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Pathological Losers: My Vic Braden Interview

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  • Pathological Losers: My Vic Braden Interview

    Let's get your thoughts on Jeff Mccullough's latest, "Pathological Losers: My Vic Braden Interview"

  • #2
    Good read.

    We kinda dive into a deep end of the pool in this one. Psychoanalysis, traumatic childhoods, pain. Never been a therapy guy, maybe I should. Not really sure how deep that rabbit hole goes and perhaps a bit afraid of the outcome.

    Wonder what it would have been like for a LSD fueled Hunter S. Thompson to read through Vic Braden's rough draft of Tennis2000. Now that's entertainment!

    Vic was a critical and relentless mind in the tennis world. Agree or disagree with his views, no one can doubt his love for the sport and more importantly, his love for those that played it. RIP Vic Braden.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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    • #3
      Winning is Overrated and Losing is Underrated

      The great Vince Lombardi once said, just before he passed away, that he was sad that his name would always be associated with the saying, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Lombardi never coined those words. What he had posted in the locker room of the Green Bay Packers was "Winning isn't everything, but making the effort to win is." A reporter who saw these words changed them to the more familiar saying.
      Lombardi understood that winning and losing are merely two sides of the same coin. It is the effort we put into our activities that determine their value. Winning like talent is grossly overrated. Everyone loses, as a matter of fact the great Rod Laver lost nearly all of his matches against Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall during his rookie year as a pro. This was after he had just won his first Grand Slam in 1962. Did Laver quit? Was he a loser? Of course not, the loses Laver endured made him an even greater player. It is through our effort and perseverance that we improve ourselves. Winning and losing are equally important stepping stones in our quest for self improvement.

      Norman Ashbrooke

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      • #4
        Everyone is a loser…in the beginning

        Originally posted by ten1050 View Post
        The great Vince Lombardi once said, just before he passed away, that he was sad that his name would always be associated with the saying, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Lombardi never coined those words. What he had posted in the locker room of the Green Bay Packers was "Winning isn't everything, but making the effort to win is." A reporter who saw these words changed them to the more familiar saying.
        Lombardi understood that winning and losing are merely two sides of the same coin. It is the effort we put into our activities that determine their value. Winning like talent is grossly overrated. Everyone loses, as a matter of fact the great Rod Laver lost nearly all of his matches against Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall during his rookie year as a pro. This was after he had just won his first Grand Slam in 1962. Did Laver quit? Was he a loser? Of course not, the loses Laver endured made him an even greater player. It is through our effort and perseverance that we improve ourselves. Winning and losing are equally important stepping stones in our quest for self improvement.


        Norman Ashbrooke
        Extremely well played….ten1050.
        don_budge
        Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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        • #5
          These 2 articles from McCullough. I have never read anything quite like them. The irony combined with the sincere thirst for truth and the admitted liberties takenwith while pursuing same. It's not unlike his idol Dr. Thompson, as he was called.

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          • #6
            Watcher,

            I love them. I laughed the whole way through the edits!

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            • #7
              BUT the other thing that fascinated me was Vic's insight about how personal psychology blocks change. NO DOUBT he was right about that and too bad he never put that out as major point.

              Having 25 years of oncourt experience I came to the same conclusion--that certain attitudes and aspects of self-image were insurmountable barriers to change.

              I had a middle aged male student who took up the game in his 40s. He worked hard to master the classical stroke models in visual tennis--and he did. And he was very proud of that--maybe too proud. I heard from people who played him that he liked to tell them he had "perfect" strokes.

              When he played points he was so fixated on the outcome of his "perfect" swing that he stood in place until the ball landed on the other side. How else could he admire his own perfection?

              If I got absolutely abusive I could get him to start his recovery on time. But left to his own devices, no way--I saw how deep this was when I watched parts of a couple of his matches.

              And maybe that was all that mattered. He told me he never believed he would be able to play tennis. The idea of his perfect mastery was a fixed idea more important to him than any further improvement.

              I often thought this guy needs a couple of years of therapy. But that was just me thinking he could have been twice as good.
              Last edited by johnyandell; 12-21-2015, 03:48 PM.

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              • #8
                Thanks...I Think?

                Originally posted by TheWatcher View Post
                These 2 articles from McCullough. I have never read anything quite like them. The irony combined with the sincere thirst for truth and the admitted liberties takenwith while pursuing same. It's not unlike his idol Dr. Thompson, as he was called.
                I heard through the grapevine that there was an "interesting" comment on my article...and very incisive too! You have an impressive way with words. Are you a writer also?

                I did take artistic liberty with the articles, but attempted to remain true to what both Laver and Braden told me. I consider what they had to say too important to fabricate. And it would have been ethically improper to do so.

                I sense that you might have some ambivalence toward my style--if you will. These articles are two chapters in an unpublished book entitled Performance Apocalypse. It's way over the top, and certainly not for every tennis enthusiast. I'm not sure I want to publish it. But if I did, would you buy it? And why, or why not based on what you have concluded. Call it market research. Thanks.

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                • #9
                  McCullough,

                  You sensed incorrectly. In the day Dr. Thompson was an idol of my own. Possibly I would buy your book. By liberties I mean the ones you took in pursuit of prey not in telling.
                  Last edited by johnyandell; 12-24-2015, 07:21 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Watcher--Lighten Up!

