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COACH PETE SCALES' COMPETE-LEARN-HONOR® APPROACH TO MENTAL STRENGTHENING FOR SPORTS

Resources for Leveling Up Your Mental & Emotional Game

Do your mind and emotions often get the better of you when you play sports? Especially when the score gets close? Do you often get anxious, scared, upset, angry, frustrated, choke, and not play your best “when it counts,” compared to how you can play when “just” practicing?

It happens to absolutely everyone. All of this is normal.

“Compete-Learn-Honor” is an approach to coaching and player development that can help. It focuses on strengthening your mental and emotional habits so you play better and enjoy the game more.

I came up with Compete-Learn-Honor years ago for my high school tennis teams and it's been applied a lot in pickleball also. So, many of the resources here refer to tennis and/or pickleball. But CLH applies to any sport!


The fun of sports for most people is in the problem solving, the challenge. But the fact is that half the participants in any sport contest are going to lose (except in sports where draws or ties are allowed). If you’re only having fun when you’re winning, then you’ll have a lousy time a lot of the time.

Compete-Learn-Honor can help you focus on getting joy and purpose from the struggle, the battle, and the problem- or puzzle-solving process that is the essence of a sport contest. Through CLH, you learn that the main source of joy and purpose in sport is the process of trying every possible honorable strategy and tactic you can to win, not the outcome of winning or losing.

You want to win. You’re training to win. But winning is not the purpose: Learning and being honorable are. The irony is, putting winning in second place will give you a better chance of playing your best, which then increases your chance of winning, without being consumed by winning. That’s what CLH helps you do.