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July 1, 1999
Do you take failure personally?

Hi!  This email Tennis Lesson Hotline will be early.  I am on my way to New Jersey to visit my family and will be leaving tomorrow.  A week and a half and I'll be back!  You did not think you were going to get rid of me that easy, did you! Ha!  This lesson has to do with thinking and dealing with your failures.   Since failure has such an impact on most people it's well worth your time to understand some of the reasons why it impacts you so much.  Stay objective and enjoy!

Anyone interested in adding anyone or even a team to the email tennis lesson please let me know.  My email is tom@tenniswarrior.com  I'll be glad to add as many as you would like.  We are growing and on our way to 100!

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson

Welcome to the tennis lesson hotline, sponsored by Tom's Tennis Tapes, "educating players one mind at a time." I'm Tom Veneziano.  This lesson lasts approximately 2 minutes and changes on the first of every month.

Why do people have so much trouble handling failures? Even though they know that in order to succeed they must fail, it still doesn't matter. When the failures hit they do not deal with them well.  Most people use rationalization to justify their failures instead of just accepting them and moving on.  Failures should not be a threat, they should be a challenge.  Failing, making mistakes, and negatives all too often are a threat. Why?  Because you have made one little subtle or perhaps subconscious mental mistake.  Simply put, you take it too personal!  You have unknowingly related who you are as a person to how well you perform on the tennis court.  If I perform well I'm a good person; if I perform poorly I'm a bad person.  This explains why we have so much rationalization and self-justification in the face of failures.

There is no connection between how good you are as a tennis player and how good you are as a person.  If this were true, at one point in his career John McEnroe would have been the best person in the world!!!.....No...I don't think so!  Not for McEnroe, not for anyone!  Stop connecting how well you perform on the tennis court with who and what you are as a person.....they do not belong together. 

If you do not think you are guilty of this, answer three questions.

1. When playing poorly do you ever feel sorry for yourself or let a little self-pity seep in? 

2. How many times in the last year have you wanted to quit tennis because you were playing poorly?  

3. How come you cannot practice new techniques in your fun matches even if you lose?  One of the secrets to accepting your failures and moving on is to not take them too personal.  

The next time you fail, forget it and move on.  The next shot is more important than the last mistake.  Keep who and what you are as a person out of the equation and I guarantee you'll be more relaxed! Eventually you'll learn to be relaxed, but intense.   A combination that's essential for top notch tennis.  If you take everything too personally you may have the intensity, but without the relaxed part, there will be one word to describe you....it's called anxiety!!!  Intense but relaxed is the correct mindset for competitive play and pays huge dividends under pressure!

Your personal email tennis coach,


PS  See you when I get back...Practice, practice, practice, then when you get done practice some more!  Remember, repetition is the chariot of genius!

© 1999 Tom Veneziano, 10855 Meadowglen #1022, Houston, TX 77042

What others are saying about my tapes!

"Tom deals with the thinking end of tennis like no one else. It's almost too difficult to explain, you have to experience it. He has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of the matter. You come away thinking, that's right: it makes sense!"

Colleen Cremer, Houston, TX.

"It's interesting to note that everyone can use these tapes from beginner to championship level. You can apply the information to whatever level you play on."

Dan Hanusa, Houston, TX.

" Tom's audio cassettes have changed my thinking, aligning it with the correct information needed to improve my game. He's right there with you, inside your head, challenging you to make those changes. It's like having your own personal coach! I highly recommend his tapes for everyone."

Linda Zimmerman, Houston, TX.

"On the way to my HLTA match I listened to Tom's tape, "Some Before Match Pointers." Call it a coincidence, but I won my first HLTA match ever! I just seemed to be in a better frame of mind. Thanks, Tom."

Mary Ogden, Houston, TX.

"Tom and I have been friends for over twenty years. It's not surprising to me players talk so positively about his tapes. He's always possessed exceptional athletic ability along with an unusual analytical mind. Tom simply likes to think! At times he would drive me crazy, but he was the driving force behind my journey into tennis. I'm 6'1" and Tom is 5'6" but I could never beat the little imp! All joking aside, if Tom's thinking is on audio cassettes, you should listen! You'll never view tennis the same way again!"

Sam Lacava,Tennis Professional, Stewartsville, N.J.

Thank you all for the testimonials! I appreciate it!


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