Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Michael Miletic, M.D., sports psychologist and sports psychiatrist in Birmingham, Michigan.

In sports and life you need to be tough. I know what you’re thinking, how can I BE tough? That’s easy.

Think Tough and Act Tough.

Anyone can perform well when things are going well, but it’s what you do and what you think when things go wrong that set you apart from the crowd.


When you lose a few games in a row, say…

“This opponent is tough…but I’m tougher.”

Or when it’s a critical point, say…

“I love it! This is what it’s all about-bring it on!”

If you wake up in the morning and just don’t feel “into it,” say…

“Today is going to be a great challenge for me. I need to be extremely tough. I’m going to hang in there and do whatever it takes!”


If you feel low energy, do this…

Bounce around like a boxer.

If you make a mistake or feel negativity coming on, do this…

Say, “Stop!” to yourself and focus on something positive, then move on.”

And the next time you are nervous, do this…

Remember that everyone gets nervous and then ACT like the most confident person in the world.


Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to Amy Morse.

Do you know what mental cross-training is?

Yesterday I had an audition for the new Pixar movie, Avatar: The Last Airbender. My friend and agent, Eileen DeNoble signed me up for the part. My schedule allowed it, and I thought it might be interesting to pursue, so off I went to Philadelphia.

As I was sitting there among all the professional actors and actresses, many of whom knew each other, I felt in another world. What was I doing here? How does this all work? I didn’t have my headshot and resume in hand. And even though it is an animated film, I was still nervous. Very nervous.

I went in, read my two lines and I was done. The casting director said, “Good.” What exactly does that mean? I guess we will see.

Whether I get the part or not does not matter. At the very least, it was mental cross-training. Many athletes play different sports or workout at the gym as cross-training because it helps hone their skills in their sport and forces them to use different muscles.

You have never heard of mental cross-training? That’s because most people don’t do it. If you tend to be nervous before a tennis match, go give a talk in front of your class or co-workers. If you can overcome nervousness in one situation, you can overcome nervousness in the other. That’s mental cross-training. It may not be comfortable, but do you want to be comfortable, or do you want to be great?

To improve physically, you have to stretch your muscles and put them under stress.

To improve mentally, you have to stretch your mental muscles and put them under stress.

Thanks for reading.


I’ve worked with athletes of all levels and from all different sports. I’ve worked with students, business professionals, stay-at-home parents and musicians. One of the secrets is that you can act differently than how you feel. If you act how you want to feel, pretty soon you will feel how you act. Let me explain in a quote…

“No matter how much madder it may make you, get out of bed forcing a smile. You may not smile because you are cheerful; but if you will force yourself to smile, you’ll end up laughing. You will be cheerful because you smile. Repeated experiments prove that when man assumes the facial expression of a given mental mood-any given mood-then that mental mood itself will follow.”

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Bob Ryland.

In India, they tie the leg of a baby elephant to a stake in the ground so that it stays within the length of the rope. This rope is strong enough to keep the baby restrained, so it eventually learns that it cannot go any further and gives up.

As the elephant grows up into a massive creature, it could easily break free from the rope, but doesn’t because it has been previously conditioned.

People are the same way. Psychologists call it “learned helplessness,” which means because of certain past events, we think that we are helpless and do not have the power to change our circumstances.

But this is false. It’s all psychological.

So what’s holding you back?

Do you know what is keeping you from starting your own business?…picking up the guitar?…improving your serve?…or travelling more?

I’ll tell you what, it’s YOU!

Don’t be an elephant, break the rope!

You don’t have to be great at the start, but you need to start to be great.

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Colette Lewis.

Here is a mental toughness test…

Imagine this:

You’re in your house. You open the door to the bathroom and suddenly, you see that the faucet is on and the sink is overflowing with water! There is a puddle on the floor!

What do you do?

Do you…

A) Go get a mop


B) Turn the faucet off

Correct answer: B) Turn the faucet off.

See, many times in sports and life, we try to just “mop” our problems up, but guess what? Then our mental sink keeps filling up, doesn’t it?

Do you want to live your entire life like that?

So if your strategy isn’t working, try a different one, because there are many options and solutions – you just have to choose the best one.

Now go turn that faucet off and have a great day!

Thanks for reading.

Checkout Colette Lewis’ review of “Game. Set. Life.” on Zoo Tennis…


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.


Ed donating a copy of “Game. Set. Life.” to the Arthur Ashe Library, one of the top tennis collections in the world.

Today’s message is especially dedicated to all the great staff, parents, and players at Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education in Philadelphia, PA.

Yesterday, I began my talk at Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education by saying that all success in tennis begins on the six inch tennis court between your ears. Your mind is a powerful thing and it is your choice whether you use it in a positive way or a negative way.

There was a female tennis pro who, when very young, witnessed her mother have a heart attack and die suddenly in a dentist chair. And for 30 years, this woman refused to go to the dentist.

Finally, her teeth were in such poor condition that she HAD to go to the dentist. So she sat in the dentist’s chair, and something shocking happened…

The woman had a sudden heart attack and died in the dentist chair!

So she mentally killed herself. This is an example of how we can use our minds in a negative way.

You will never totally eliminate negative thoughts, but if you focus on them for so long that they paralyze you, there’s a problem.

Be your own inner coach instead of inner critic.

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Amy Perpetua.

“I now know with a conviction beyond all doubt that the biggest problem you and I have to deal with – in fact, almost the only problem we have to deal with – is choosing the right thoughts. If we can do that, we will be on the high road to solving all our problems. The great philosopher who ruled the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, summed it up in eight words, eight words that can determine your destiny: ‘Our life is what our thoughts make it.’

Yes, if we think happy thoughts, we will be happy. If we think miserable thoughts, we will be miserable. If we think fear thoughts, we will be fearful. If we think sickly thoughts, we probably will be ill. If we think failure, we will certainly fail. If we wallow in self-pity, everyone will want to shun us and avoid us. Am I advocating a Pollyanna attitude toward all our problems? No. Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple. But I am advocating – in the strongest of terms – that we assume a positive attitude instead of a negative one.”

-Dale Carnegie

Thanks for reading.