Encouragement and Instruction…Everything Else Interferes 96


“There are only two kinds of self talk when competing that are ok. Encouragement and instruction.. Everything else interferes”

My first two matches were, on first glance, uneventful. When things go well there is the opportunity to identify what contributed. Writing them down helps reinforce them. We are really good at identifying the bad stuff, but the good…well, we tend to take that a bit for granted. Maybe we think we are being arrogant or too ego driven to note how we are good. Or maybe we think we can only learn from what we do badly. So we tend to default our self reviews by looking a the negatives.

It clearly helps me list what I did well as it provides a template of successful tactics and attitudes for use going forward in future matches. Here is my list from my first two singles matches which I won 6-1, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-1.

1. I played stingy. I didn’t give away points being too casual or overconfident.
2. Maintained good self discipline on my serving rituals.
3. Found a nice balance between casual and intense.
4. In two matches I held my focus for all but one game.
5. I was respectful of my opponents without engaging with them during the match.
6. I used the title quote above.

A little more on the quote. Two nights ago we were having dinner with my long time friend, incomparable tennis champion Brian Cheney. Before going into what he shared about the mental game, a little background. Brian’s record is extraordinary. He is, indisputably, one of the greatest senior players over the last 35 years. Some view him that way because of the number of Gold Balls (National Championships) he has won, the number of senior Davis Cup teams he has played on and led to victory and how often he has been ranked #1 in the USA. Certainly all a part of it.

But more so, it is about who he is as a person. A leader for sure. A supportive partner in doubles like no other. He raises all the people around him. His middle name is integrity. He sees his game as an ongoing, always developing continuum. He clearly knows how to win and how to be a good winner, respecting every opponent as an equal. He can take a loss, accepting that on any day, things can work out in an unexpected way, that the past is no guarantee of the present day. He makes no excuses. Personally I have been lucky to be in his orb, as I am a better person for being influenced by him.

And the other night he gave me another gift with the simplicity of a statement made to a friend who was playing his first National Category 2 tournament:

“I am not expert about mental training but let me provide my two cents. There are only two kinds of self talk when competing that are ok. Encouragement and instruction. Everything else interferes.”

Wow. The simple is often the most profound. Imagine what it would be like to limit all of our self-talk to those two ideas. To be free of what brings us down and interferes with being able to operate at our best. No more internal conversations about how we are not good enough. No more self criticism. No more whining about wishing it were another way. No more regret. Just forward thinking. Support. Unemotional self correction.

I have been working on my game for 35+ years. It is never too late and I never know too much to learn something new. Thanks Brian.

Quarterfinals of the singles and doubles today.


Leave a Reply to Carol Catanese Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

96 thoughts on “Encouragement and Instruction…Everything Else Interferes

  • Judy Lipstein

    That’s the Bob that I know…always, always, open to learning from every experience and happily sharing with the rest of us.

  • Stacy

    LOVE this! Think I will embroider a towel with on it for next summer’s league season! Thanks as always Bob. Best of luck in the next round of your tourney.

  • Bob Schewior

    I’d like to reinforce your point at the start of your post: unemotional self-correction should include self-praise. I’d also highlight the role of observation skills. These are what enable top players to make the subtle adjustments which can make the difference in close matches.

  • Steve Stewart

    The brilliance of this advice is how actionable it is! Anyone can put this to use — on the court and in many other daily activities. Great post !

  • IBM SEO

    I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight. games

  • Digital_Zone

    All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks Crawley Accountants

  • Digital_Zone

    Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. Airconditioning Lommel

  • Digital_Zone

    I think this is an informative post and it is very beneficial and knowledgeable. Therefore, I would like to thank you for the endeavors that you have made in writing this article. All the content is absolutely well-researched. Thanks… Webdesign Bilzen

  • Digital_Zone

    I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article… webdesign Tongeren

  • Digital_Zone

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Airconditioning Neerpelt

  • Digital_Zone

    Hello, I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research. Thanks for posting, maybe we can see more on this. Are you aware of any other websites on this subject. Webdesign

  • Digital_Zone

    Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info. Airconditioning Bilzen

  • Digital_Zone

    This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. Webdesign bureau

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It’s so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also Leads

  • Digital_Zone

    It is included in my habit that I often visit blogs in my free time, so after landing on your blog. I have thoroughly impressed with it and decided to take out some precious time to visit it again and again. Thanks. Lead generation

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow, excellent post. I’d like to draft like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article. This post has encouraged me to write some posts that I am going to write soon. Airconditioning Mol

  • Digital_Zone

    nice post, keep up with this interesting work. It really is good to know that this topic is being covered also on this web site so cheers for taking time to discuss this! Webdesign

  • Digital_Zone

    You delivered such an impressive piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain information. Thanks for sharing such information with us due to which my several concepts have been cleared. Airconditioning Limburg

  • Digital_Zone

    A great content material as well as great layout. Your website deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting. I will be back soon for further quality contents. Lead generation

  • Digital_Zone

    I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers Warmtepomp Limburg

  • Digital_Zone

    This article was written by a real thinking writer without a doubt. I agree many of the with the solid points made by the writer. I’ll be back day in and day for further new updates. SEO

  • Digital_Zone

    I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing. Airco Antwerpen

  • Digital_Zone

    Thanks for the blog filled with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for. Now my task has become as easy as ABC. Wat is SEO?

