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MESSAGE #1418 I’M A GOLD MEDALIST!

Another successful Special Olympics Summer Games has been completed. There was no shortage of inspiration as over 2,500 athletes participated and over 3,000 people volunteered to help make this event a great one.

My team of Brad Abouchedid, Joey Clawson, Joe Bodner, Alex Armour, Mike Capone, Laura Kasper, and Chrissy Acton gave it their all! Many of them even got medals! I enjoyed playing Unified Doubles with Joey Clawson (above) and we defended our gold medal from last year!

The focus of our athletes is having fun and giving a full effort. As a by-product, they won medals. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter, it’s how you play the game. And if you play the game with fun and the right attitude, you win more. Not the other way around.

Take the philosophy of these special athletes and start winning some medals in your own life!

Thanks for reading.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center
609.558.1077
ed@edtseng.com

MESSAGE #1417 SPECIAL OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES DAY 2

Today was Day 2 of the Special Olympics Summer Games and it was a wet one. Before matches even began, we went indoors for the event. And we went from having eight tennis courts to four courts. In addition, volunteers, coaches, and college staff had to help out to set up the adjustable tennis nets and net posts.

It was a team effort.

Sometimes in sports and life, you need to make adjustments. And if you focus on being a team player, everybody wins.

One of my favorite Special Olympics stories is from track and field. The event was the 100M dash. All of the special athletes lined up, ready to give it their all to the finish line. The gun was fired and they were off! All except one little boy, who fell at the starting line. The other special athletes noticed, and went back to check on the little boy. One girl bent over to the boy crying, and gave him a kiss on the head and said, “There, that will make it feel better.” And then the most amazing thing happened…

All of the athletes linked arms, and walked to the finish line.

Sometimes in sports and life, you need to make adjustments. And if you focus on being a team player, everybody wins.

MESSAGE #1416 SPECIAL OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES

Today was Day 1 of the Special Olympics Summer Games 2011 here in New Jersey. It was a great day full of inspiration. In fact, the Special Olympics motto is “Inspire Greatness” and these special athletes certainly do that. During the tennis matches today, I heard a couple special athletes talking to each other…

“Did you win?” one athlete asked.

“No, but I did my best,” was the optimistic response.

Wow, I think all of us coaches, athletes and parents can learn from these amazing athletes.

Here’s another quote from the Special Olympics…

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Stay tuned, tonight I will be at Opening Ceremonies for some more inspiration.

MESSAGE #1322 HOW TO BE A GOLD MEDALIST

MESSAGE #1055 SPECIAL OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES RECAP AND VIDEO

It was a busy but great weekend at the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games 2010 at The College of New Jersey.

All of the tennis players played hard, had fun and did their best. What else can you ask for?

There were thousands of athletes, fans and volunteers. It is truly the best weekend of the year for me. Congratulations to all that made the 2010 Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games a success. Enjoy the photos and video recap.

MESSAGE #1053 SPECIAL OLYMPICS SUMMER GAMES DAY 1

In this video blog, Ed interviews Special Athlete and gold medalist, Alex Armour. Get ready to be impressed with Alex’s special gift.

MESSAGE #1025 BE A BLACK SWAN

A BLACK SWAN is “the existence and occurrence of high-impact, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations.” (Wikipedia)

Roger Banister breaking the four-minute mile was a BLACK SWAN event.

David beating Goliath was a BLACK SWAN event.

Ed Tseng failing out of Rider College twice and then going back to speak (twice) at their Leadership Day was a BLACK SWAN event.

BLACK SWAN events happen all the time in sports and life. The fastest horse doesn’t always win the race. The students with the best grades don’t always become successful.

So why then, do so many people count themselves out before the competition begins?

Why do people think that success is only for the lucky few?

What you believe, you achieve.

Be a BLACK SWAN.

*CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GREAT JOEY CLAWSON, SPECIAL OLYMPICS GOLD MEDALIST, WHO GRADUATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY TODAY. WAY TO GO, JOE!*

MESSAGE #808 A SPECIAL DAY…

I spent the afternoon with some of my heroes yesterday…

My Special Olympics team.

Every time I work with these athletes, I become inspired all over again.

My time with my Special Olympics team is one of my most enjoyable. I learn so much from them – optimism, hard work, dedication, honesty, and character, to say the least.

And I don’t get paid.

Remember what Einstein said – “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

And remember Message #797.

You couldn’t put a price on how rewarding and enjoyable my practice sessions with my special athletes are.

It’s so organic. They’re the real deal. They’re polite and caring. And we can all learn a lot from them.

