Without confidence, a golfer is little more than a hacker.
-Bobby Jones

Feel free to substitute the word “golfer” for “tennis player,” “salesperson,” or “musician.”


Did you know, in addition to coaching, speaking and writing, I am in sales?

I actually have the most difficult sales job—I sell people on themselves.

Let me explain…

I feel that the biggest sickness in this country is low self-esteem. Many people don’t believe in themselves, or feel that success is possible.

“I can’t beat that player.”

“I can’t start my own business.”

“I can’t get good grades.”

I was coaching a high school tennis player the other day and by the end of the lesson, he was a totally different player.

Guess what?

I didn’t work on his technique much at all.

I worked on his attitude, effort and reactions to situations. I was selling him on himself.

In my recent TEDxPrincetonLibrary talk, I spoke about the greatest joke.

The greatest joke is the one-liner we keep telling ourselves. A limiting belief.

You can only become as good as your self-image.

What’s YOUR self-image?

For a free 10-minute peak performance consultation, call 609.558.1077 or email .

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


Manny Banuelos is the talk of Yankee Spring Training. Many are calling him the best Yankee pitching prospect ever. And he doesn’t even turn 20 years old until Sunday.

Banuelos has no fear. Why?

Because he doesn’t like there’s pressure. He has the confidence that his skills are as good as anyone else’s, and instead of trying to be perfect, Banuelos is aggressive and goes all-out.

It’s better to go all-out and lose than it is to hold back and win. When you hold back and win, you are training yourself to hold back.

No successful athlete ever said, I made it to the Hall of Fame by holding back.

Go all-out today!


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Julie Martin-Kolb. Happy Belated Birthday to a passionate tennis mom!

I love hitting aces while playing tennis, but there is an ACE I like even more…

ACE—Acting Changes Everything

The other day I was watching some tennis players and when they hit a good shot, they had great body language and looked extremely confident. But when they missed a shot, they had terrible body language and looked extremely negative.

Here’s what Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer know…

You don’t have to act how you feel. You can feel tired, negative or not into it, but you can still ACT like you are energetic, positive and totally into it. The best part is that when you start acting like the player you want to be, you start feeling like the player you want to be.

Most people have it reversed.


Confidence is one of the keys to success. There are many sources of confidence, such as hard work, body language, past achievements, etc.

Try giving yourself a steady diet of positive thoughts and affirmations, throughout your day, and especially during competition. You get what you focus on, but unfortunately, most people focus on the negative, or what they don’t want to happen.

Here are some sample affirmations:

“I am a confident athlete who goes all-out, whether I feel like it or not, and inspires others to do the same.”

“When the pressure is greatest, I love competition the most.”

Your affirmations:




The quote below is from a recent article on school testing, specifically comparing China versus the United States, from the New York Times.

“What’s best for kids is frequent testing, where even if they do badly, they can get help and improve and have the satisfaction of doing better…Kids don’t get self-esteem by people just telling them they are wonderful.” -GREGORY CIZEK

That’s what they do in China–frequent testing.

On the other hand, many schools in the US have adopted a “No test” policy.

“Kids don’t get self-esteem by people just telling them they are wonderful.”

How does this relate to sports?

You have to compete to learn how to win. That’s where you get feedback. That’s where you grow the most. That’s where you get confidence.

Too many people don’t want to lose.

You know what?

Winners lose the most.

Think about that.

Thank you to my father, the great Vincent Tseng for sharing this article. Read the full article here:


“That little voice inside my head keeps telling me that I’m no good.”

“I’m just a negative person.”

“I always lose when I have a lead.”

These are common thoughts. And they lead to common results.

You have to expect things of yourself before you can achieve them.


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.


In this video blog, Ed Tseng, Pro of the Year USTA 2005 and author of “Game. Set. Life.” shares a great story about “acting as if” and peak performance in sports and life.


It’s easier to act yourself into a way of feeling than it is to feel yourself into a way of acting.

Dr. Jim Loehr once watched hundreds of hours of videotape of professional tennis matches and noticed a difference between the champions and everybody else. The difference wasn’t talent or skills, but what they did in the 15-20 seconds between points.

“Champions like Chris Evert…kept their heads high even when they’d lost a point, maintaining a confident posture that telegraphed no big deal. Loehr nicknamed this ‘the matador walk’ after a Spanish matador told him, ‘The most important lesson in courage is physical, not mental. From the age of 12, I was taught to walk in a way that produces courage.’

The tennis champions like Evert would next concentrate their gazes on their rackets or touch the strings with their fingers and stroll toward the back court–focusing, avoiding distraction, relaxing, and effectively letting the past go. After this mini-meditation, they’d turn back toward the net, bounce on their toes, and visualize playing the next point.” (Source: Psychotherapy Networker; “Living on Purpose” by Katy Butler)

What’s the point?

How you act is how you are going to feel.

Act how you want to feel and you will feel the way you act.