Well, it’s that time of year again…

Bruce Springsteen time.

The Boss is touring all over the tri-state area and one of my students went to see him this past Friday.

Whether you like Bruce’s music or not, there’s no denying that he’s a great performer.

My favorite story about Bruce is from about two years ago….

The New York sports radio, WFAN was talking about Bruce and his concerts right around this time of year. And someone called in and said, “I’ve seen Bruce about 14 times and every time it was an amazing concert. And last year, the person I went with knew Bruce, so we hung out back stage afterwards. Well, while we were backstage, someone went up to Bruce and asked him, ‘How do you do it? Every night you give a great performance.’ “

Bruce replied, “Well, that’s easy…2 things – Number 1…Every night I tell myself that this is the most important concert of my career; and Number 2…It’s only rock and roll.”

What does this mean?

Your effort should be all-out.

Your attitude should be a little relaxed.

It’s only rock and roll.

It’s only tennis.

It’s only work.

Be the Boss of your own life today.

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Rebecca Conti – a special Happy Birthday to you.


You will learn lessons.
We’re all enrolled in a full-time school called “life on planet Earth.”
Every person and incident is your teacher.
There are no mistakes-only lessons.
“Failures” are the stepping stones to “success.”
A lesson is repeated until learned.
It is presented in various forms until you learn it-then you go to the next lesson.
If you don’t learn easy lessons, they get harder.
Pain is one way the universe gets your attention.
You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.
Only action turns knowledge to wisdom.
“There” is no better than “here.”
When “there” becomes “here,” you’ll find another “there” that again looks better than “here.”
Others are only mirrors.
You can only love or hate something in another that reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
Your life is up to you.
Life provides the canvas; you do the painting.
Your answers lie inside you.
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
You’ll tend to forget all this.
You can remember anytime you wish.
-author unknown


“I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.”

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Melissa Sapio.

The joke above is funny. But it is also true.

I have been teaching tennis for the past 15 years and I have seen a common theme…

People want to become better tennis players, so they pay $80/hour for a lesson. There’s nothing wrong with that. But here is the problem…

They think that the $80 will change their game.

The lesson is just the beginning. You have to take action. You have to put in the work. You have to practice between lessons.

We live in such a fast-paced society with high-speed internet, fast-food and instant oatmeal, and many of us tend to want overnight success.

Do you know how long it takes to become an overnight success?

10 years!

So if you want to become a great tennis player, be patient and put in the work. Take action and create the player you want to be.

I have a secret…

I’m not perfect.

I am making changes in my own life right now to set myself up for the future. I’m willing to sow seeds today to reap tomorrow’s harvest.

Are YOU?

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Mitch Constantine in New York City.

I want you to be an animal.

But not just any animal. I want you to be a pink polar bear.

I know what you’re thinking…”What’s wrong with you, Ed?!”

Let me explain…

If you do what everyone else is doing, you’re going to get the results that everyone else is getting.

In order to succeed, you need to be different. Pink polar bears are different. Everyone else is a white polar bear.

Train differently.
Eat differently.
Think differently.

In business, you want to differentiate yourself from your competition. In sports, it’s the same way.

Instead of relying on your natural talents, work harder than everyone else.

Do different things, get different results.

Go all out. Don’t try your best – Do Whatever It Takes!

That’s it.

Don’t miss my one-of-a-kind radio show tonight on peak performance for sports and life. I will have some amazing guests on with me, including Bob Ryland (the first black professional tennis player), Carling Bassett-Seguso (former #8 in the world), Denise Capriati (mother of Jennifer Capriati), Linda Courier (mother of Jim Courier), and others. 9pm EST.

MESSAGE #677 1-2-3-4 PRESSURE…

Anyone can perform well when they feel good, or are “in the zone,” but it’s the great ones that perform well when everything is on the line.

It’s the great ones that love the pressure.

But is it really pressure?

No, it’s perception.

Does the situation make you fearful or excited?

