One thing that I have learned here in Orlando talking to some great coaches and mental toughness experts is this…

Champions are not normal.

They don’t have normal brains.

Lorenzo Beltrame shared a story about when he beat Pete Sampras twice on clay during a training session. He didn’t know how to console “Pistol” but before he could think of something, Pete said “This is great! I feel like I’m playing well and ready!”

That is not normal.

And last night I spent some time with Mark Dickson, former World #32, who has beaten Lendl and was even Agassi’s doubles partner. He was telling me about the days leading up to his match with Lendl, then #1 in the world. He visualized his strategy every day and EXPECTED to beat him. In his mind, he thought, “I can’t believe I’m going to beat the World #1.” And then he did in 45 minutes. I asked Dickson if he ever went into a match thinking he didn’t have a chance. He said “No.” And when he did lose, he thought, “What a great learning experience!”

That is not normal!

Well today I will be wrapping up a great 2.5 days at the Human Performance Institute and heading back home. Next stop, Philadelphia!

Have a great day everyone!

Homework: Don’t be normal today.


From the Tao Te Ching (written around 500 B.C.)…

A great misfortune comes about
With the feeling, ‘I have an enemy’
For when ‘I’ and ‘enemy’ exist together
There is no room left for my treasure

Thus, when two opponents meet
The one who does not see an enemy
Will surely triumph (69)


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Andrew Gong.

So I have a new puppy, Jordan (above). She’s 10 weeks old and probably only a couple of pounds. As I was on the floor, observing and playing with her, something amazing happened. I started seeing things differently. I noticed things closer to the ground, under tables and I even noticed the temperature of the floor. Neither perspective is right or wrong, they are just different. I also noticed how puppies stay in the present moment – mine loves to explore and everything is so interesting. She’s not thinking about yesterday or if she’s going to grow up to be a successful pooch.

Children have this mindset as well. Somewhere along the line, we (adults), have been conditioned to focus on the past and the future. It doesn’t have to be that way.

We have a habit of looking at things from our narrow points of view (and we think that our way is THE way), but the reality is that there are many perspectives. When you lose a match in tennis, do you look at it as failure or feedback?

Here’s your assignment for today…

Look at things from others’ perspectives today (your clients, your students, your teachers, your parents, your pets, etc). See how the world looks different from their eyes. Really put yourself in their shoes (Go ahead, get down on all fours with your puppy). Then think how you might see others and treat others differently.

Thanks for reading.


On a daily basis, in and out of the sports world, I hear people using the word “can’t.”

“I can’t hit a serve.”

“I can’t find a job.”

“I can’t get this math problem.”

But you’re lying to yourself. You CAN.

And if you think you can’t, then what if I offered you a million dollars to do it, could you? I’m sure you’d find a way.

I have had many students say the word “can’t” during lessons and I tell them that the only time you can say that word in a sentence is when you add the word “yet” at the end of it.

“I can’t hit a serve…yet.”

“I can’t find a job…yet.”

“I can’t get this math problem…yet.”

That’s a totally different mindset isn’t it? That’s what the winners think like. And it’s a choice.

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Mike Deblase. Happy Birthday to a true peak performer!

“I use all the brains I have, and all that I can borrow.”

I love learning.

I make time to read every day. I love learning from others. Here’s something I just read at 5:19AM…

A 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with his hair fashionably combed and shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window. ‘I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’

‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.

‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged .. it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. ‘It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.’

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!

Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.

(Thank you, Paul Cannon)

How can you apply this today to sports, sales, or school?

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to Crystal Applequist and Pam Cooper. A very Happy Birthday to you both.

“Some of us are like wheelbarrows-only useful when pushed, and very easily upset.”

I’ve worked with thousands of athletes in the past 15 years and a common theme is that…

#1 People don’t like to work hard.
#2 They let external situations get the best of them.

If you have been following my blog or read my book, you know that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And anything is possible if you have the right strategy. Tiger Woods works harder than everybody else on tour. Venus and Serena Williams trained from 6am-6pm when they were younger. Hard work gets results.

Many athletes complain about their opponents, the weather, the field conditions, and the referees.

You can’t control these things, so why worry about them? Nothing external from you had influence over you…unless you let it. Focus on your game-plan, your attitude, and your effort. The success will come as a by-product. All the greats in history had a winning mindset.

You may not have the same physical skills as some of your teammates, co-workers, competitors, but you can instantly become better by having a better mindset than them.

Thanks for reading.


“If we are not responsible for the thoughts that pass our doors, we are at least responsible for those we admit and entertain.”


Today’s message is especially dedicated to all the great students in Ms. Romano’s class in Montgomery.

What motivates you?

Does success motivate you or does fear of failure motivate you?

In sports and life, the ones that succeed are the ones that can perform under pressure. John Murray, Ph.D. is one of the top sports psychologists in the world and in his book, “Smart Tennis,” he says that if you are motivated by fear of failure, your maximum motivation is when you are either playing someone much better or much worse than you, because there is little risk of losing. When you play someone of a similar level, motivation decreases because there is a true sense of potential failure. But on the other side of the coin, if you are motivated by success, you are focused on the process and rise to the occasion when the pressure is on. You love the competition.

Which mindset do you think helps you attain peak performance?

Are you going to go all out and perform under pressure, or are you going to try “not to lose”?

It’s up to you.

Thanks for reading.

This Thursday, November 13, 7PM @ Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, Ed Tseng presents “Game. Set. Life. – Peak Performance for Sports and Life.”
4842 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19129.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Judd Levi Horowitz, the youngest peak performer at 12 days old…

Are you trying your best? If you lose in sports or life, but you tried your best, how can you do any better than that? It’s not about the result, it’s about the effort. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t win.

“I don’t have a philosophy of winning – I have a philosophy of trying. If you put forth an effort that encompasses your very best – all your intensity, all your enthusiasm – then you can stop worrying about the outcome, because you’ve done all you can do. By that definition, you’re already a winner.”

-Lee Roy Selmon

Thanks for reading.