The one thing we all have in common is our search for happiness.

But guess what?

It’s not in a bigger house. It’s not in a nicer car. It’s not in a new pair of shoes.

Look around today, and tell me if you see it.

Thanks for reading.

MESSAGE #746 A BITTERSWEET DAY…

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”-SPECIAL OLYMPICS MOTTO

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Angie Holmberg in Edmond, Oklahoma.

It is a bittersweet day for me. Eunice Kennedy Shriver has just passed away. She was the sister of John F. Kennedy, but more importantly, she was the founder of the Special Olympics.

“She started the Special Olympics Games in 1968 to foster fitness and self-esteem for those with mental retardation. Her concern for the mentally handicapped was attributed to her relationship with older sister Rosemary, who was said to have been mildly retarded and spent the majority of her life in long-time care facility after a lobotomy.

‘I had enormous affection for Rosie,’ Shriver said in a National Public Radio interview in 2007. ‘If I never met Rosemary, never known anything about handicapped children, how would I have ever found out? Because nobody accepted them anyplace.’ “
-Yahoo News

To this day I think that they still are not accepted.

I have been a volunteer tennis coach for the Special Olympics for almost ten years now and it has been one of the most enjoyable things I have ever done. One of my good friends, Brad Abouchedid, is a Special Olympics gold medalist. I have learned so much from Brad, and the other special athletes. Brad also wrote the forward of my book, “Game. Set. Life.”

I am one of their coaches, but I have learned more from them than they have from me.

They have unconditional love.
They give it their all.
They smile, even with a last-place finish.
They are polite.
They cheer each other on.
They inspire greatness.

Joey Clawson, another good friend of mine and Special Olympics gold medalist, played on the Ewing High (NJ) tennis team and was accepted to The College of New Jersey, a top school in the state.

If Joey can make the high school team and get accepted into a good college, with a mental disability, imagine what you can do?

Thank you, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, for showing me and millions of others what we all have inside.

Anything is possible – trust me, I’ve seen it.

Thanks for reading.

MESSAGE #686 MIND POWER…

“We are born unarmed. Our mind is our only weapon.”
-AYN RAND

Well, we all had a great weekend at the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games at The College of New Jersey.

Some athletes won, some did not, but everyone gave it their all. The weekend culminated with the Awards Ceremony. Everyone either received a ribbon or a medal as we celebrated yet again with each other, then hugged until next year.

These athletes have mental disabilities.

But for many of them, their memory is good.

In fact, the great Alex Armour has an amazing memory. You can tell him your birthday (month, day, year) and within two seconds, he will tell you exactly what day of the week it fell on. Oh, and if you then ask him what day of the week your birthday fell on in 1999 (or any year), he will tell you that too.

He’s never been wrong. I take that back, once Alex told someone they were born on a Saturday and they said that in fact, they were born on a Friday. Later on I found out that the mother went into the hospital on Friday night, but she did not deliver until after midnight. Amazing.

So let me give you a brain twister…

Imagine that you are lost in a forest which is inhabited by Red women and Green women only. The Red women always tell the truth and the Green women always lie. You come to a fork in the road; you have to get to a town called “Umgowa,” but you don’t know whether to take the right or left road. There is a woman standing at the fork, but it is too dark to see if she’s Red or Green. Here’s your challenge: Can you ask just one question of this woman, which calls for a “yes” or “no” answer, and find out which is the correct road to take?

Keep in mind:
You don’t know whether the woman is Red or Green.
Even if you asked two questions, it would be difficult, because if you asked, “Are you a Red woman?” you would get a yes from both (Green is lying).

Nevertheless, there is a way to ask just one question to find out which road to take. Take a piece of paper and try out different scenarios. If you do not write them down, you will forget what you already tried.

Answer:

The question you would ask the Red or Green woman is this: You would point to either road, and say, “If I had asked you before would you have said that this was the correct road to take toward Umgowa?”

If you were pointing to the correct road, both women would have to say “yes” and if you were pointing to the wrong road, both women would have to say “no.”

Let me explain. If you are pointing to the correct road, the Red woman’s answer is an obvious “yes,” but the Green woman would have said “no” the first time, but would have to lie again, which would make her answer a “yes.”

If you were pointing to the wrong road, the Red woman would say “no” and the Green woman would have lied before and said “yes.” But since you are asking her if she would have said “yes” she must say “no.” You would get a “no” from both so you would then take the other road.
Get it?

Have any brain teasers for me? I’d love to hear your comments…

Thanks for reading.