Someone asked Pete Sampras after he retired, what he missed most about playing professional tennis. Sampras said, “I miss feeling so nervous that I would throw up before the finals of Wimbledon.”

So if you can thrive on pressure on the field, at work, in school and in your relationships, you will be one of the greats.

Thanks for reading.


“Nobody cares about what you can’t do.”

Starting today, I want you to eliminate the word “can’t” from your vocabulary.

I continued my 21 day program this morning as I meditated and worked out as soon as I got out of bed. I didn’t let myself negotiate with myself to say “I can’t do it.” I knew I could do it, but would I?

I didn’t really feel like it, but I did it anyway.

Exceptions shatter dreams.

What are you putting off?

What is it that you think you “can’t” do?

Recently, I was teaching an 8-year old beginner girl. She was doing great and having fun, but then she started missing and getting discouraged. She started using the “can’t” word. It got worse. Finally, I said, “Okay, let’s not use the word can’t.” So she would miss another shot and start to say, “I can’t…” but then, stopped herself, smiled, and said, “I can!”

Guess what? She started hitting the ball well again, she became more energetic, and become more hopeful.

So eliminate that four-letter word from your vocabulary when you’re on the field, on the court, in court, at work, at school, and in relationships.

It CAN make a difference.

Thanks for reading.


“Don’t confuse activity with progress.”
-author unknown

I have a feeling that someone reading this message has a busy life.

You’re always on the go.

You feel that there are not enough hours in the day.

You don’t seem to be getting anywhere in life.

Anyone can be busy doing a lot of things, but that doesn’t necessarily help them get to where they want to be. I have certainly been guilty of this.

See, here’s the thing…

Whatever you do, make sure it’s towards your ultimate purpose. If you want to be the best plumber in the world, don’t go out and get your real estate license. You have to keep heading in the right direction. Don’t be afraid to say no to people.

And another thing…

Do what you need to do, whether you feel like it or not. Like your taxes. Like your laundry. Like paying your bills. Like pulling weeds.

These things are not fun, but they need to be done.

I’ve been putting off exercising, meditating and organizing every morning, but today I decided to get back on track and do those things for 21 straight days. They say that if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. That’s my goal. Today was day one, and as soon as I got up, I went for a walking meditation and when I finish this blog, I’m going to go up to my office and do some organizing.

I feel good, but I’ll feel even better after 21 days. Then it will be part of me.

Anybody can do something once – the great ones do things consistently.

Thanks for reading.


Jon Wertheim has been a full-time member of the Sports Illustrated staff since September 1997. He is one of the magazine’s most versatile writers, as he covers a broad range of topics including tennis, the NBA, sports business and social issues. Wertheim’s work has been included in The Best American Sports Writing anthology and he has written several books, including “Blood in the Cage,” “Venus Envy,” and “Strokes of Genius,” which is currently on (

I spoke with Jon yesterday and asked him the following questions…

ET: What, in your opinion are the three keys to success in writing?

JW: 1) Passion for the subject. Whether it’s a piece of fiction or a report from a school board meeting, it’s so much easier to write when you care about the topic. 2) Reporting. When you go nuts on the reporting, the pieces tend to write themselves. 3) Practice. Sounds trite, but like any skill, it only gets better with rehearsing.

ET: How long did it take for you to become successful?

JW: I don’t really look at myself as successful. There are pieces I wrote in high school that I’m still proud of; there are pieces I’ve written in the past year I’m embarrassed by. It’s a source of both exhilaration and frustration but every time you write, you start every time with a blank screen. You’re only as successful as your last piece of work.

ET: Do you think anyone can become a writer?

JW: I do think anyone can become a writer. It’s such a passion-driven pursuit that attitude and discipline mean more than level of education for instance. It helps if you enjoy reading. It helps if you have the discipline to see a piece through. It helps if you can type better than I can. But, especially, in this digital age, there are really few barriers to entry.

