Sunday, July 26, 2009

We're Never Entitled!

My mentor taught me a long time ago that we're never entitled to win, no matter how good we are or how good we think we are. We're only entitled to the effort we give before and after. Recently at a poker table, I fell into the trap of thinking I was entitled to win because I was easily top two in the game. The only other good player was a friend of mine, but he'll tell you that he's a distant second (I expect an immediate text from him after he reads this- haha).

Because I study, practice, and play for higher stakes than my opponents in this game, I "deserved" to win regardless of the cards that came. 
"Don't you know who I am? Don't you know that I'm more experienced, and am entitled to take all of your chips today? Yeah, I know we haven't played a hand yet... but I believe you should concede right now and hand over your money."
What a jackass way of thinking! I wasn't entitled to anything but the cards dealt, and the ability to bet in any way I see fit... THAT'S ALL!!! Why would I think any other way? Thinking I was entitled to win shows a lack of respect for my opponents and their ability, no matter what their level.  As you can guess, I got my arse handed to me that session, mainly because my ego wanted to show everyone who he was... how'd that work out for me??!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Men Vs. Women.

I teach a girl who wants to be the field goal kicker on a men's college football team next year. Should she be able to try out for the team, and would she be taken seriously by the coaches and players if given the chance?    

Indy car racing's Danica Patrick recently announced that she's seriously considering switching to Nascar, which is filled with "good-ol'-boy rednecks," who aren't too happy with her decision. Should there be a problem if she does decide to make the switch? I'm not educated enough to talk in detail about the racing scene, but I definitely have strong opinions about women competing with the men.  

A few years ago, Michelle Wie was given the opportunity to play on the PGA tour against the men, which led to many heated debates on the subject. I don't have a problem with women competing with the men if there isn't a women's league. Ie: Car racing and football. If there's a woman who can kick further or race faster, by all means, she should be allowed to compete. When Michelle was given a sponsor's exemption, she took a spot away from a man who could've qualified for that tournament, which ultimately took food from his family's mouth. She has a tour to play on... she should've stayed there with her peers! 
I've had this same discussion with my students about Serena Williams' ability to compete against the top men tennis players in the world. Sorry to say to those who view Serena as this muscle-bound, super woman, who is as strong as most men... 


To be frank, she couldn't beat the #3 player on UCLA's men's team- they simply hit too hard and are too athletic. Williams is an amazing competitor, who could arguably be considered the best woman ever to play the game, but would never make it against the men. Serena has also gone on record, saying that the women should make the same amount of money as the men on the tennis court. I totally disagree! The women play 2-3 sets, which may lead to a 2 1/2 hour match, where the men play 3-5 sets, easily reaching 4 hour mark. I know I'm going to get a lot of heat for this, but sorry... they're just not playing the same game, which means they shouldn't be paid as if they are. 

There's nothing wrong with being different. Some are born with blonde hair, others with black... some skinny, others muscular. Take me, for example: I'm incredibly good looking and sexy as hell- don't be mad! You and I are just different, not better or worse... only different.   

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two Quick Stories

I was originally going to write about Tiger missing the cut at the British Open this week, but I changed my mind. He'll be o.k. He's the best that ever lived, and will prove it again this year. Instead of talking about Tiger, I have two quick stories about my Saturday morning. Amazingly, it's not even 10 am yet, and I've already learned a ton. 


I woke up this morning frustrated about the current challenges I've been going through the last couple of months. The specifics are unimportant, but they've left me searching for those missing pieces, not knowing if I'll ever find them. What's truly important to me? What should my goals be? 

Watching Logan and my two cats, Smudge and Tango play this morning helped me answer those questions. Logan has many toys to play with, all ranging from squeaky, rattly, and even toys that talk to her when she pushes a button. She has toys that could change and feed her if necessary... but what's her favorite?? USED PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES!!! Are you freakin' kidding me? She finds the greatest pleasure playing with small, empty bottles that are about to be thrown in the recycling bin. Doesn't she understand how much money was spent from family and friends to make her happy? Oh, wait... she IS happy, isn't she? She's the happiest with the simplest!  

