“It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success.”

I’m very excited about today.

I’m going back to Rider University, where I started college, to speak to Professor Cordonnier’s Sport and Gender class.

I really like going back to Rider to speak to the current students and help out the professors, but what I like most about going back to Rider is the fact that I failed out of there…twice!

Yes, you heard that correctly.

I failed out of Rider twice and then went back and was MC of their Leadership Day, was a facilitator for an athlete-musician workshop and spoke to another Sport and Gender class.

So what happened?

It turns out that failing out of Rider was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had a choice whether to continue with computers, which was my father’s field, or follow my passion. I did some soul searching and decided that if I didn’t follow my passion, I would regret it.

So I “transferred” to Ferris State University and their Marketing/Professional Tennis Management program. The funny thing is that once I started that program, my grades skyrocketed.

Did I get a brain transplant?

No, I became “into” school. Then I graduated and was named the USTA Pro of the Year in 2005.

Most people are just in their sport or job.

But the great ones are “into” their sport or job.

Do what you love, love what you do.

Then you’ll work harder.

Then you’ll get better results.

Then you’ll have more fun and reach peak performance.

Everyone fails, but not everyone gets back on the horse.

Thanks for reading.


“Your focus is your future.”

I played tennis this morning at the Ferris State Racquet and Fitness Center. I have not been playing very consistently in New Jersey, the court surface was very fast, and I was playing “The Quadfather,” Anwar Khan of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Obviously, my timing was off initially, but I managed to make adjustments. We played three groundstroke games to eleven and I won two of them. After that, we played a set and it was pretty close. Towards the end of the set, Anwar took the lead and I began to get nervous. I started thinking, “What if I lose? What will people think?” I was missing easy shots. But luckily I used my mental training skills, re-focused and went back to thinking about my strategy and placement.

It worked.

I ended up winning 7-6, and 7-5 in the tiebreaker.

This was a great way to end a great weekend.

It was a pleasure seeing some old friends and making some new ones. I enjoyed they workshops presented by industry leaders such as, Scott Schultz, Eddie Luck, David Brower, Paul Marcum, Chris Michalowski, Dan Moster, Pat Kearns, Sam Chrome, Mike Snyder, and Dave Ramos.

The Professional Tennis Management program at Ferris State University helped me reach many of my goals and it was my pleasure to come back, give back, and help inspire the next generation of industry leaders.

Thanks for reading.


Photos: Ed on Comcast SportsNet’s Sports Nite, USPTA Midwest Convention (Todd Martin, Ed with Derek Ameel and Collin Cadwell from Ferris State University’s Professional Tennis Management Program)
Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Erin Fouty in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
After you read this blog message, you can tell everyone you learned the secret.
I was nervous this past weekend.
Very nervous.
I was one of the speakers at the USPTA Midwest Convention in Troy, Michigan. Todd Martin and Wayne Bryan were also presenting.
I get nervous before every talk I give, but I was especially nervous this weekend because I was going to speak in front of my peers, industry leaders, former classmates and tennis experts.
But I gave my talk, felt great about it, received positive feedback, and sold many books.
So what happened?
Well, whenever I get nervous, I know I am about to do something important. I would rather be nervous than not care. I also think about Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods gets nervous before every shot…but he doesn’t act or look nervous.
If you are nervous and want to feel confident, all you have to do is act confident.
Winners and losers feel the same feelings, they just take different action.
That’s the secret.
Thanks for reading.