The best athletes are always looking to gain an edge on the competition. The Compete Like a Champion podcast series explores the psychology of performance, advanced coaching and sport science through the lens of professional tennis.


016: Barriers and Solutions to Performance Psychology with Dr. Bob Neff and Mark Lerman

USTA Player Development’s mental performance team gets together to discuss the psychology of performance and some of the latest theories and techniques. Many practical ideas are provided on how to train for peak performances in tennis, including the most effective methods of breathing, mindfulness and visualization.

015: Self Control is a Myth

Larry and Coach Johnny review the article "The Myth of Self Control," written by Brian Resnick in 2016. They entertain the idea that maybe we don’t have as much control as we like to think in our lives, and how much will power do we really have to make the changes that we want. Specific recommendations are made as to how to change behavior that may surprise listeners.

014: Tennis and Technology with Dr. Mark Kovacs

Renowned sport scientist Dr. Mark Kovacs visits with Dr. Larry and Coach Johnny to review some of the latest technology in the world of elite sport. We discuss what innovations truly make a difference and what technologies have a long way to go to support athlete development.

013: Navigating the Early Years of a Pro Tennis Career with CiCi Bellis

Our first professional player to be a guest on the podcast, CiCi Bellis, drops by to discuss life on the tour. CiCi details her approach to tennis and how it has helped her be successful at a young age.

012: Daily Mental Practice with Coach Jon Glover

In this episode, Coach Glover discusses how to integrate the training of the mind to practices and provides practical ways to use breathing, visualization and mindfulness.

011: Unforced Errors of Tennis Parents with Coach Lori Riffice

Coach Riffice details from her experience the errors that parents make in tennis and the effects on their child athletes. Includes recommendations on how to avoid these unforced errors.

010: Purpose of a Preseason

Preparing for your season and want to get the most out of it? The team discusses what a preseason should look like in professional tennis and the importance of training blocks in the long-term development of junior tennis players.

009: Snake Oil Salesman -- Who Should You Trust To Be a Part of Your Team?

In this episode Coach Johnny and Dr. L discuss the trend of pseudo-professionals that are selling their products and how not to get caught in their trap. They describe the tennis performance team and what qualifications to look for in a coach.

008: Breathe and Believe

National coaches Maureen Diaz and Erik Kortland drop by the podcast to discuss a template for training camps that are creating impressive changes in players. These camps emphasize the sport sciences and, in particular, mental training and strength and conditioning. They dive into the breathing methods that enhance focus, recovery and performance.

007: Does Being Positive Matter? Positively!

In this episode, Dr. Larry considers the importance of being positive and how it impacts your game. There are very practical strategies that are discussed that players and coaches can implement immediately to improve their game.

006: The Beauty of the Back Draw

There is a growing trend of players dropping out of back draws of tournaments. Why is this? Is it inappropriate? Coach Johnny and Dr. Larry debate the importance of playing the back draw and just how we might be missing important developmental opportunities.

005: Are Tennis Parents a Problem or a Scapegoat with Chris Michalowski

In this episode, our producer, The Mick, joins Coach Johnny and Dr. Larry to discuss the role of parents in tennis and if the prevailing concerns about parents are real.

004: The Powerful Influence of the Coach

American culture tends to undervalue the role of the developmental coach. As coaches, we may also fail to see the impact of our role. In the context of the Thai Cave Rescue, Coach Johnny and Dr. L get into the importance of continuing to develop ourselves as coaches so we are ready for extremely challenging situations.

003: Purposeful Practice and the Mindful Athlete

Engagement may be the single most important characteristic of a high-performing athlete. Coach Johnny and Dr. L tackle how to create engagement consistently in practice through knowing your purpose and being mindful.

002: What Sets 'The Top' Apart from the Rest?

Coach Johnny and Dr. L discuss what they see in the professional tennis players who are at the top of the game and how they might do things somewhat differently than most. For the aspiring tennis player or a high-performance coach, this is a must listen!

001: What is Compete Like a Champion?

Dr. Larry Lauer and Coach Johnny Parkes begin the podcast series by discussing their personal journeys to high performance and what life in high performance is like. They also detail what you can expect from this podcast.


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