Today’s guest is a third-degree black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, a Stanford grad, and a current head coach and former All-American tennis player who played professionally in Europe after his college career. After taking over for perhaps the greatest coach in collegiate tennis history, he hasn’t missed a beat, and it’s led the Rainbow Warriors to three Western Athletic Conference titles, one Mountain West Conference title, and four NCAA tournament appearances since becoming their head coach.
Before taking the job with Hawaii, he led the San Diego State Aztecs to three straight Mountain West regular-season titles from 2000 to 2002 and guided them to the NCAA tournament five out of his last six years at the helm. He’s been named The Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, Western Athletic Conference coach of the year, and has coached one singles player and three sets of doubles teams to National Championships. It is my pleasure to introduce to The Omni Athlete, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Hawaii, John Nelson.
Today We’ll be Talking About:
Replacing a coach who is looked at by some as the greatest tennis coach of all-time in Jim Schwitters (2:22).
The core values that John brought with him to Hawaii and how they’ve changed during his tenure (3:30).
“I was told, ‘You can’t compete with no scholarships without cheating,’ and I won’t cheat. There’s no shortcut.”
The most significant component of building a winning mindset (5:50).
“Everyone’s got God-given talent, and there are no two athletes in any sport that play the same.”
What got John started in martial arts and why he chose Jiu-Jitsu (9:00).
The Art of Winning (12:55).
“The art of winning is looking for the solution and doing what you should be doing. Fear will inhibit you mentally and physically.”
How discipline plays a role in overcoming fear (16:32).
“If you’re not training for the fastest technique, you’re in trouble.”
The hardest part of letting go of the ego (20:03).
An environment conducive to learning (27:35).
“An environment conducive to learning is an environment where you’re encouraged to do the right thing. You’re gonna fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.”
What tennis and sports can teach us about life (33:39).
“If you don’t have integrity, you don’t have anything… you can’t kid yourself.”
The purpose of a coach, leader and athlete and what identifying that purpose has to do with peak performance (40:00).
What it means to John to be an Omni Athlete (55:00).
Email: [email protected]
Watch for Sensei Tennis on Bookshelves Soon!