Pathological Losers:
My Interview with Vic Braden

Jeff McCullough

Vic Braden was really, really smart.

The year was 1993. I was in Las Vegas and I was in a hurry. Somehow I was late to see the presentation of The Wizard Of Coto de Caza, Vic Braden.

Just a few months before, I had the fortuitous opportunity to question the tennis world's greatest Grand Slam winner, Rod Laver, regarding the nuts and bolts of the mental game. Stalking the Rocket through an airport terminal in the post midnight hours yielded surprising and disheartening revelations. The key to winning, The Rocket believed, was having a natural meanstreak. (Click Here.)

But now I was excited to pose similar questions to a man at the top of the coaching world—who also had a Ph.D. in psychology. And frankly I was hoping for different answers. If there was anyone who could help me discover the hidden truth of peak performance in tennis, surely it was this great wizard.

Was this sequence of encounters coincidence I asked myself? I would now be face to face with the world's sharpest coach after having also having recently quizzed the world's greatest player? I hoped Vic could ease the monumental uncertainties and contradictions that continued to keep me awake at night.

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