Martina Navratilova is a former World No. 1 female tennis player. In fact, Billie Jean King said Navratilova is the “greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who’s ever lived.”

I played some doubles with Martina when she was getting ready to make her comeback back in 2000. I vividly remember the first time I hit with her. She and I were warming up and I quickly began thinking, “I’m hitting with a living legend…” I was nervous and my strokes and body were extremely tight.

Fortunately, I quickly thought, “She’s just another tennis player. Have fun.” And I did exactly that and played quite well.

Here’s what happened:

1. I was having nervous thoughts which created nervous feelings.
2. My nervous feelings created my tight strokes and behavior.
3. My thoughts changed and quickly my strokes and body became more loose.

Here’s what you should understand:

1. Feelings are not created by external events, e.g., line calls, spectators, comments or Martina Navratilova.
2. Feelings are created 100% by your own thoughts (often without you even realizing that you are thinking).
3. When you are experiencing negative feelings, you don’t have to “do” anything about them. All it takes is the UNDERSTANDING that your thoughts create your feelings (you are the thinker) and if you don’t take them so seriously, your mindset will naturally rise back up.
4. With this understanding, your mind will clear and you will increase your chances of having a peak performance.


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In this video blog, Ed Tseng interviews former professional tennis player, Neha Uberoi, as they talk about her toughest opponent, mental toughness and Princeton University.


“If you perform to the best of your ability, you may not always win but you will never lose.”
-LAWRENCE LEMIEUX, Olympic sailing competitor

Today’s message is especially dedicated to my favorite tennis twins, Sammy and Leah Schaeffer…sorry, Bryan Brothers.

I remember the first time I hit with Martina Navratilova. We were playing doubles in preparation for her comeback out of retirement. Martina and I were on opposite teams and warming up one-on-one with each other. I remember the first couple balls I hit with her. All I kept thinking was, “I’m hitting with a living legend!” and my whole body was tense. I hit a couple short balls and even mis-hit one.

But then, I thought, “This is ridiculous, she’s just another tennis player. Play tennis!”

At first I had to act like I was more confident than I was, but after a few minutes, a light switch went on, and I started playing well – playing loose.

Remember, the winners and losers feel the same feelings, they just act differently. Was Martina nervous warming up with me? Probably not, but I’m sure she has been nervous before some US Open finals.

My friend, Nicole Arendt, former World #2 WTA Doubles, told me that when she was serving for the match in the finals of Wimbledon, she was so nervous that her hands were shaking.

So if the pros get nervous, it’s okay if you get nervous.

As long as you don’t act nervous.

Act like the person you want to be, even if you’re not that person…yet.
Thanks for reading.