Long Time, No Me…

Have you been wondering where I’ve been?
I haven’t posted a blog in a while…
Yep, with school and tennis and hanging out with my friends, I haven’t had much time to do extra stuff.
And that’s okay.
I know I need time for:
school (according to my folks, it’s non-negotiable…),
tennis (the more time the better!), and
play/relax time.
Plus, my dog Ralph is pretty demanding, in a fun, awesome way.
So, I don’t feel guilty or bad when I don’t have time for extra stuff.
Make sure you have a good combination of school, work, exercise and fun too!
Bye for now!
PS Sue and I are working on my next book, so I’ll be back soon!

Unplug to Have Fun!

How was your summer? Did you have fun?
I did!
As you can tell, I wasn’t on my computer that much (which is why this is my first post in a while).
I did what my parents call ‘unplugging’.
Besides playing lots of tennis, we spent some time with my cousins in Nova Scotia, at their cottage.
Here’s all the stuff I did:
laying in a hammock
making and eating s’mores
jumping on a trampoline
practicing my dives (in deep water of course)
playing on the raft
throwing ten million sticks for Ralph and watching him jump off the dock to fetch them
playing cards
playing badminton
playing hide and seek
playing charades

…Okay okay, I won’t bore you with all of it.
But the point is, I did a lot of playing, and only a teeny tiny amount of time on my phone. (The internet access at the cottage was pretty bad, but that was actually a good thing!)
I didn’t really miss it.
In fact, I was so busy, I didn’t want to check Instagram or any of my other stuff and watch other people.
I was too busy having fun myself!
I think there’s something to this ‘unplugging’ thing.
We had a really interesting chat about it, and my uncle said that all the big tech gurus don’t let their kids spend much time on screens. I thought that was pretty interesting!
So I looked it up, and this is one of the articles I found.
So, don’t be afraid to put down your phone. Stop watching stuff, and get out and do stuff!
Bye for now!

Under Pressure?!?


I used to think that if you win a lot, you wouldn’t be so nervous. Just keep winning!

But my friend, Chris, who’s a star soccer player, felt like she had to be perfect all the time… or she would disappoint people.
It would feel like losing.
I was always like, “But you’re so good! Everyone knows that!”
(That didn’t help. She just felt more pressure.)
My friend, Xavier was the same in basketball.

Then I saw a really cool interview that this Olympic swimmer did, and I realized that a lot of people feel pressure.

Her name is Penny Oleksiak, and she’s awesome.

But, even after winning a bunch of medals in the Olympics, and being Canada’s youngest Olympic champion, even she felt a lot of pressure, and started feeling negative about competing.

Here’s part of the interview. I like how she talks about having perspective.

It’s a good reminder to have fun and do your best, but don’t get down on yourself if you don’t win. Everyone has a bad day!

Check out Penny’s full interview here. She’s so cool! Did you know one of her friends is Bianca Andreescu?!?

Bye for now!

Take A Walk In The Park Day!

Did you know tomorrow is National Take Walk In The Park Day?
Yeah, me neither… before now!

Anyway, I think that’s a pretty good reason to have a special day!
Getting out in nature always makes me feel better.
In my recent book, MIND GAMES, every time I got stressed or nervous, getting outside and active really helped.
For one thing, you’re moving, (and I hate sitting still for long).
Another thing is, it’s really social! I love going for walks or hikes with my friends and family.
When we say ‘park’ to my dog, Ralph, he gets super excited!
Sometimes my friend Charlie is like, “I don’t feel like it,”… but then he’s always happy once we get outside.
So get out there and celebrate ‘Take A Walk In The Park Day’! You’ll feel great!
Bye for now!

Let’s Talk!

Did you know that it’s a special day in Canada? It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day.
That’s when Bell donates money to mental health resources every text, call, TikTok or social media share with #BellLetsTalk.
That’s pretty cool.
It also raises awareness about mental health. People should be able to talk about it when they’re stressed, sad or anxious, or having trouble with their feelings.
That’s the cool thing about #BellLetsTalk. They raise a lot of money to help people, but they get people talking too.
Here’s the video for this year:

I just went through a hard time with being really stressed with competition. My sister was stressed about a bully, and my friends were having a hard time too. So we talked about it, and it helped a lot.
I think it’s really important to be able to talk to people, and really connect with them.
And it’s super important that if you’re having trouble, to get help. That’s a really strong thing to do.
So check out #BellLetsTalk, then put down your phone and check in with one of your friends.
That’s what I’m going to do right now!
Bye for now!

It’s All About Balance…


I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately.

In my first book, Balance It Out, I learned that you have to balance eating and activity, to be in a healthy weight range. You can have a few treats, but should eat nutritious stuff and have good habits; and you should move enough, and do sports and activities that are fun for you. Having that balance makes you healthy and it makes you feel good.

Lately, I’ve realized you need balance in all aspects of your life. My buddy Tom and I have been playing doubles in tennis. At first, I was taking everything too seriously, and he was kind of goofing around. Now when we play together, I help him focus and he helps me calm down. It makes us play really well!

It made me think of the ‘Yin Yang’ thing… so I looked it up!

Have you ever seen this symbol?

Free Icon | Yin yang symbol variant

It’s the symbol for ‘yin and yang’.

It’s a really cool concept that comes from ancient Chinese philosophy. It basically says that two opposite things can come together to make something whole.

Yin actually means ‘shady side’ and yang means ‘sunny side’. (And when you think about it, being in the sun makes you appreciate the shade, and being in the shade makes you appreciate the sun! The two opposites make something good.)

So, for example, daytime and nighttime make a whole day.

For me, I need activity (like tennis!) but I also need rest. Those opposite things come together and make me a better player. In fact, if you want to get better at something like a sport or skill, you need to train or practice, then rest to adapt and recover. Or if you’re studying, it’s good to take a break or get outside (to let all that knowledge soak in)!

I really like the idea of ‘yin and yang’.

For me, life is way better when you have some balance!

Bye for now!





How’s Your Pandemic Going?


I haven’t posted for awhile because Sue and I are working on my new book.

And yeah, it’s going to be awesome!

It’s been a really weird time with this whole coronavirus, but I feel like everyone is stepping up. Like, my coaches have given us different exercises that we can do at home, and lots of people are posting cool online stuff from tennis drills to dance lessons to cool skills and drills in different sports. There are even art lessons and virtual museum tours! (They even have a tour of NASA in that list!)

Also, everyone is reaching out to each other to make sure they’re okay, and I think we’ve all realized how much we appreciate our friends and family, and all the great people that make a community run smoothly.

The big thing is that we’re pretty resilient. All my friends have made the best of the situation, and nobody’s really complaining. That’s pretty cool. At home, we started cooking and baking some new things, and we have some fun family game nights with my relatives.

We’re all in this together, so we might as well be good to each other. We’ll all be back to our activities, a little smarter and kinder too!

See you soon!



Resolutions? Really?


Happy 2020!

One thing I notice every January is how active and healthy people get. My friends are all really sporty anyway, but some of my classmates (and tons of our teachers) get all into eating ultra healthy and exercising… for about a month.

Then they start complaining about how they can’t stick to their new routine, and they quit.

That’s why I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.

I think people should just skip the whole ‘New Year’s resolution’ thing, and just make little changes. Like, line up some healthy after school snacks, so they don’t get tempted by junk food. Walk a bit more. Drink a bit more water. (Soon it becomes a habit.)

Or get into an activity that’s fun.

If it’s not fun, how can you be expected to stick with it!

If you don’t have any sports or activities that you like already, try something new! (Our tennis club had a ‘Come Try Tennis’ afternoon, and it was really popular.)

The big deal is to not get down on yourself if you have a day that you eat a bunch of junk food or act like a sloth (that is, lay around).

Just try to have healthier habits the next day. (And the next!)

So, if you’re trying to feel great this year, take it easy on yourself… and just take a step at a time.

Bye for now,


Are You Really Connected?


I can’t believe we’ve been back to school for so many weeks! Did you have a good summer? Mine was awesome! It’s nice to be back with my buddies though. We’ve been hanging out a lot.

Which brings me to my blog: feeling connected with people. Not just getting on Instagram and Snapchat and liking a bunch of your friends’ posts – really connecting.

There’s a definite difference.

I saw this cool TEDx Talk, about how technology connects us in a surface kind of way, but really isolates us.

My friends tend to hang out at my house, or we play basketball in one of our driveways, or whatever. And I always feel better actually talking to them than just commenting on a post they made.

I found an interesting article about how teenagers are starting to realize that being on their phones all the time isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Lots are ‘unplugging’ completely.

A couple of things you can do are:

Set a time limit for checking your social media.

If you start to feel blah after being on your phone, turn it off. (Think about all the cool and positive things in your own life!)

Try unplugging for a day. (Start with half a day if you need to!)

Leave your phone at home sometimes.

Text or call a friend (or friends) to hang out. (If you do something active, it’s even more fun!)

I’ll bet you’ll notice how much better you feel! 🙂

See you soon!


Brrr! Keep moving!


Only a few more weeks till springtime!

My cousins in Canada were telling me they’ve been spending a bit more time inside, and on their phones, because it’s been really cold and stormy outside.

Here in North Carolina, it’s pretty easy to be outside throughout the year. But in some places, where winter means cold, snow, and ice, it can be tough to get outside and be active.

Unless you’re like this guy, and skate over to get some hot drinks! (Love this by the way!)

When Sue and wrote ‘It’s Your Move‘, we talked a lot about different sports and activities.

It’s really important to try to be active everyday. The thing is, you don’t have to be in all kinds of organized sports all the time. You can also do lots of things like walking or biking to school, (I can’t believe I’m saying this:) helping out around the house, playing with your pets or walking your dog… anything where you’re moving.

Also, take advantage of your conditions: When the snow is good in Canada, my cousins go sledding (which is crazy fun, and great exercise because you have to walk back up the hill), or help shovel, build snow forts, go skiing, and stuff like that.

I found a pretty cool article on being active for teenagers here. They call the unplanned stuff ‘incidental activity’. It’s actually really easy to work it into your day. My buddy, Charlie, went from being super lazy (sorry!) to pretty active throughout the day. Just don’t ask him to do another yoga class…

Bye for now!