The American has changed how he thinks about success. (AP)

You wouldn’t know it from recent headlines, but Ryan Harrison is trying hard to mellow out.

In an article on ESPN, he admitted that for the longest time, he could rely on his temper getting the best of him. If he was scouting himself, the report would say “just stay composed and patient, wait for Harrison to explode."

Once a highly touted teen prospect, Harrison’s career hasn’t exactly taken off the way it was slated to. As year after year of unfulfilled promised passed, Harrison conceded that his drive to prove the doubters wrong, to prove to himself that he wasn’t a failure, became all-consuming—to the detriment of his powerful game.

At 25, he’s trying to change that. Specifically, how he thinks about success.

"I wanted to turn it around for a long time, to show everyone—including myself—that I'm not a failure," he said. "But when you're trying to do that, every match feels like a life-or-death affair. I had to change that.

"When you do that, it's a successful day no matter what else happens."

Ranked No. 40 in the world, he's starting to play more consistent tennis. The new mindset appears to be working. It’s a lesson one hopes a young player like Frances Tiafoe takes to heart sooner rather than later. .

Tiafoe just had his first taste of a major success, winning his first ATP title at Delray Beach. At 20, he is one of the bright lights of America’s tennis future.

But a player like Harrison knows all too well how fleeting that feeling can be—before the scrutiny and expectations mount. The spotlight is only bound to get more for Tiafoe, as are the growing pains. Here’s hoping he views success, less as an outcome, and more as a growth mentality.


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