It doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are…you’re going to encounter obstacles. On the field, in the classroom, in the boardroom and at home.

Someone once said that life was a series of problem-solving events. We can’t avoid challenges or adversity.

What we can do is change our reactions to them.

I believe that in every challenge, there is a lesson to be learned. You can use adversity to your advantage. Instead of being frustrated, be fascinated. Enjoy the pressure; enjoy the challenge.

That’s what winners do.

Act like a winner today!


“Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.”
-author unknown

I had a very important talk yesterday.

I forgot my notes.

Yesterday was Day 1 of the USTA Northeast X-Sectional Training Camp at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. There were sixteen of the top 10 and under players from the Middle States, Eastern and New England sections of the USTA.

I was one of the coaches for the singles and doubles play. At the end of the day, I gave a talk to the players, parents and coaches, but I had a little bit of a challenge.

As I was being introduced, I was getting organized and looking for my notes, and then I heard, “…and here’s Ed Tseng.”

I had to go on; no time to find my notes.

So I had to make a decision.

Was I going to freeze up, or trust my instincts and do what I’ve done over thirty times in the past year?

I went with my instincts.

I think it went well. Very well.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. You can’t control that. You can only control your reaction. Sometimes you have to improvise.

If I relied on my notes during my talks, I probably would have been in big trouble. But I try to be more mindful and speak from the heart. That is why I was able to confidently go on and give my talk.

What do you do? What potential challenges might you face?

But more importantly…

How will you react?

Thanks for reading.


A special Happy Birthday to one of my good friends and heros, the great Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player. 89 years young today!

“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.”

Kimberly Smith grew up in Brooklyn. I met Kimberly in 2007 during The Book Bank Foundation’s “Shelter From the Streets” campaign, established by celebrity sports agent and philanthropist Glenn Toby. We travelled through all five boroughs of New York City stopping by shelters and even going under bridges and stopping by other homeless locations distributing clothing, books, toys, toiletries and hope to the homeless.

But it wasn’t until recently that I learned Kimberly’s story.

Kimberly has had some adversity in her life, but sports helped her through it.

“Sports have helped me tremendously during the most difficult times in my life. I learned discipline, never to give up, patience, and how to be competitive. This has also helped me in the work force. My brother was killed when I was 16 years but I remained on the basketball, volleyball and softball teams. I became more focused than ever and developed a game plan to achieve all of my goals. Whenever I felt my back was against the wall I never backed down but continue to push to forward with the mindset of succeeding. As a result I graduated in the top 20% of my high school class, earned my B.S. and recently earned my Master’s Degree. Each day I give gratitude for my accomplishments but never lose sight of my goals. With each loss I’ve encountered in life and playing sports, a great lesson was learned.”

So you see, we can either let difficult times beat us down, or we can have them lift us up. It’s a choice. It’s your perception of the situation that ultimately determines whether you succeed or fail.

If you can embrace challenges and difficulties and look at them as learning experiences that help you grow and get stronger, you are on your way to a winning mindset.

The next time adversity is looking you straight in the face, take a step back and ask yourself, “How do I want to perceive this?”

Thanks for reading and thank you to Kimberly Smith for being an inspiration to all of us.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Sandy Mittleman in Boston.

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”

I love this quote.

Someone once said, the only people without problems are the ones in the cemetery. We all have problems, they are a part of life. We cannot avoid problems, but we can control our reactions to them.

Some people break, fold, or run away when they are under pressure.
These are the losers.

Other people thrive under pressure; they love it. They increase their intensity and focus. They break records.
These are the winners.

It’s not pressure, it’s perception.

In my book, “Game. Set. Life.” I talk about how at the end of a set, when the pressure was greatest, Pete Sampras rose to the occasion and improved the level of his game. That’s why he was #1 for so long.

To be just like Sampras, you have to think just like Sampras.

Thanks for reading.