  • Digital_Zone

    It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks. SEO website

  • Digital_Zone

    Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. Airconditioning Tessenderlo

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It’s so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also akıllı sehpa

  • Digital_Zone

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return. Islamabad Call Girls

  • Digital_Zone

    This is a truly good site post. Not too many people would actually, the way you just did. I am really impressed that there is so much information about this subject that have been uncovered and you’ve done your best, with so much class. If wanted to know more about green smoke reviews, than by all means come in and check our stuff. Call Girl

  • Digital_Zone

    This article is an appealing wealth of useful informative that is interesting and well-written. I commend your hard work on this and thank you for this information. I know it very well that if anyone visits your blog, then he/she will surely revisit it again. Escorts in Islamabad

  • Manan

    Pakistan escorts are the most common feature of the adult entertainment industry in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. These three prominent states of Pakistan have the most beautiful escort girls from all over Pakistan because the demand in these three states is particularly high because of some reasons that will be discussed later on. Karachi Escorts

  • Manan

    Escorts Service in Lahore and erotic services offered by us are designed in a way to provide sensational and sexual pleasure to our clients. If you wish to spend quality time with the most beautiful escort girl, you have come at the right place. Lahore escorts

  • Digital_Zone

    I am incapable of reading articles online very often, but I’m happy I did today. It is very well written, and your points are well-expressed. I request you warmly, please, don’t ever stop writing. 메이저사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    The content is utmost interesting! I have completely enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great, and your efforts are outstanding! 토토사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    I have seen some great stuff here. Worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a great informative website. Your work is truly appreciated around the clock and the globe. 먹튀폴리스

  • Escorts in Lahore

    We choose out our Escorts in Lahore ladies from people who are lovely, educated, matured, and properly-mannered. All of our ladies come from a respectable own circle of relatives’ heritage and they may be surely classy.Escorts in Lahore

  • Digital_Zone

    Keep up the good work; I read few posts on this website, including I consider that your blog is fascinating and has sets of the fantastic piece of information. Thanks for your valuable efforts. 토토사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    Outstanding article! I want people to know just how good this information is in your article. Your views are much like my own concerning this subject. I will visit daily your blog because I know. It may be very beneficial for me. 메이저사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks! 먹튀검증

  • Digital_Zone

    I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers 토토사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    In the world of www, there are countless blogs. But believe me, this blog has all the perfection that makes it unique in all. I will be back again and again. 먹튀검증

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow, What an Outstanding post. I found this too much informatics. It is what I was seeking for. I would like to recommend you that please keep sharing such type of info.If possible, Thanks. 먹튀폴리스

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow, excellent post. I’d like to draft like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article. This post has encouraged me to write some posts that I am going to write soon. 먹튀검증

  • Digital_Zone

    Wow! This could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually excellent info! I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort. 메이저사이트

  • Digital_Zone

    I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing. 먹튀검증

  • Digital_Zone

    Excellent post. I was always checking this blog, and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part, I care for such information a lot. I was exploring this particular info for a long time. Thanks to this blog my exploration has ended. 먹튀검증

  • Digital_Zone

    I think this is an informative post and it is very beneficial and knowledgeable. Therefore, I would like to thank you for the endeavors that you have made in writing this article. All the content is absolutely well-researched. Thanks… jogos casino online

  • Digital_Zone

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information. casinos portugal

  • Digital_Zone

    Fabulous post, you have denoted out some fantastic points, I likewise think this s a very wonderful website. I will visit again for more quality contents and also, recommend this site to all. Thanks. casinos portugal online

  • Digital_Zone

    Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing casinos portugal

  • Digital_Zone

    Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! jogos casino online

  • Digital_Zone

    I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. casino bonus

  • Digital_Zone

    Interesting topic for a blog. I have been searching the Internet for fun and came upon your website. Fabulous post. Thanks a ton for sharing your knowledge! It is great to see that some people still put in an effort into managing their websites. I’ll be sure to check back again real soon. bonus casino

  • Digital_Zone

    I know this is one of the most meaningful information for me. And I’m animated reading your article. But should remark on some general things, the website style is perfect; the articles are great. Thanks for the ton of tangible and attainable help. jogos casino online

  • Digital_Zone

    Attractive, post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have liked browsing your blog posts. After all, I will surely subscribe to your feed, and I hope you will write again soon! bingo online sverige

  • Digital_Zone

    Thanks for picking out the time to discuss this, I feel great about it and love studying more on this topic. It is extremely helpful for me. Thanks for such a valuable help again. kaszinó játékok

  • Digital_Zone

    Excellent to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Rightly, this article that I’ve been served for therefore long. I want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has the same topic together with your article. Thanks for the ton of valuable help, nice share. casino utan insättningskrav

  • Digital_Zone

    Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you. kaszinó játékok

  • Digital_Zone

    All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts.Thanks kaszinó játékok