focus like pete samprasOn Januray, 24, 1995, during the Quarterfinals of the Australian Open, two heavyweights, Pete Sampras and Jim Courier faced off.

Courier won the first two sets and Pete battled back to win the next two sets. During the fifth set, Sampras became obviously emotional, crying during a serve. Later, we learned that Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras’ coach and friend, had a brain tumor.

Jim Courier saw what was going on and offered an olive branch that turned into a weapon. He asked Pete during his serve, “You okay, Pete, we can do this tomorrow, you know?” 47

Pete Sampras took the remark as sarcasm by Courier and used it to his advantage. He said, “It kind of woke me up to be like, ‘OK, let’s focus’.”  Pete Sampras ended up winning the match.


Mental toughness is a focus only on the task at hand. This shot, this point, this day…The more we can center only on one shot at a time, the better we will accomplish it. Can you achieve a relentless type of focus? Sometimes we will be called into this type of focus with a light switch moment, embrace it.    Excerpt from The Hinge: Audio-book is now available…


Rob Bell revised slide3Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness .