Winner’s Creed: How to Make Winning a Habit

Winner’s Creed: How to Make Winning a Habit

Reach Your Potential

Save this page. Bookmark it. Do whatever you need to do and make sure you can get back to it easily. Bill Tym’s, Winner’s Creed, effectuates a mental renaissance for tennis players and triggers a state of mind that guarantees success on the tennis court. It’s an attitude that every junior, college, and professional tennis player should have ingrained in their minds. What’s provided in this post is what enabled me to reach the top of the college game, and it’s what so many of Bill Tym’s players used throughout their playing career to reach their potential and ultimately become a winner.

The idea behind it is simple (but don’t let that fool you). You WILL NOT play your best every match. Most matches, you won’t even “play good.” That’s okay, and it’s not important. I promise. What’s important is how you create a controllable environment that enables you to be successful no matter how well or poorly you’re playing. Applying the principles in Winner’s Creed is the difference between winning and losing on your “off” days.

I listened to (or read) Winner’s Creed before every match. I suggest you do the same.


Winner’s Creed by Bill Tym


I will hustle for every shot. One of the most important habits every winner develops is hustle. I understand that hustle – the act of going for every ball with the positive expectancy of making the shot – is one of the most valuable habits of a winner. Therefore, I will hustle for every shot.

My timing and coordination can and probably will vary from day to day. However, I can compensate for my lack of perfect timing by increasing my hustle. I will hustle for every shot.

I firmly believe that if I hustle for every shot, I can reach the ball. If I reach the ball, I can make the shot; and if I make the shot, I can win the point. Therefore, I will hustle for every shot.


The ultimate form of hustle is anticipation. Anticipation is the act of moving for the shot before my opponent hits the ball. It is like a sixth sense, which can be developed and improved through repeated use.

When should I anticipate? If I hustle for a shot and fail to reach it, I know then that I should have anticipated – hence, I will anticipate the next time I find myself in a similar situation. I should also anticipate whenever I vary from ideal position, or I am at the mercy of a probable winner or forcing shot from my opponent.

I will not fall into the common trap of walking and hoping that my opponent either misses the shot or hits it to me. Instead, I will calculate where my opponent will hit the shot and anticipate boldly – with the positive expectation of reaching the ball and making my shot. By anticipating when necessary, I increase my chances of winning points that in all probability would have been a sure winner for my opponent. Therefore, I will anticipate boldly and frequently.

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If I fail to anticipate correctly the first time, the fifth time, the tenth time, or even the first 99 times, I will continue to anticipate with a positive expectancy. I know that it is just a matter of time before I anticipate correctly. Each time I anticipate incorrectly, I know I am coming closer to anticipating correctly the next time. If I anticipate correctly only one time out of a hundred and win the point, I will have improved my performance by 1%. That can be the difference between winning and losing in a close match. Therefore, I will always anticipate when necessary.


I understand that my primary objective is to win each point. However, I realize that no player can win every point. Therefore, it will not bother me when my opponent hits a winner against me. I know that the maximum number of winners my opponent can hit will not be sufficient to beat me.

I will remind myself that a successful point, is one where I win the point or when my opponent hits a winner or a forcing shot. Whenever I lose the point, I will train myself to respond by dealing with the immediate problem. First, I will define the problem clearly and objectively, then I will concentrate on the solution.

In order to increase my chances of success, I will refrain from hitting shots that are hit primarily to make me feel good, satisfy my ego, or look spectacular. I will discipline myself to hit only “good” shots. A good shot is a high percentage shot that goes to the right spot at the right time, and either wins or contributes to winning the point. Whenever my opponent hits a winner or good shot, I will maintain my confidence and composure, because I realize that he/she cannot win on winners alone. Although I can and will appreciate excellence in my opponent, I will never accept losing a point without considering the tactical alternatives, or technical corrections I should make in order to increase my chances of winning future points.

Confidence is my greatest weapon. Confidence comes from success. My success is a result of setting a specific goal and achieving it. Therefore, the goal or objective must be attainable. Hence, I will set my goal to play consistently and eliminate unforced errors – for I have control of this.