Smudge and Tango have taught me the same lesson. Hundreds of dollars have been spent at Petco trying to keep them active and playful, but what do they enjoy the most? Yep... tissue paper and any type of plastic waste they can find! Hmmm-- maybe something to think about??


As I pulled into the grocery store parking lot this morning, I noticed a young boy on his bike handing a homeless man some cash. This kid couldn't have been older than 12, wearing a beat-up helmut, and riding a bike that looked like it could fall apart at any moment. 

I can't remember being more touched and inspired! Kids nowadays just don't act like this... they're much more interested in taking than giving anything. I bow down to you, my young friend... and pray that you become a teacher! 

Oops, you already are!! 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Will They Ever Fit?

It's all a big puzzle, isn't it? Lots of pieces scattered about the dining room table, waiting for the perfect fit. Very often, we find that fit, but it feels like those pieces spend most of their time teasing us. We think this is it - this is going to be the one that clicks into place, beginning a cycle of perfect fits. It looks like the corner piece, feels like the corner piece, but is very often the one piece of the puzzle that fits somewhere else.

When we do find the fit, it sure makes the short term struggles all worth the wait. How long do we have to wait, and why does it seem like it never comes... until it finally comes?
Personally, I feel like I'm constantly battling in a tug-o-war between that exact fit and the one that seems like it'll never fit. I've thrown that damn puzzle across the room more times than I can count, but for some reason, always pick up the pieces and start again. I've recently come to the conclusion that the puzzle may never be totally finished, and probably isn't supposed to be. I may continue chucking it across the room, but hopefully I'll keep finding the courage to spread it over the dining room table again... and again if necessary!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Serena Williams Got Back!

Danny, a client of mine was arguing that Serena would have even more success if she lost some of her muscle, making her lighter and improving her endurance. Honestly, who cares? I'd rather look at Serena's muscles through different lenses. 

Let's analyze the positives and negatives of Serena's big booty, and the strength of her arms and legs, as they relate to the real world off the court.


I could never teeter-totter with her, unless I brought 7 of my friends along.

If we arm wrestled, she snap my wrist in half!

It would be impossible to shop for her. What are her measurements? 45/24/105?

How would we ever dance on a crowded dance floor? "Excuse me, pardon me, sorry... it was that big at birth!"

Can you imagine how she must feel when she arrives to a movie late, and there aren't many seats available. Picture her standing on the side of YOUR aisle, wanting to get through to the seat on the other side. If she turns sideways, she may take-out 2 entire rows!


I'd have a built-in coffee table!

I could talk trash to someone at a bar, and then quickly run and hide behind her. 

She'd never lose at "musical chairs."

Uhh... did I mention I'd have a built-in coffee table?

Serena, you're the most mentally tough female athlete alive, and are physically perfect. Don't let idiots like Danny make you feel insecure or less-than in any way!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Won't They Give The Others A Chance?

I'm sick and tired of listening to those who say that Tiger, Federer, Lance Armstrong, and the rest of the elite athletes should "step aside once in awhile, and let the others have a chance." You've got to be kidding me with this garbage! LET the others?? As if they don't have a choice to work harder, practice longer, study more? Phil Mickelson is forced to keep his man-boobs, right? Tiger calls him every night, reminding him to shove that extra doughnut down his throat? Prior to his "born-again" status, Roddick was kidnapped, handcuffed and forced to drink that 6-pack before beddie-bye time? Ahhh, I get it... he was physically tossed into those Hollywood clubs and made to stay out all night.

C'mon peoplez!! Stop hatin'!! 

The best are the best because they want it more, deserve it more, and simply work harder than the rest. Dominating their sport comes with sacrifice... "It's a lifestyle," Pete Sampras explained when asked why he didn't socialize more during his career. "It's all I do. Winning Grand Slams is all I think about..." These athletes know that getting to the top of the history books means they must do more than the rest are willing to do- more than they would even consider doing. This type of consistent success is much more than god-given talent... it's an incredible level of mental toughness and discipline. 

