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.


Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Justin Philip.

In Day 3 in Jamaica, everything is irie. That means, all is good. All is well.

This morning I had breakfast and then taught an hour of tennis. After that, I needed to cool off, so I threw on my bathing suit and went into the ocean. After that, I enjoyed some ackee and saltfish (Jamaica’s national dish). From there, it was beach to pool to jacuzzi to pool. Then, I taught a lesson to a high school tennis coach from Michigan, Justin Philip (photo above).
Right after this message, we’re heading over to another resort for dinner.
I know what you’re thinking…what’s the message for today, Ed? Well, how about…
Work hard and play hard.
If you’ve been working hard, start planning your next vacation.
If you’ve been slacking off, start working harder.
More tomorrow from paradise…
Thanks for reading.