

Thanks for reading.

2 replies
  1. danmccain
    danmccain says:

    Love this post, Ed!

    This is an ongoing chicken and the egg conversation immersed coaches have and sports psych’s always should consider. If a player thinks he can’t hit a particular shot, then he is right. But he may actually be correct if he doesn’t posses the right technique, or technical habits that allow him to hit a particular shot. So if the coach teaches him better technique, the player then develops a new skill set that grants him a new ability to make that particular shot. SO, after developing technique, he then sees that he can make the shot after developing his technique and applying his new skill set in practice. He believes he can hit the shot because his new skill set makes it possible during practice and matches.

    Or, if a coach shift’s the player’s mindset, and inspires him to believe that he can make that particular shot- the player’s mindset and belief system overrides the lack of technical ability and he becomes able to make that shot.

    A holistic coach does both for a player.

    It’s the old question, where does confidence come from? Is it a trained growth mindset, or does it come from a player observing his own behavior and shotmaking and draw conclusions based on success or lack thereof? If confidence comes from preparation, then definitely both areas must be trained.

    One man’s opinion. Keep up the good work Ed.

  2. Ed Tseng
    Ed Tseng says:

    Thanks, Dan!

    I believe confidence can come from a variety of sources, but it is certainly needed. In fact, it is one of the critical aspects of mental training.

    As a coach, the main thing I try to give my students is HOPE…Hold On Possibilities Exist.

    Stay in touch,



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