The only pressure I’m under is the pressure I’ve put on myself.
-MARK MESSIER, hockey great

Recently, there was a football kicker training at my sports center. He is only 13 but has “phenom” written all over him. He has been working hard, doing all the right things and developing quite nicely.

This past week he was training for a pro event, which is a very big deal and only a few days away.

Then something happened.

He started missing kicks he was making easily the weeks prior. He started looking and feeling nervous. He was not the same person.

What changed?

Nothing physically, but mentally he started over-thinking. He was focusing on how important this upcoming pro event is. He started trying too hard. The little negative voice inside his head began getting louder and louder.

This happens all the time in sports and life.

When the pressure’s on, many people fold.

But it is not pressure, it is perception.

There are two ways to look at pressure–you can either get frustrated or fascinated by it.

The choice is yours.

What would be my advice to this young kicker?

1. Understand that nerves are normal. Everyone gets nervous.

2. Take a deep breath to lower your heart rate and stay in the present moment.

3. Focus on the target, not the outcome.

4. Act as if it were impossible to fail.

5. Cultivate gratitude and have fun!

For a free 10-minute mental toughness consultation, email: or call 609.558.1077



“When you’re tired and frustrated is where it begins. Because that’s when others quit.” -ROB GILBERT, Ph.D., noted Sports Psychologist and founder of Success Hotline (973 743 4690)



Yesterday I got re-certified in CPR.

Everyone should get certified in CPR. Today I’m going to certify you.

Let me explain…
Do you learn CPR when someone has a heart attack?

No, you learn CPR so you can help someone when they have a heart attack.

I want you to learn mental CPR – the ability to relax, perform under pressure, focus, and stay motivated, so you can use it when you need it.

It amazes me how most people practice under low-pressure situations, and then wonder why they break-down in competition.

The more you can relax when the pressure’s on, the better you will perform. The more you can focus when there are many distractions, the better your results.

Learn it, then use it.

Here’s part of your training…

Just sit for two minutes observing the rising and falling of your abdomen. Don’t force it, just let it rise and fall naturally. If thoughts arise, just accept them, and let them go. If you hear sounds, be aware of them and let them go.

Practice this technique and then you can use it anytime you are nervous, anxious, negative or scared. It brings you back to where the power is – the present moment.

Keep visiting this blog to continue your certification.

Thanks for reading.


Please put this on your To Do List today…

“Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.”

The best way to be happy is to make someone else happy.

The best way to be motivated is to motivate someone else.

So it goes both ways.

The quote above is from my teabag this morning, but there’s something that the teabag failed to mention.

It’s difficult to make yourself feel happy.

But you can act happy.

Smile. Act like the happiest person in the whole world. Then, after a while, you will feel happy.

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

This applies to sports, sales or school.

Give it a try.

I’m sure the New Orleans Saints were nervous before last night’s Super Bowl, but they sure didn’t look nervous.

Even when they went for it on 4th down early in the game and didn’t convert, I knew that they were going all-out and playing to win. And as a by-product, they were pleased with the result.

Congrats to the Saints and the city of New Orleans.


“I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”

Mike Cavallo is a basketball coach from Staten Island, NY. Cavallo attended St. Peter’s High School and scored the most points in a playoff tournament (78 points in three games). He then went on to play at Susquehanna University and is now coaching the stars of tomorrow.

I recently caught up with Mike and asked him what it took to reach peak performance in basketball. Here’s what he said:
#1 Dedicate yourself – You have to commit to a growth mindset and constant improvement. The sky’s the limit.

#2 Have fun – If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll work harder. If you work harder, you’ll get better results.

#3 Be confident – No matter what the score is, stay confident. The key is believing in yourself even when nobody else does.

Great advice. Thank you, Coach Cavallo.


“At the end of the day, take the pillow test – when you put your head on the pillow, are you going to say, ‘I’m glad I did,’ or are you going to say, ‘I wish I had’?”
-ROB GILBERT, Ph.D., Ed Tseng’s mentor

My only question for you today is…

Are you going to go all out, or are you going to hold back?

My good friend and mentor, Dr. Rob Gilbert, is a college professor and one of the top sports psychologists and motivational speakers on the planet.

