Yesterday I was in Florida for exactly 23 hours and 9 minutes.

I loved and made use of every moment of it.

I made an appearance at the beautiful new All Tennis shop in Lake Park, gave a talk at BallenIsles Country Club, the first site of the PGA and current home of Venus and Serena Williams. Had a great dinner at Vic and Angelo’s and then met up with the great Denise Capriati, mother of former World #1, Jennifer Capriati.

During my talk I said that one problem with tennis players is that many of them are just “in” tennis, instead of “into” tennis.

When you’re “in” tennis, you’re playing. You’re just on the court and present.

If you’re “into” tennis, you live, eat and breathe tennis. You strive for constant improvement.

The good ones are in it, the great ones are into it…

What are you?


Game. Set. Life. is a very motivating and inspiring book. Ed does a great job of teaching how to be positive and flip the thought process on the court or in life when negativity enters the mind. My friends and I recently attended one of his seminars and we were very impressed with his ability to capture his audience! We truly enjoyed his tips for peak performance.”
-DENISE CAPRIATI, mother of Jennifer Capriati, former world #1 tennis player

So I’m back from a successful trip to Florida. I spoke to tennis players, coaches, business professionals and even a family from Brazil that didn’t know much English. Denise Capriati showed up and brought her tennis friends.

I also had a great meeting with the great Tracy Hanlon and she, along with Chris Kennedy, the top racquet stringer in Palm Beach County, and Sandy Bell, tennis teaching pro at RiverWalk, are helping me line up some more speaking engagements for November. I already have one talk lined up at Ballenisles, home of Venus and Serena Williams, and am working on The Breakers, SeaView and other locations.

So I’m back home in Princeton, NJ and getting back in the groove as I prepare for the US Open. Sunday I will be heading into the city for the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference; Monday I will be speaking to tennis teachers, coaches and administrators from all over the world at the Grand Hyatt. After my talk I will be doing a book signing for the conference attendees. Then, on Tuesday, September 1, I will be doing a book signing at the US Open bookstore (near Court 10) during the day session.

I know what you’re thinking, “What’s the message of the day?”

The message of the day is this…

If I can fail out of college, twice and then become Pro of the Year and start my own business, then write a book and present it at the US Open, you can do whatever it is you want.

Anything is possible. There is a decent buzz going around about my book and speaking engagements, but guess what? I spent the past year promoting it, full-time. And now I’m reaping the benefits.

You get out what you put in.

I don’t think that my book is the best book out there, but I certainly put in the time to market it.

If you put in the time in your sport, in your job, in your relationships, you will get better results, so long as you’re doing the right things.

Talk is cheap. Take action today.

Thanks for reading.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Ian Rubel.

Recently, I have spent quite a bit of time with Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player. In our conversations, we talk about playing and teaching tennis, the experiences he’s gone through, and life.

Mr. Ryland has seen it all. He lived through segregation before Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. He has coached some of the best players in the world. Earlier this week, Bob and I were sitting at his kitchen table in his apartment overlooking the New York City skyline when he told me the secret.

“You gotta work hard. If you want to become as good as the Williams sisters, you have to train like the Williams sisters. They are not more talented than everyone else, they just work harder. And don’t give up.”

So you have to put in the work. There is no substitute. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. There’s plenty of talented people out there, but it’s the ones that work hard and keep going that succeed.

“Arthur Ashe wasn’t a great player. I wasn’t a great player. Ivan Lendl wasn’t a great player. We just worked hard,” said Mr. Ryland.

Pete Sampras said the accomplishment he is most proud of is finishing number one in the world, six years in a row. He said, “To me, greatness lies in going out there day after day and getting the job done.”

So work hard at practice, at work, at school, but remember something else that Bob Ryland said…

“Have fun!”

Thanks for reading.


Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player.

Bob’s wife Nancy said he couldn’t put the book down!

New friends. Notice the photos of Bob and Arthur Ashe in the background.

A wonderful gift from the great one.

So yesterday I spent the day with Bob Ryland. I don’t know where to begin. It’s amazing enough that he was the first black professional tennis player. But he was also Arthur Ashe’s hero. He coached the Williams sisters, and travelled around the world as Bill Cosby’s personal tennis coach.

I went to Mr. Ryland’s apartment on the Upper West Side of New York City to talk about the book he wants me to help him write. I hit the record button on the brand new bright white digital recorder as the 88 year old tennis legend talked about his life, on and off the court. He brought me back in time to his early days in Alabama around the 1920s. He was called racist names and frequently saw blacks “strung up” in the trees outside his front door while walking to school in the morning. He really had to sit in the back of the bus, and if it was too full, he had to either stand or get off. They had separate bathrooms and water fountains for blacks. And in college, the black players had to wait until night to sneak into the dorms to sleep. The white boys on the tennis team went into the shops to get them food and brought it to them. And yes, he almost got killed several times.

I have read about those days in the history books, but Bob Ryland lived those days. If Bob was a bitter man, I probably wouldn’t blame him, but he says, “I’m just a regular guy. I overcame adversity and became better because of it.”

Bob has coached the Williams sisters and told me a secret. “They weren’t more talented than everyone else, they just worked harder. 6am to 6pm was their workout schedule.” So if you want to become a great tennis player, just train like a great tennis player.

So Bob knows the importance of overcoming adversity and how hard work beats talent, but the thing that really stuck with me is that Bob really is just a regular guy.

I asked him what the most important lessons he has learned in his life and he said: be a good person, listen, and smile.

He didn’t mention anything about tennis…a regular guy?

I don’t think so.

None of my blog readers should ever complain that their life is tough.

” ‘Game. Set. Life.’ can help you accomplish whatever you want in life and teach you how to stay ahead of the game, concentrate, focus, and give you confidence. I wish I had read this book when I was playing.”
-BOB RYLAND, December 2, 2008, New York City

Thanks for reading.

Checkout “Game. Set. Life.” in The Daily Racquet in Hawaii…