I know we can all feel low and sometimes our motivation, or even the belief in ourselves, can fluctuate. Clearly, we all have good reason to drag at this moment. But, we don’t have to lay down and give in for too long. That said, if you are struggling, as many people are these days,…

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With our desire for immediate results and a lack of self-awareness, we often don’t even see the learning opportunities in front of our eyes. Engaging in the learning process is a critical step toward achieving goals on the tennis court.  Recently, I was practicing my serve for an upcoming tournament. On the court next to…

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In the near future, perhaps sometime next month or early June, this first wave of Covid will be behind us. This will be a relief for everybody. Will you be depleted and burned out when you re-emerge? Or, will you have a new appreciation for the little things in life, including your relationships with friends…

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This morning, as I was staring down the rabbit hole of a minimum of two more months with two home-schooled children living in my home 24/7, I felt that had a choice to make. Would l let the heavy blanket of despair envelope me and hold me in a state of inaction or would I…

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Before reading my suggestions below, please understand that anything you’re feeling right now is completely normal. We are all facing the same external situation, but each of us will have different reactions based on our personalities, values and life experiences. Yesterday, I spoke with an anxious entrepeneur in his early fifties who had to close down all of his…

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Last week a player at my club stopped to tell me, “Jeff, what I didn’t realize is how hard it is to sustain your focus in a match.” She was trying to tell me that she used my tools between points and that they were working, but was stunned by how much energy it required…

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Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to play the best player in the world?  Last week I spoke with one of my long-term clients who happened to play him just two weeks ago in the Australian Open (I often work with players in the U.S and abroad via video). Two days after…

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The longer I do this work and the more insight I get into people’s challenges, hopes, obstacles, and personal breakthroughs, I also find myself experiencing more empathy and understanding for the universal barrier we all face when it comes to success and performance.  What is it? Fear with many faces.  Fear of your own disappointment…

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In the past ten years I have witnessed tremendous progress in both the acceptance of the the mental game, or inner game of tennis, and the number of conversations about it. You will be hard pressed to go 15 minutes without a commentator at any Grand Slam event not expounding on the relevance of “mental…

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“We had it. It was mine. I can’t believe it. What happened? I blew it. I choked. Aaargh.” Matches at all levels are lost every day because players are unable to “close it out.” Pros, juniors, college players, and competitive league players confront this challenge universally. Interestingly, in many ways, this phenomenon is a microcosm…

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Before I transformed my mind and approach to the mental game of tennis I had a pretty rigid view of my game and place in the tennis rankings. Basically, my self-image reflected my past results and view on how I typically played in matches. Of course, as a result, if I was playing someone I…

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One of the best ways to replicate your best day on the court is to remember to be grateful for the moment you are in right now. We now have conclusive evidence from MRI scans of the brain and more dependable biofeedback procedures that show how a feeling of gratitude or deep appreciation can

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One of my main objectives when I work with athletes is to help them deeply engage in the “process.” Most athletes understand the concept of an outcome focus vs. a process focus by now. However, actually doing it, committing to a particular process, regardless of the outcome is far from easy. There is a big

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Nearly 35 million children and adolescents participate in organized youth sports in the United States. Thirty-five percent of these same children say they will likely quit the following year. In the United States, youth participation in organized sports has dramatically increased over the past 25+ years from approximately 18 million children in 1987 to 60

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. Even though by some standards I was excelling in the game, for years I had felt as though I wasn’t tapping my potential. How did I know this? I would hold back on my shots when the score became close. I would miss my best shots that I made in

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. “I’m more relaxed now.” I’m finally enjoying the game.” I’m smarter now.” I feel the ball better than I ever have. I know what my strengths are and don’t beat myself up when I miss.” “I am convinced that my best day today would beat me on my best day

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. When it comes to athletic competition, everyone talks about momentum — psychological momentum, when everything is moving in the right direction for one competitor or another. As I write this, Pete Sampras has won 24 consecutive matches and is moving toward his 13th Grand Slam, the most in tennis history

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. You will not find a successful athlete who does not become anxious before competition. Most athletes, including Michael Jordan, will tell you that if they aren’t nervous before a big game, they know they have problems. Pre-match anxiety is highly normal and critical to peak performance. This psychological experience is

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. Smarter Strategy, Better “Feel” Many veteran players who still coach and compete simply believe they have better feel for the ball. Mark Farren, Director of Sleepy Hollow Tennis Club in Orinda and former world-ranked player, described it to me this way: “Now, I know what I do well. I know

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. What is the first question players are asked after a match? “How did you do?” Most players, shaped by the standards set in our society, naturally respond, “I won” or “I lost.” Usually, this is the end of the conversation. Unfortunately, the communicated message is that winning is what counts.

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. There appears to be a universal consensus that the “zone”-the mind-body connection that invariably produces our best and most relished performances-is, for most of us, an elusive place. In fact, the harder we try to “get there,” the less chance we have of arriving there. So, this precious state has

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. From the moment my mother pulled away, at the age of 12, as I stared out of the academy’s motel window with tears streaming down my face, I began my intimate relationship with loneliness—an experience we all face from time to time as a competitive tennis player. So much has

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. Interclub play in some European nations is unlike anything in the United States. The level of play is extremely high; matches are fiercely contested and draw large crowds of supporters. Clubs woo players with money and free housing and often cars – results really matter. German clubs, especially, care greatly

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By Jeff Greenwald, M.A., MFT. Many recreational and competitive tennis players talk about the “zone” – that magical day when the ball appears larger than usual, the court wider, and confidence is overflowing. This experience eludes most players and is typically discarded because of its elusive nature. It comes and goes, and rarely stays long.

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Research shows that the better you become the less you tend to focus on the end result. Instead focus on performance, the process of HOW to achieve that outcome.

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