After his students graduate, many times they come back and visit.

They never say, “I wish I would have partied more.”

They always say, “If I worked just a little bit harder, I could have been national champion.”

How are YOU doing?

WHAT are you doing?

Here is my challenge to you…

Go all out today, and at the end of the day, take the Pillow Test…and see if you say, “I’m glad I did.”


Tal Ben-Shahar is the author of “Happier” and “The Pursuit of Perfect.” He has also taught one of the most popular courses at Harvard.

Yesterday, I asked Tal, who was Israeli national squash champion, if he ever felt like NOT practicing.

Tal said that quite often he didn’t feel like practicing, but “feelings are irrelevant, so in turn, they are MOST relevant. Accept feelings as part of reality, then do it anyway.”

What do you need to do today but are putting off?


“Everything flows and nothing abides, everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.”

This blog is not designed to give you something to drink.

This blog is to make you thirsty.

Thirsty to go all out…every day.

One of the facts of life and peak performance is impermanence.

Nothing lasts forever.

Wins, trophies, money, vacations, sunny days.

We need to stay in the moment. Set goals, but enjoy the process of life. The process of our sport.

I remember a story about a master who held up a glass, while talking to a group, and said, “Do you see this goblet? For me this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.”

Every day is precious…a gift.

Play every point like it’s your last.

Live every day like it’s your last.

It is then that you will have total awareness.

And it is then that your world changes.

Thanks for reading.


“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”

I heard a profound statement recently.

When I went to hear Dan Millman speak at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, he said something that stuck with me.

“It took me 25 years of marriage to realize that all this time, my wife wasn’t criticizing me, she was improving me.”

I think this is brilliant.

We all have our own perception of conditions. You can have the same situation and two totally different views.

What if we looked at our opponents as people who are improving us?

What if we looked at our teachers/coaches as people who are helping us become better students/athletes? (Especially when they’re tough on us and make us do fitness)

What if we looked at our parents as people who are teaching us to become better human beings, with only the best intentions?

What if we looked at our difficult clients as people who are making us better salespeople?

When you change your perspective, you change your world.

When you change your world, you change your results.

Thanks for reading.


Normally, people get gifts on their birthday.

Well, today, I’m going to GIVE a gift on my birthday.

Yesterday, I went to hear one of my favorite authors, Dan Millman (above) speak at the Mind Body Spirit Expo in Philadelphia.

It wasn’t for me, it was for you.

I love listening to speakers to help me become a better speaker and person, but more importantly, so I can help my students and blog readers become better people.

Millman was a dynamic speaker and I walked away with some great tidbits.

“What is talent? The ability to learn faster than others. It is twenty percent innate, but it can be developed,” Millman stated.

“Effort over time is better than magical thinking. You can’t control the outcome, but you can control your effort.”

Many people went to hear Millman’s best technique for peak performance and happiness. He said that daily life is the best technique. “It’s like spiritual weightlifting. There are hidden gifts in adversity – it’s all in your perspective. Life is an experiment. And your only goal should be excellence in the moment. Check your posture, notice if you are relaxed and see if you are breathing.”

You don’t have to give up all of your possessions to become happy. “I’ve seen many grumpy monks. It’s a balance between Western and Eastern philosophies.”

“Thoughts are natural, but don’t mistake them for reality. The only way to tame your mind is to make peace with it. Be aware of your thoughts and then let them go. It’s okay to have an angry thought, just don’t ACT angry.”

“Life is not about successes and failures; life is about testing your limits.”

I really like that one. Just keep pushing yourself and get a little bit better every day.

Millman mentioned that his mentor, Socrates (from Way of the Peaceful Warrior) once said to him, “The difference between you and me is that YOU practice gymnastics and I practice EVERYTHING.”

Do I teach tennis?

Not really. I teach life through tennis.

Do I practice tennis?

No, I practice life through tennis.

It’s all about going all out.
Relaxing under pressure.
Enjoying the moment.
And getting better every day.

Anyone can have this mindset, immediately.

Be more aware of what you are doing and your whole world will change.

Thanks for reading.