                    Look at it this way: If I hadn't taken those liberties with the "prey" I would not have been able to inform and entertain you as I prefer to believe I have. I think that Laver and Braden actually enjoyed themselves for the most part. After all, everyone likes to pontificate from the platform of the expert. And no less myself--although unlike these interviewees I am still in the process of acquiring expert status. I am not on their level and no doubt will never be. At any rate, I am not quite done attempting to unravel the "mystery." That search for "truth" that you mention will soon culminate in a definitive answer to that question of which approach to competition works best and for whom. Who is right? Laver and Braden or...? I'll be interested to see what you think of this last article in the series. I pursue no prey, but rather chase the illusive chimera that is the grail of mental mastery as realized in the Flow State. This is actually what most people refer to as "God." However, this is a misnomer because that notion is truly "all in your head." Once the Flow State replaces the thousands of religions which have slithered across the Earth in the last two-hundred thousand years, we may finally experience world peace. Almost everyone will play tennis, of course. It will be hard to find an open court which may lead to further armed conflict, unless a major initiative is launched to build, build and build more courts. But there is time. The human genome changes very slowly. We are dozens and dozens of generations away from...Tennis Heaven.

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                    • #11
                      Nausea…and Hunter S. Thompson wannabe's

                      Originally posted by JeffMac View Post
                      I pursue no prey, but rather chase the illusive chimera that is the grail of mental mastery as realized in the Flow State. This is actually what most people refer to as "God." However, this is a misnomer because that notion is truly "all in your head." Once the Flow State replaces the thousands of religions which have slithered across the Earth in the last two-hundred thousand years, we may finally experience world peace.
                      The talk of comparisons to one Hunter S. Thompson make me feel slightly nauseous. As a matter of fact I already feel slightly nauseous from a cold that I picked up on my first visit to the States in ten years. But I was already feeling sort of nauseous from some of my observations of the "hope and change" that has been delivered as promised from the current "Supreme Commander". President Oblabla. He who talks a lot but says little…little of meaning.

                      Be that as it may I will never see the current "Star Wars" movie either…I must admit that I have never seen any of the other "Star Wars" movies. However...I have read all of the collective works of Fyodor Dostoevsky among others. This talk of literary credentials and philosophic musings are somewhat lost on me. Hunter S. Thompson wrote "gonzo" journalism…or "gonzo" literary style which in the end isn't a style at all. It is the musings of an insane person…which is entertaining to some. I guess.

                      The two articles about "Laver and Braden" belong in the lower third of all of the articles that have been posted in "Tennisplayer.net". They are neither informative or educational. They are an attempt at entertainment and belong in the same category that the mainstream media currently resides in. "Truthiness"…it's not something that I aspire to or feel entertained by, particularly when it applies to tennis or life in general. The "Laver" story was particularly disrespectful in content as it more or less challenged a rather impeccable image to appear rather ordinary…a chance encounter in the middle of the night by an overzealous tennis nut. That being said my only interest in Laver would be on the tennis court. He can have his private life to himself. After recently flying all night to and from Sweden all that I can say is if someone would have approached me under those conditions they may have wished they had not.

                      I cannot wait for the final chapter of "The Apocalypse" series of tennis writings. But at the same time I reiterate…we are all losers. No one here gets out alive. GeoffWilliams was another exponent of Hunter S. Thompson. He fancied himself as some kind of Thompson wannabe also. He wrote of "gonzo" tennis…there was another character here on the forum that wrote of "Apocalypse Tennis". He too has gone in remission…hopefully by the wayside. I can't say that I miss either one of them…but at the same time one might say that they were amusing in an entertainment sort of way. Much as the mainstream media is these days. Nauseous feelings aside.
                      Last edited by don_budge; 01-05-2016, 11:34 PM. Reason: for clarity's sake...
                      don_budge
                      Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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                      • #12
                        Sartre equals Nausea. Nihilism.

                        Thompson equals disillusioned idealism. A laugh on a crazy ride.

                        Budge equals prolonged convolution.

                        Has Williams passed away?

                        McCullough equals sincere voice. A spark and a smile. Two valid perspectives on the topic poorly described as mental game.
                        Last edited by TheWatcher; 01-05-2016, 10:24 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Prolonged Convolution...

                          Originally posted by TheWatcher View Post
                          Budge equals prolonged convolution.
                          Here's prolonged convolution TheWatcher.

                          President Barack Obama grew emotional Tuesday as he made a passionate call for a national “sense of urgency” to limit gun violence.


                          Theatrical wiping of tears…choking voice. He should have gotten an Academy Award for Prolonged Convolution instead of the Nobel Peace Prize. You won't see Vladimir Putin feigning tears.

                          "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." -Hunter S. Thompson
                          Last edited by don_budge; 01-05-2016, 10:52 AM.
                          don_budge
                          Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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                          • #14
                            Budge good more concise now. Keep striving.

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                            • #15
                              TheWatcher...

                              Originally posted by TheWatcher View Post
                              Budge good more concise now. Keep striving.
                              I'm almost done TheWatcher. Striving? Where have you been? Feel free to take over. Enlighten us…MysticOne.
                              Last edited by don_budge; 01-05-2016, 12:22 PM. Reason: for clarity's sake...
                              don_budge
                              Performance Analysthttps://www.tennisplayer.net/bulleti...ilies/cool.png

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