If you want to become successful (which I know you do because you’re reading this blog), cut these three words out of your vocabulary.




You CAN’T win if you use the word CAN’T.

You will NEVER succeed if you use the word NEVER.

It will be IMPOSSIBLE to reach your goals if you use the word IMPOSSIBLE.

Homework: Today, use words and phrases that will motivate you, not words and phrases that will de-motivate you.


One of my favorite sayings is:

“Doubt your doubts.”

We all have a little negative voice inside our heads that shows up every once in a while (more often for some people).

Recently, I was coaching some tennis players and I introduced topspin to them. Before they even hit one ball, one of the players said, “Oh, I can’t do that.”

I was in shock.

This was a grown woman and she was counting herself out before she even started.

Fortunately, I was able to help her re-frame her negative voice and she actually performed quite well, but it could have been ugly. This type of limiting attitude is quite common, but we can choose to believe it, or doubt it.

Choose wisely.

Thanks for reading.


“That little voice inside my head keeps telling me that I’m no good.”

“I’m just a negative person.”

“I always lose when I have a lead.”

These are common thoughts. And they lead to common results.

You have to expect things of yourself before you can achieve them.


I recently started working with a high school tennis player who had low self-esteem and negativity issues.

His father called me to ask if I could work with his son to overcome his challenges.

Well, I did one long session with him and then gave him some homework.

I saw him a week later and I immediately noticed that his body language and attitude was completely different.

I said, “How’s it going?”

He replied, “Great! I am not negative anymore.”

I was skeptical.

I found out that he lost a couple matches during the week, but was extremely happy with his attitude.  He was a new person, and he had a winning mindset. He wasn’t perfect, but this was a great start, nonetheless.

I was extremely proud of him.

What did I give him?


Hold On Possibilities Exist.

What’s the point?

Mental skills are just like physical skills – they are trainable.

This young man is striving to become a little bit better every day, and I am confident that as our coaching sessions continue, he will eventually become the player, and person he wants to be.


“The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.”


Today’s message is especially dedicated to all the players out there who have anger management issues.

I once had a student who would often get angry at himself after losing a point. And by once, I mean, I “often” have students who get angry and negative during competition.

Negativity and anger are common challenges for competitive players, but here’s the good news…

This can be overcome with training (just like fixing your backhand).

What do you say to yourself after you lose a point?

“I can’t believe you missed that shot!”

“You stink!”

“What’s wrong with you?!?”

Let’s analyze this voice for a second…

Does this “inner coach” help you perform better?

Of course not. What if a real coach spoke like this to their player? Wouldn’t you find a new coach?

If this is an issue for you, you need to find a new “inner coach.”

This inner coach should say something like…

“No problem. How can I make an adjustment? Good, now let’s focus on the next point.”

“That point is in the past, let’s focus on the next one.”

“You’re still in control. Let’s go!”

What you say to yourself between points will determine how you play and what kind of results you get.

How do YOU want to play and what kind of results do YOU want to get?

Remember this secret formula: S + A = R (Situation plus Attitude equals Result).


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Marc Stephens and everyone in Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, Montclair chapter.

Recently, I was at a tennis club, observing some teaching professionals. It’s quite interesting to me how there are so many different teaching styles. There is no right or wrong way, but I have noticed a common theme.

Many coaches are negative and they use negative reinforcement.

I was watching a teaching pro work with a pretty advanced player. I noticed something scary. The only thing I heard out of his mouth and the only body language I saw was negative. I must have counted at least 34 negative comments in 30 minutes.

The boy would hit a shot and miss his target and the pro would ask, “Why are you doing that?!” Many coaches even make players run or do conditioning when they perform poorly. I don’t believe in that. I think that’s “old school” coaching.

I then looked at the boy and he just put his head down and looked at the court.

How do you think this boy performed?

How do you think this boy felt about himself?

How much fun do you think this boy had playing tennis?

*Coaches/teachers/parents/managers listen up…

You have to catch people doing something right! When you compliment someone for doing something well, even if it’s something trivial, not only will that person feel good, but they will more likely do that again. What you focus on, you will receive.

You can’t get positive results from negative thoughts.

So start making positive comments and you will start seeing positive results.

Thanks for reading.