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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Last Post on the Tennis Mental Edge Blog

To readers of the Tennis Mental Edge Blog...
You may have noticed that I have not been posting lately. There is a good reason for it as I will explain. This will be my last post on the Tennis Mental Edge Blog. I appreciate you reading the posts and giving comments. I hope you found the posts to be informative and interesting.
I have decided to take a new path, I have left Michigan State University and I am closing my consulting business. I have accepted the Mental Skills Specialist position with the United States Tennis Association Player Development department. I will spend almost all of my time consulting and working with world-class tennis players and coaches. For this new position I will move to Boca Raton, Florida to the USTA PD headquarters.

Due to the need to focus 100% on the needs of our American coaches and tennis players from professional to junior I will no longer be posting on this blog. However, I hope to continue to provide resources and posts from my new position at the USTA. How is to be determined, but you can begin looking at the some of the USTA online resources at and at Always feel free to reach out for assistance or just to say hi.

I wish you the best in your tennis endeavors, and in life. Keep supporting the great game of tennis by doing what you do!



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Serena Williams Quote on Belief

Serena Williams is the most dominant women's tennis player in the last decade. When she is focused and on top of her game she imposes her will on her opponent. Her sheer physicality and sense of belief, while being abstract feelings, win her points, games, and matches.

What I appreciate most about Serena is her self-belief. She believes that she should win every match she plays and is going to win or lose on her terms - playing her game. I believe this quote sums up well the deep well of self-belief that makes Serena Williams an all-time great:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Federer's Angry Outburst versus Murray at Aussie Cost Him the Match?

Did Roger Federer lose to Andy Murray at the Australian Open because of his angry outburst at the end of the fourth set? Did such a little thing like reacting to Murray's complaint about a line call get the best of Roger?

Geoff MacDonald of the New York Times wrote an excellent article about how Roger's anger gave him the energy boost to win the fourth set versus Murray, but in the end may have cost him the match.

The incident as MacDonald recalls it:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Andre Agassi on Problem Solving in Tennis

“In tennis, there’s no coaching, no passing the ball. It’s problem solving at its purest,” Andre Agassi once said.

Tennis is a great sport for many reasons and one of those reasons is exactly what Agassi is implying in this quote. When you are on the court you are forced to solve problems. You cannot rely on a teammate or a coach. You have to do it.

The problem solving that is inherent to tennis can create many headaches for developing players. Coaches and parents are constantly scratching their heads at junior tournaments trying to figure out why their junior went for a slap winner down the line from behind the baseline or approached cross court to the opponent's strong forehand.

To become an expert in tennis these failures in judgment are part of the process. You have to fail - make poor decisions and suffer the consequences. Those junior players that can learn quickly and not become despondent with their failures will be able to go farther in the game.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Murray, Djokovic, Stephens, Li Na, Azarenka Breaking New Ground

The Australian Open again is the starting grounds for a new season. And, just maybe the ground breaking to new heights of performance for Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Sloane Stephens, Li Na, and Victoria Azarenka.

This Open was supposed to be the continuation of Serena Williams' charge for the Serena Slam. I guess Sloane Stephens got the memo and choose to rewrite history. Stephens bursted on to the scene this week and made a statement that she is going to be a top 10 player and a threat to win a Slam.

Stephens was supposed to be a road bump for Serena. Stephens instead flipped the script on her way to her first Grand Slam semi final. Serena was not 100%; her serve was significantly slower and less impactful in the quarters. Nonetheless, Stephens was able to bounce back down 3-4 in the third set. I love to see that moment where a player reveals their resiliency and confidence at a higher level.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ferrer, Almagro and the Mental Game at the Australian Open

David Ferrer's 12-0 record versus Nicolas Almagro may have kept Almagro from having his finest day. Almagro was two points from his first Slam semifinal at the Australian Open. Three times Almagro served for the match in the third and fourth sets, and three times Ferrer broke Almagro. Eventually Ferrer won by two breaks in the fifth set.

Is Ferrer Almagro's worst nightmare? Ferrer now is 13-0 versus his fellow Spaniard, and I think that dominance kept Almagro from his first semifinal in a Slam.

Ferrer Defeats Almagro in Grueling Five-Set Match to make Aussie Open Semis (

Just imagine for a moment that you played tennis against someone often, but when you played a match when it mattered they always beat you. Then, at the most important tournament of your life you played them again and you were beating them. How good would it feel? But, the specter of never beating the person reveals itself as you are about to close them out. How emotional would you be? How hard would it be to focus on just hitting the ball?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Djokovic's Self-Belief Runs Deep after 5-Hour Victory over Wawrinka

The well of Novak Djokovic's self-belief runs deep. For the third time in a year Djokovic has won a five-hour match. This time he had to fight back from almost two sets down to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka.

Next you will see some of the post-match interview with Djokovic. His answers reveal the confidence exuding from him, and how his attributions enable to remain confident in such a tough situation.