My friend used to coach the great Pete Sampras. One day he was training with Pistol Pete, getting him ready for his clay court season…his least favorite surface. Well, my friend proceeded to beat Sampras in three groundstroke games in a row, and as they were getting some water, he thought, “I just beat Pete Sampras three games in a row. He must feel terrible losing to his coach. What could I say to him to make him feel better?”
Before he could think of something to say, Sampras walked up to him and said, “That was GREAT! I really feel like I’m ready for the clay court season!”
Shocked, my friend thought, “What?!? How could he feel great after losing to a coach? That’s not normal.”
In a way, great athletes are not normal.
To me, what set Pete Sampras apart from everyone else was what was going on between his ears…his thoughts. He didn’t lose confidence when he lost. He gained confidence because he focused on the process and looked at his training as preparation, not a blow to his ego. Did he ever have negative thoughts? Of course he did.
We all have negative thoughts.
But Pete Sampras didn’t concern himself with his thoughts. He saw the game differently. Was the game actually different? No, only in his mind.
We all have the free will to look at any situation in any way that we choose. It’s not our situation or circumstances that affect our feelings, it’s our thoughts. 100 percent of the time.
The next time you find yourself in a “negative” situation, see if you can see it differently. See if you can see it like Pete Sampras.
Thanks for reading.