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Paperback The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance Book

ISBN: 0679778314

ISBN13: 9780679778318

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

(Part of the Inner Game Series)

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The timeless guide to achieving the state of "relaxed concentration" that's not only the key to peak performance in tennis but the secret to success in life itself--part of the bestselling Inner Game series, with more than one million copies sold

"Groundbreaking . . . the best guide to getting out of your own way . . . Its profound advice applies to many other parts of life."--Bill Gates, GatesNotes ("Five of My All-Time Favorite...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Know Your "Selves" Better

As most people can guess by the title, the "inner game" of tennis is the game that takes place iin the mind of the player and is played against barriers such as nervousness, self-doubt, etc. To gain clarity on the mental problems in tennis, the book looks at the concepts of "Self 1" and "Self 2". Self 1 is the name that is given to the conscious ego-mind which likes the tell Self 2, you and your potential, how to hit the ball and play the game. Or, to put it another way, Self 1 is the "teller" and Self 2 the "doer". I found this to be an interesting idea, as we have all caught ourselves talking to ourselves or have seen others talking to themselves during a game. If you ask someone who they are talking to, they will usually say "I'm talking to myself." This, of course, implies that there are 2 "selves", "I" and "myself"- and so is born the idea of Self 1 and Self 2. Pretty astutue observation in my opinion. Now according to the book, to achieve peak performance, the key is to resolve any lack of harmony between the two selves, as it is the contrary thinking of Self 1 which causes interference with the natural abilities of Self 2. This requires the learning of several inner skills, such as the art of letting go of self-judgements, letting Self 2 do the hitting, recognizing and trusting the natural learning process, and so on- which is what much of the books spends discussing. I highly recommend this book for anyone who plays tennis (or any other sport for that matter) as it does a great job in dealing with the fact that many of our difficulties in tennis are indeed mental in origin. Other helpful books for tennis players I've come across include Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff.

The book that puts theory into practice

Gallwey expands his concepts and approaches to the inner game. He manages to explain his ideas even more clearly and identifies many more inner obstacles. But his approach is the same - cooperation of Self1 and Self2, letting go and trusting your body and applying the principle of non-judgment. He goes deeper into the natural learning mechanism and uses many examples from his coaching that shows us exactly how the lesson went and what his questions and advice to the player were. The best parts of this book are the drills. Their goal is to quiet our mind and allow our potential to come through unhindered. And quieting the mind goes even deeper in this book. He calls it Progressing in the Art of Relaxed Concentration and it has four stages: paying attention, interested attention, absorbed attention and finally »being wholly there« or union. What he describes is actually a pathway to »the zone« which is a more common term among coaches and athletes for this special state of mind. The parts on natural learning and body awareness can help the beginner and the advanced player to quickly realize - become aware - of his shortcomings and correct his technique. Which usually corrects itself by the way... The book ends with two very intriguing chapters which go deep into human psyche - self-image and the will to win. The self image part is quite possibly a real eye opener if you haven't read any books on similar subjects. It makes you realize all the limitations that we put on ourselves because of our self image. There are many books about tennis technique and tactics. There are also many books that deal with the mental approach to tennis but this approach is limited to off court or in between points or games. Timothy Gallwey's work fills the gap with one of the most challenging aspects of tennis - what do with our mind during the ball exchange. It shows us how to achieve a mental state that will allow us to play at our best regardless of our level. This reading is a must for anyone who feels that his mind is not yet his best ally in the tennis mind game. Tomaz Mencinger

All That I Needed

I just wanted to share the incredible feeling that just a little patience managed to get me after reading this book. Mr. Gallwey has managed to put into words how one feels and thinks when involved in sport (any sport not just tennis). I first read this book 18 years ago, and my snooker game (billiards) improved immensely. For anyone wanting to master their sport, and find out what "being in the zone" is all about, this is a MUST read!

A Landmark Work

I remember clearly the first time I read this book. It was the summer before 9th grade, almost two decades ago. I'd been playing tennis for about a year. My trusty wooden racquet in tow, I had taken lessons, read every how-to book and tried to follow all the step-by-step pictures. Also, I was getting soundly beaten by friends who'd be playing longer than myself.I found the book in the library and was surprised at how thin it was. Then I noticed there were no pictures. I thought "What kind of tennis book has no pictures? " I started to read there next to the shelves and my life has never been the same. I wound up captain of my highschool tennis team, all-state selection, and along the way crushed the bums who used to beat me.Now I'm almost 30 and a tennis has-been but still play a pretty good game. And whenever I go on the court (be it tennis, basketball, squash) I apply the same principles. I stop trying, stop forcing. Quiet the mind and let it happen.As others reviewers have written in this space, this book will transform your game. It will also broaden your appreciation for what the human body can do. It will enrich your life. This is a classic and indispensible work.

If you want to play better, read this book..... I am proof

This book cuts right through to what all tennis players inherantly know, your success on the court is directly related to what is going on in your mind. You realize that your body knows how to play, and needs no gratification or instructions by your inner critic. The less you interfere, the better your body will perform. When your mind is quiet and trusts your body's abilities is when it is has the freedom to perform. My game improved dramatically since my first match after I read the book, one technique is to occupy your mind into silence by focusing it on something. The thing I focused on was the spin of the ball as it came to me. When I began to concentrate on that, my mind was silent and focused on the ball. When I do this, the ball seems slower and bigger. All of my strokes improved by doing this. Another thing I got out of this book is to let go of all of your lessons and ideas of how to move your feet, how to hit the ball, how to angle your raquet head. A match is no time to ponder these things it is a time to do them. When in a match, just let your body do what it knows how to do. Don't focus on details, just focus on the goal of making a good tennis shot.All of this is wonderful, but the best thing this book has to offer, is giving the reader the understanding of how to learn in a natural way without your inner voice giving approval or disaproval. And that is a skill that will apply to all things in your life. I can't wait to read the Inner Game of Work.
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