I recognize that I have certain limits on each of my shots. My consistency is dependent on my willingness to recognize these limits, and then have the discipline to play within them. By playing consistently and eliminating my unforced errors, I can achieve three important objectives for every point:

  1. To gain information about my limits and my opponent’s limits.
  2. To tire my opponent – both physically and mentally.
  3. Win the point.
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I will be patient and let time work for me. When my opponent is winning and beating me badly, and I am becoming discouraged because nothing seems to work. I will maintain a positive attitude, and recognize that time may be my only weapon. In such instances, time can be my greatest friend and cruelest enemy. If I become discouraged and impatient, time will work against me. However, if I maintain my composure, confidence, and positive expectancy, time can and will work for me.

The longer I can keep my opponent on court, the better chance he/she has of losing his/her rhythm and concentration. The longer I work my opponent, the more my opponent can tire and cool off. My major objective will be to keep my opponent on court until the momentum has a chance to shift, and my opponent returns to normal. Everybody has a breaking point.

If my shots are not good enough, then I will find my opponent’s breaking point with the use of time. The longer my opponent continues playing each point, each game, each set, the better my chances become of winning the match. I will be patient and let time work for me.


I will not hesitate to change a losing game. Therefore, I will be willing to change my style of play if I am losing. If power does not work, I will then chip the ball. If my chip shots are ineffective, then I will loop or float my shots. If this fails, then I will lob my shots high in order to disrupt my opponent’s rhythm and make each point last longer.

I will take more time and concentrate longer in between points and games – for I know that my chances of winning increase as I keep my opponent on the court longer. Fatigue makes cowards of us all! I refuse to be called a coward – hence, I am ready and willing to train harder and longer than all others.

I know that I have the potential to be a champion, but in order to develop this potential I must be willing to raise my threshold of pain. There is no improvement without sweat, pain, or concentration. The only meaningful effort is made when I feel exhausted, when I hurt, and when I think I can do no more. But I can do more, and I will, for I know that if I prepare better than my opponent, I will eventually win.

Therefore, when I am exhausted and want to cry out in pain, I will push myself harder and longer, because I know that if I yield to fatigue I will surely lose. But, I am not willing to lose. I will condition my body and mind to endure and overcome the pain and agony that attacks all players, and reduces the weak to whimpering cowards. I realize now that if I am physically stronger and mentally tougher, I will fulfill my destiny – to be a winner.


I know this for certain: no matter what tools or abilities I have, they will be of no value to me if I become negative or discouraged. I can have the best strokes, the quickest mobility and all the power and finesse in the world and still lose. In order to make these tools work for me, I must be willing to pay the price to win. That price is very high and only a few are willing to pay it in full!

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I have within me the ability and tools to be a winner. There is nothing that has the power to keep me from playing my best. Thus, I will play my best at all times. I will maintain a strong positive attitude – no matter what distractions or interruptions occur. Any, and all adversities and obstacles will only serve as a challenge to spur me on to victory. I know that if I persist long enough and hard enough, I will be a winner. Therefore, I will persist until I win.


I know that I, like all players, have a tendency to have doubts at certain times during a match. I will not fear these moments, but rather I will welcome them as I would a friend, with a smile and open arms. I know that if I welcome these doubts and fears, and befriend them, they will help me achieve my goals – as all friends do. But if I fear them and try to deny them, consequently, they will destroy me.

When I feel doubt and fear, I will take a deep breath and play boldly and confidently – with a positive attitude – for I know that such positive action will dispel my doubts or fears, and allow me to perform my best.

Self Affirmations

I am a winner because:

  • I am a well-trained athlete.
  • I practice efficiently and effectively – both physically and mentally.
  • I have a positive winning attitude.
  • I can achieve an immediate state of relaxed concentration and sustain it.
  • I can relax under pressure and perform my best on critical points.
  • I am determined — I am detached — I am confident — I am a winner!!

If you enjoyed this post be sure and check out my last post, The Ultimate Second Serve. Make sure to subscribe to our email list for even more free tennis tips! 

– Bill Tym

Listen to the Winner’s Creed: