Interview with Ed Tseng: 2005 USTA Pro of the Year and Mental Toughness Expert

Jason LampioneContributor IMay 26, 2011

USTA 2005 Pro of the Year and Mental Toughness Expert Ed Tseng
USTA 2005 Pro of the Year and Mental Toughness Expert Ed Tseng


Ed Tseng, a leading authority on mental skills in sports and life, an award-winning tennis coach and a sought-after speaker, has spent his life researching solutions to these challenges. He is the author of the book, “Game. Set. Life.” which has been on Amazon’s Top 10 in Sports Psychology and featured at the US Open Tennis Championships. Tseng is also co-author of the forthcoming “Success Simplified” with Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and “The Pinstripe Principles – Mental Toughness Lessons From The World’s Greatest Team.”

Ed works in-person and by telephone with individuals and teams in the area of mental toughness and peak performance, from athletes and coaches to salespeople, musicians and students. He is a sought-after motivational speaker, and had lectured to organizations such as the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Special Olympics, Mercer County Juvenile Detention Center, Disney, Rider University, Princeton University, Leverage Sports and Entertainment Agency, Weichert Realtors and MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers). As an internationally known tennis teaching pro, Ed was named Pro of the Year USTA 2005. He is also a volunteer coach for the Special Olympics.

JL:  Ed Tseng, tell us about yourself. How long have you been teaching tennis? What got you into tennis? What is are your qualifications and/or training background with the development of junior players here in America?

ET: I have been teaching tennis since I failed out of college, twice, studying computers (because my father did). It (failing out) was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it was then that I followed my passion. I called the president and vice president of the USTA/NJ district and was mentored by them. But my parents encouraged me to get a degree, so I ended up enrolling in Ferris State University's Marketing/Professional Tennis Mangement program and graduated in 1997. In 2005, I was named Pro of the Year USTA/NJD. I have worked with all levels from entry level beginners to professionals, as well as lecturing on the mental side to players, coaches and parents.

JL:  I see that you have written a book called “Game. Set. Life,” can you tell our readers more about the book and what influenced you in writing it? What is your vision and purpose for the creation of this book and the impact it might have on the readers perspective?

ET: "Game. Set. Life - Peak Performance for Sports and Life" uses the principles of mental toughness in sports and applies them to success in all areas of life. My goal is to show people that the mental side of sports is just like the physical side—it can be mastered with proper training. "Game" is also a tool that I use for my mental toughness coaching. I not only want my book to be "thought-provoking," I want it to be "action-provoking" as well.

JL:  Have you adopted any core personal or professional principals that you live by or teach to your fellow developing players or co-workers ? If so, what profound impact has it had? Do you believe that every coach should adopt core principals to live by to set a standard of excellence in both philosophy and teaching?

ET: I take pride in "walking the talk" as I not only teach the principles in my book, I live them. As I mentioned, I frequently lecture to coaches on my mental toughness principles. It is tough to say what type of impact my work has had, but I certainly have gotten very positive feedback from my seminars, one-on-one coaching, my book and daily mental toughness blog ( Yes, I do believe that a coach should have a set of principles that they can follow.

JL:  I've noticed that you have a website called, can you tell us more about that and some areas you cover in the website?

ET: My website features my daily mental toughness blog, which is read by people of all ages, all industries, from all over the world. People who want to master the mental side of sports and life. I also feature a full list of products/services that I provide.

JL:  You have a company called “Tennis Solutions,” can you give us more background information on the your company and how you came about developing it? What is some of your objectives in establishing this company? What lessons have you learned personally from starting this company and have your grown from the experience?

ET: Tennis Solutions began as a tennis management company, providing group and private lessons, as well as summer camps. Starting up my own company was a scary experience, but like many things in life, BIG RISK = BIG REWARD. Had I not started my own company, I truly would not have written my book, I would not have become a professional speaker or done many of the other things I have in the past few years.

JL:  You seem to have a passion on “Mental Toughness,” can you give us more insight as to what it means to you personally, and then professionally? What strategies do you use to ensure that each player or student you work with understands the basics of mental toughness? Can you give us an example of a student you had that your strategy worked effectively and the kind of impact it had on you and your student?

ET: The beauty of mental toughness to me, is that it is learnable. Most people think you are born with it, but that is not the case. In addition, I feel that being mentally tough in sports can carry over to school, work, relationships and any area of life. I have many mental toughness strategies, which I share in my book and in my daily blog.

One example of mental toughness is when a notoriously negative and emotional player started working with me. After a few sessions, not only was he improving and winning more, but an official went up to him after the match (which he lost) and said, "Great match, you played like a gentleman." Imagine how the player and parent felt. This also carried over to other areas of life.

JL:  You have been known around the Princeton, New Jersey community to give public speaking engagements and speeches, can you tell us more about that? Do you enjoy speaking about a certain topic that you believe in more than others? What events have you done recently and you planed on doing your public speaking on a full-time basis?

ET:  My main topic is mental toughness and peak performance in sports and life. I have spoken at tennis conferences, corporations, schools, organizations, real estate offices, non-profits and even juvenile detention centers, all over the country. My plan is to increase the number of speaking engagements and bring it to a global level, eventually training others to become mental toughness coaches.

JL:  You had an opportunity to meet other influential coaching and playing figures in and out-side the industry and business; what have you learned from this shared experience being at the 2010 U.S. Open? Does any one experience in particular stand out more than others, if so, why? How will you implement this experience in your future endeavors as a business owner, coach and player?

ET:  I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with some amazing and inspiring people, from Bob Ryland, the first black professional tennis player to Rayna DuBose, a top basketball recruit turned amputee, New York Yankee players, Billie Jean King, Jennie Murphy a blind athlete, Special Olympics athletes, CEOs, musicians, gang members and the list goes on. Every experience is enlightening to me and I value all of them whether they are a celebrity or fan. I constantly share my experiences via stories in my seminars, blog and mental toughness coaching sessions.

JL:  What coaching advise would you give to a young and aspiring junior who wishes to enter the ranks of the A.T.P./W.T.A. tour? What “roles” do you think parents and families should play in the development process of the junior, and what advice can you give to parents whose seeking to employ a coach to be the “right” mentor for their child for the long term?

ET:  First and foremost, have passion. Next, believe ANYTHING is possible. Then, work your tail off. Don't try your whatever it takes. Persist.  Parents have one role-to provide love and support.

JL:  Well, in closing can you tell our readers what is on the horizon for Ed Tseng? And, the “Tennis Solutions and website and company,” that you've established in Princeton, New Jersey?

ET: No telling what is on the horizon, but my present goals are to complete my second (Success Simplified with Stephen Covey) and third (The Pinstripe Principles) books by the end of the year, map out a game plan for 2011 as far as speaking engagements and a business/marketing plan. Nobody knows what the future holds, but I focus on going all-out in the present moment and leaving a legacy. I enjoy helping people and that fills me up more than anything.

JL:  Is their anything you'd like to say or mention on your behalf to our readers here at The Bleacher Report In conclusion?

ET: Four words: Don't quit, can't fail.

Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to share this interview with the readers here at 'Bleacher Report'.  There are many lessons that can be taken away from our shared session today and one of those lessons that stood out the most was, ''First and foremost, have passion. Next, believe ANYTHING is possible. Then, work your tail off. Don't try your whatever it takes. Persist." -Ed Tseng. 

We wish you the very best in all that you do and continued success, health and happiness moving forward in 2011!

To work with Ed Tseng or hire him to speak to your team/organization, email:, call (609)558-1077 or visit his website at, where you will find a wealth of information that will assist in your transformation no matter your background or area of expertise.  For continued support and assistance, you may contact Jason Lampione at, with any further questions, comments or inquiries.