By perseverance the snail reached the ark.

You may not be a snail, but you still need to persist.

If your goal is to make your high school baseball team, or become a chocolatier, it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.

One of the biggest problems people have is that they stop too soon. Then they try something else. And probably stop too soon with that as well.

If you persist while others give up when they face adversity, or get frustrated, guess who’s going to be left at the top?


Don’t try your best, do whatever it takes.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

As coaches, athletes, parents and people, we often look at things through our narrow perspectives. When we keep an open mind with new ideas and ways to do things, we frequently find better ways to do them, and continuously grow in the process, oftentimes improving our results.

Mental Toughness Homework: Just for today, have an open mind and listen to what others have to say. Look at the world through new eyes and your world just might change.


Well, here I am in Austin, Texas visiting my sister Grace and her family.

On the plane I watched Tin Cup starring Kevin Costner on my iPad. It was great. In fact, it was one of the best sports movies I’ve seen in a long time.

If you don’t know, Tin Cup is about a driving range golf pro (Costner) who has all the talent in the world but a weak mental game.

At one point in the movie, Costner gets the “shanks” which is an inexplicable glitch in a golfer’s swing. He can’t hit the ball straight. He tries all these high-tech gadgets and they are not working.

Finally, Romeo, his caddy tells him to do the following:

1. Take all the change from his right front pocket and put it in his left front pocket.

2. Wear his cap backwards.

3. Double-knot his left shoe.

4. Put a tee behind his ear.

He looked ridiculous and was obviously embarrassed. Well guess what? It worked! He hit the ball straight.


Because he wasn’t thinking about his swing, he was just hitting the ball. Romeo said his brain was getting in the way.

When you think too much in sports (and life), you get paralysis by analysis. Peak performance occurs when you play loose. Loose, but focused.

Yogi Berra says you can’t think and hit at the same time. A full mind is an empty bat.

Well, it’s off to explore Texas. Talk to you soon!


I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot…When you think about the consequences, you always think of a negative result.
-Michael Jordan

When I give seminars on the psychological aspect of peak performance, I always ask someone in the audience to name their favorite athlete. Many times it is Michael Jordan. I then ask the following questions…

“Who is faster, you or Jordan?”

“Who can shoot better, you or Jordan?”

“Who can jump higher, you or Jordan?”

The answer is always Jordan (if they are being honest).

I then ask how long it would take for them to be physically equal to Jordan.

Most say forever.

I follow up and say, “Do you know how you can become just as good as Jordan, almost instantly?”

I have the entire auditorium’s attention as I say…

“By having the same mindset as Jordan. And by giving the same effort as Jordan.”

I recently asked the winningest coach in college history, Paul Assaiante, squash coach at Trinity College, if giving a full effort was one of the main goals for his team. He responded…

“It’s the ONLY goal.”

Comments? Leave them below.


The Trinity College Mens Squash team has won 244 consecutive matches, the most in college sports history. They have won 13 straight national championships. Their coach is Paul Assaiante, author of “Run to the Roar.”

I spoke to Coach Assaiante this morning and he shared with me his favorite story of an athlete overcoming adversity, which is also in his book.

When I was coaching squash and tennis at West Point, I had a kid named George Geczy. An army brat, the son of a high-ranking officer, he was a special kid, with a concentrated stare and an acetylene voice. He was not a great tennis player; when God was handing out tennis skills, George was in the men’s room. In the winter of freshman year, he got knocked out during a boxing class, and X-rays revealed a brain tumor. It was lucky that he had gotten knocked out; otherwise they would have never discovered the tumor. Doctors operated on him that night. He recovered enough to travel to Germany, where his father was stationed. Because of residual damage from the tumor, the doctors said, he would have trouble walking for the rest of his life.

The following September, George came back to West Point. He walked with a cane. He forgot names. He did pushups agonizingly slow. For a second time, he went through all the plebe-year hazing. In the spring he came out for the tennis team. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t walk. There was no way he could hit a tennis ball. But George was driven. I couldn’t say no and kick him off the team. I remembered how, in my freshman year of college, I had appeared at Springfield College after a couple of years of gymnastics training as a schoolboy on the weekends. Springfield had a rich tradition in gymnastics. Frank Wolcott had run Springfield’s program since 1955, and by the time I arrived on campus in the fall of 1970, he was firmly entrenched as one of the nation’s great gymnastic coaches—so great that he rightly judged my abilities and cut me after I tried out as a walk-on. He kindly said I could try out the next year. I refused to listen. “You’ll have to call security every day, because I intend to keep coming,” I told him. “I’m going to make the team.” Wolcott agreed to name me the “manager” of the team and let me attend practice. By the end of the season, I had made varsity.

In the same vein, I named George manager and assistant coach, assigning jobs like collecting towels and carrying the ball hoppers. In his sophomore year, he threw away the cane and was able to get on the court, so I asked him to feed balls to players. Then he became a hitting partner for the junior-varsity guys, and then a doubles partner when someone was late. George came to every practice. He lifted weights. He hit hundreds of balls. He worked relentlessly. In his junior year, he played doubles in a couple of junior-varsity matches at the beginning of the season, and by the end of it, he was at the top of the JV. The team elected him captain for his senior year, and he played on the varsity.

So if George can do all that, imagine what YOU can do?

Thanks for reading, and thank you, Coach Assaiante.

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center


At a certain point, if he’s going to get to the top of the boxing profession, a fighter has to learn the difference between the truth and a lie. The lie is thinking that submission is an acceptable option. The truth is that if you give up, afterward you’ll realize that any of those punches that you thought you couldn’t deal with, or those rough moments you didn’t think you could make it through, were just moments. Enduring them is not nearly as tough but having to deal with the next day and the next month and the next year, knowing that you quit, that you failed, that you submitted. It’s a trainer’s job to make a fighter understand about difference, that the parts of a fight that are urgent last only seconds; seconds during which you have to stave off the convenient excuse- “I’m too tired” or “I hurt too much” or “I can’t do this” or even simply “I’m not going to deal with this.” Sometimes it just comes down to not floating- just being there and understanding that if you give in, you’ll hurt more tomorrow. Maybe there is no more important lesson to learn from boxing than that.

From: Atlas: From the streets to the ring: A son’s Struggle to become a man.


I have observed and spoken to thousands of athletes from all over the world. I know powerful words that help athletes and I know weak words that will hurt athletes.

The 10 Most Powerful Words

If it is to be, it is up to me.

The 10 Most Devastating Words

What will other people say…what will other people think?

Ed Tseng
Director of Mental Conditioning
Monroe Sports Center