Peyton Manning, of the Indianapolis Colts studies film more than he sees his family. Michael Vick, on the other hand, would rather watch dogs kill each other during his spare time. Hmmm... must be a coincidence that Manning has a championship ring, while Vick was just released from prison! Kobe Bryant is in the gym at 6:30 every morning, while most others are pulling the sheets over their eyes as the sun creeps in their bedroom. I know, I know...  500 thread-count feels so good! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Are You Kidding Me? He Didn't Deserve To Win!

I've been getting bombarded by Roddick fans about how well he played against Federer in the Wimbledon finals. They all believe that Roger shouldn't have won the match because Andy played so much better. 

"Roddick outplayed Federer, without question..."

"Andy's backhand was so sick - Federer couldn't stop it..."

"Andy should've easily beaten Roger in 4 sets..."

"Federer got so lucky..."

"Federer couldn't touch Roddick's serve - he didn't get broken until the last game..." 

These statements may have merit, but they're missing a few important ingredients: 

Who broke Roddick's serve the very last game?

Who was holding the trophy and giving his acceptance speech?

Who holds the all-time record for Grand Slams won?

(Oh... and who was crying on the podium after the match??)

Roddick looked great, and may have played the best match of his life, but it wasn't enough. The reason he didn't win this match is why I started Coach Your Mind. He lost because he didn't handle the pressure of the situation as well as Federer. He lost because he couldn't find that extra level of focus... WHEN HE NEEDED IT! 

Point-for-point, he may have outplayed Roger... but when those points mattered most, Roger clearly won the battle. Andy was up 6-2 in the 2nd set tiebreaker (first to 7 wins), with a simple backhand volley to to win the set, which would've ultimately won him the match. Being up 2 sets would've most likely ensured the win. What happened with that shot? Did he forget how to volley all of a sudden? No! The pressure of the moment was too much for him, mentally. 

Stop telling me that Roddick should've won because he "played better than Roger"... he didn't win, and didn't deserve to win. Strokes aren't enough! Quickness isn't enough! Ripped abs aren't enough! His mind was stronger than it usually is, but during the huge points in the Wimbledon finals, Federer outplayed him... without question!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finally... He Understands Want Vs. WANT!

A student of mine originally inspired me to write about this topic, but after watching Roddick vs. Federer today in the Wimbledon finals, I decided that Andy deserved the attention. When he began his pro career, Roddick "wanted" to be the best, but never really understood what WANT truly meant. He found early success, winning the U.S. Open, and reaching the top spot on tour, but reality quickly slapped him in the face. Natural talent and good looks wouldn't be enough to stay on top. He weighed over 200 lbs., drank more than his share of beer after matches, and was attracted to the Hollywood scene- ask Mandy Moore. He was a cocky kid who thought all he needed to succeed was a huge serve and forehand. He hired and fired Jimmy Conners and Brad Gilbert as coaches, mainly because they both believed that consistent success came from hard work... not Hard Rock Cafes!

Most everyone who followed the sport had written him off, but something miraculous happened... maybe it was the natural maturation process, or the nausea he felt every time he looked in his trophy case, but he finally began to understand there was a big difference between want and WANT! He hired another coach, and became committed to reaching that elite level of professional tennis. He lost weight, got quicker and stronger, and finally realized that improving his mental game had to be a priority. He was now more focused on the court, not allowing negative situations to destroy him. He wasn't whining like a spoiled little kid anymore, but instead had created an intense stare in his eyes. When I looked at him today, I finally believed that HE believed he could beat Federer.  

I've never been a Roddick fan prior to today's match, but I have to admit... I may have a man-crush on him now! 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Here's The SECRET!

I'll keep this short and simple...


You want a coach or teacher to love you? Show him that you're willing to put in the work necessary to reach that next level. Giving maximum effort shows that you not only respect what your coach is teaching, but it also shows him that you respect yourself and your own goals. As a coach, I don't need the most talented student... I need the hardest worker. If you're willing to sweat, fail, try harder, and maybe fail again before reaching your goals, I'll do anything for you. I'll put in as many hours for you as necessary, as long as you're committed to giving me the same energy!

Effort is something that you can control, and is a character issue. Lack of effort = lack of character. Maximum effort = tremendous character!

You choose...