Archive: Competitive Intensity

Young tennis player ready to serve

Simplify – The Best Adjustment You Could Ever Make

March 26, 2020

One of the realities of sport, especially a sport like tennis, is that sometimes we don’t play well.  Sometimes things don’t go our way.  It could even be that the opponent is playing out of his or her mind – that’s annoying.  In these moments, our natural tendency is to be judgmental and overanalyze the […]

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The most important point

The Most Important Point

March 28, 2019

Note: Even though this post is written from the perspective of tennis, it applies to any sport in which the action can be broken down to the next play, the next pitch, the next possession, the next 1-on1 battle, the next move, the next moment, the next whatever. It’s always about what comes next. When […]

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practice competing

50 for 50 Idea # 27: Practice competing

July 26, 2018

Over the last several years, there have been many books extolling the virtues of practice and mastery. Grit, Peak, and The Talent Code are just a few. The 10,000 hour rule, popularized and oversimplified by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, has become part of the daily lexicon. Want to be a master of what […]

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10 Competitive Skills Observations from USTA NE Sectionals

July 1, 2016

I recently attended the New England Summer Sectionals tennis event at Yale University to support players from various academies as well as students of PerformanceXtra. Over the course of two days, I watched 20+ hours of tennis and I observed several things from a mental and competitive skills perspective. Each of the 10 items below are […]

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Did you know competing is a skill?

May 4, 2016

If you are a tennis player who has ever had to come back from an injury, you realize that the hardest part is getting back to your level of play in a tournament or competitive environment.  After practicing for a while, your strokes may feel like they used to, but the first time you decide […]

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3 Things To Do To Be A Better Fighter

March 23, 2015

When all else is going wrong in your performance, there is one facet of the mental game that can salvage the day: your fighting spirit. If you continue to fight for your best performance, even on your worst day, you still have a chance of succeeding in the end. The persistence and intensity that you […]

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Dealing With The Expectations Of Winning

July 28, 2014

“I should beat that guy.” “We should beat them.” The above are statements that we have all made in our lives as competitive athletes and in many cases, we were probably correct in our assessment of the match up. Of course there are games and matches in which we are the favorites and we should […]

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A New Primary Goal When You Compete

May 20, 2014

If you play a sport in which you or your team has a direct opponent that you are competing against (football, basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis, etc.), what is your primary goal when you start playing? Is it to win? Is it to execute your game plan or do your job? Is it to play well? […]

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What’s New with PerformanceXtra?

February 10, 2014

As many of you know, my work with athletes and teams through PerformanceXtra has been a part-time venture for the last couple of years, but as of January 2014 this has changed.  PerformanceXtra is now my sole focus and mission, and I’m excited for the challenge.  Originally, I started this business for two reasons: 1.  […]

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4 Things to Consider When Facing a Superior Opponent

February 4, 2014

There are times in competition in which we face opponents who are better than we are.  They may have a better record than us or perhaps they have more achievements.  Regardless, that’s not nearly as important as how we react to the challenge of facing this opponent.  In this type of matchup, our mental attitude […]

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Choose to be in Control

January 30, 2014

In order to be successful in life and in sports, there are two important concepts to understand and adopt:  Choice and Control.  What we think and how we react is our choice.  What we choose to focus on should be things that are under our control.  There are times in life when these concepts get […]

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4 Steps to Succeeding in Critical Moments

January 19, 2014

There are moments or situations in all sports that are crucial to deciding the outcome.  In tennis, it might be a tie-breaker or a 10 point tie-breaker in lieu of a 3rd set.  In football, it’s the two minute drill.  Every sport has at least one, and to be the best competitor you can be, […]

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The 1 Book You Need To Read To Be A Better Competitor

August 11, 2013

Whenever I talk to people about mental toughness, I make sure that I explain the distinction between an athlete and a competitor because the difference is huge when it comes to being successful in sports and life.  Those who are solely athletes have great physical skills.  They’re fast, strong and physically gifted in their sport.  […]

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The Success Formula at Work

June 23, 2013

A couple of months ago, I posted a formula for success that the best teams and athletes use on a consistent basis in all areas of their competitive careers: Success = Optimism * (Persistence + Resilience) Recently, it occurred to me that we’ve seen some great examples of this in both the NHL and NBA […]

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Mental Toughness and Respect

June 11, 2013

Several weeks ago, I was playing in a league tennis match and was paired against a player who has a reputation for on-court shenanigans and creating controversy.  When I realized who I was playing, I had a decision to make.  What should my approach to this player be?  Conventional wisdom tells us to be on-guard […]

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