ET: What is your favorite aspect of your job?

JW: My favorite aspect of the job is telling compelling stories that, yes, are usually sports-related, but hit on deeper themes. Sports are such powerful tools to understand the culture: politics, sex, race, economics, etc.

ET: How does writing help you in other areas of life?

JW: Good question. The discipline writing demands carries over from everything to time on the treadmill to diet. It’s been a way to meet people from all over and travel the world. It’s given me the flexibility to work from home and see plenty of my wife and kids. But mostly it’s a source of enjoyment. Little puts me in a better mood than feeling as though I’ve had a strong writing session.

I have studied experts in all different fields, ie, sports, music, writing, painting, business and academics, and it is amazing to me how similar they all are. The above interview proves that point. Like Mr. Wertheim says, you need to have passion for what you do and you practice. Then, you can do anything.

Thanks for reading and thank you, Jon Wertheim.


I remember reading an interview with Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford and author of Mindset. She was talking about the great Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner.

“He was incredibly talented in sports, and had a fixed mindset, really grooving on his talent, but he had a learning disability and he had to struggle in school. He saw that the struggling paid off and led him to learn. And then he thought one day, ‘What if I put that effort where I already have the talent? What will that do?’ So he transferred it and said he never would have had the sports success he had, had he not had this learning disability. Had he not come to understand the power of effort to ignite your ability, to increase your ability.”

Did Bruce Jenner have talent?

Of course he did, but we ALL have talent.

Many talented people don’t make it because they feel that they don’t need to put the work in. These people have a fixed mindset. And guess what? They are often surpassed by less talented people who do put the time in.

If you do what you love and work hard…the sky is the limit.

Thanks for reading.


“A person of intellect without energy added to it, is a failure.”

I see people working out at the gym and they are lifting all these weights and getting big, but they can’t even bend over to tie their shoes. What these people are actually looking for is more energy.

How is your energy…

after work or after school?

There are three types of energy: physical, mental, and emotional.

Your physical energy is affected by the way you manage your environment and the way you care for your body. Your mental energy is influenced by the inventory of to-dos and projects you store in your memory bank. And your emotions reflect your inner feelings and how you deal with them. Attending to all three of these areas will enable you to recharge your batteries, plug energy drains and increase your ability to maximize your capacity for greatness.

Rate the following statements on a scale from 1 to 5. 1=Never/NO and 5=Always/Yes

Physical Energy

I eat well and get plenty of exercise and sleep; I take care of my health. ____

I take time for myself to enjoy hobbies, pamper myself and otherwise physically re-energize. _____

My home environment is clean, neat and uncluttered, and reflects who I am. _____

My work environment is efficient, productive and facilitates productive activity. _____

My belongings are in good condition, meet my needs and reflect my personality. ____

Mental Energy

I only accept requests that fit within my time constraints and reflect my values and priorities. _____

I handle tasks as they come in (or make sure they’re appropriately scheduled for handling) instead of trying to keep a mental to-do list. ______

I only worry about the things I can personally control or address, and release those I can’t. ______

I accept what is and what can be, and let go of what isn’t, what could have been and what can’t be. ______

Emotional Energy

I express myself clearly, honestly and openly, even when it’s uncomfortable or about sensitive matters. ______

I don’t let issues build up – I address issues, problems and questions in the moment and only with the people they concern or who can do something about them. ______

I set clear boundaries on my time and attention. I respect other’s boundaries, and expect the same respect from them. ______

I accept and honor the emotions I feel – good or bad – and try not to judge myself or avoid my feelings. _______

Choose one of these types of energy and ask yourself the following questions…

Which statement is poorly rated or are out of sync with my priorities, values or needs?

What am I currently doing to address this issue?

What am I avoiding around this issue? Why?

What could be possible for me if my available energy in this area matched or exceeded my current needs?

What is stopping this from happening?

Finally, complete the following sentence…

This week, I will increase my energy by ______________________________.


Thanks for reading.