“When an archer is shooting for enjoyment, he has all his skill; when he shoots for a brass buckle, he gets nervous; when he shoots for a prize of gold, he begins to see two targets.”

Here is a phenomenon that happens in sports and life…

When people feel pressure, they begin to try harder and then they fail.

Remember, it’s not pressure, it’s perception.

The best athletes relax more and have more fun when there’s more on the line. And it’s a choice isn’t it?

Can you see pressure? No, so that means it’s only in your mind.

Relaxing more when the pressure’s on may be a paradigm shift for most of you, but try it.

When I’m practicing yoga, and I feel that I can’t hold a pose any longer, or that it is too difficult, I mindfully breathe smoother and deeper – I relax more. I sometimes even smile and then something amazing happens…it becomes easier.

Look at the bamboo tree. It is flexible in the toughest of winds. If it wasn’t, it would break.

Instead of tightening up and trying harder, loosen up and try smarter.

In relationships, if someone is arguing with you, instead of arguing back, try sending love and see what kind of results you get.

You can apply this mindset to all areas of life.

Thanks for reading.


“Be willing to be uncomfortable. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. It may get tough, but it’s a small price to pay for living a dream.”

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Sarah McLoughlin.

Anyone can perform well when they are feeling good.

But the true winners perform well, even if they are not on top of their game; when things get uncomfortable.

The problem is, when things get tough, people give up. They run away. The great ones stick with it. They actually enjoy it more.

You can’t avoid challenges, but you can decide how you react to them (right, Serena?).

Watch the video below (thanks to Sarah McLoughlin for sharing this) to see what tough people do….

Thanks for reading.


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.


Have you ever felt the pressure of a big match? A job interview? An important exam?

Most people focus on that pressure when it arises. Then it gets worse and before you know it, that is all you can think about. How do you think these people perform? Not very well.

When the pressure’s on, you have to step it up. Focus on your strategy instead of your potential result. This will help you stay calm and perform at a higher level.

Here’s what tennis legend Rod Laver once said…

“Wipe everything out of your mind but the ball. Glue your eyes to it. Marry it. Never mind your opponent, the weather, or anything. Make that ball an obsession. If you can get yourself into that trance, pressure won’t intrude. It’s just you and the ball.”
-tennis Grand Slam winner ROD LAVER

Register today for the Sports Psychology event of the year on Feb 21, 2009 in Princeton, NJ with Ed Tseng and John F. Murray. Email for a flyer and registration form.


Are you tough?

What do you do when the pressure’s on?

The losers think, “I’m nervous, I don’t like this situation.”…and perform poorly.

The winners think, “I’m nervous, bring it on…let’s go!”…and reach peak performance.

When the pressure’s on, it’s your perception of the situation that will pull you through.

“Success is never found. Failure is never fatal. Courage is the only thing.”
-Sir Winston Churchill

Thanks for reading.