The Inner Game of Tennis | Book Review

The Inner Game of Tennis

The Inner Game of Tennis Book Review

If you're a fan of tennis, you've probably heard of "The Inner Game of Tennis" by W. Timothy Gallwey. This classic book, first published in 1972, has become a must-read for tennis players of all levels. Here's why:

The Inner Game of Tennis is all about the mental side of the game. Gallwey argues that the most important competition in tennis is the one that takes place within our own minds - the battle between our conscious and unconscious selves. He introduces the concept of "self 1" and "self 2," which represent these two sides of ourselves. Self 1 is our conscious, ego-driven side that is always trying to control and analyze, while self 2 is our unconscious, intuitive side that knows how to relax and let go.

One of the key ideas in the book is that we often get in our own way when we play sports, especially when we try too hard to control our performance. Gallwey argues that the best way to play is to "let go" and trust our natural abilities. He suggests that we can do this by focusing on the present moment and letting go of judgment and self-consciousness.

The Inner Game of Tennis is filled with practical exercises and techniques that can help players achieve this state of "relaxed concentration." For example, Gallwey recommends using "inner dialogue" to communicate with our unconscious selves and make positive affirmations. He also suggests "shushing" our self 1 when it gets too loud, and focusing on the process of hitting the ball rather than the outcome.

Overall, The Inner Game of Tennis is a thought-provoking and inspiring read for anyone interested in improving their mental game. It's not just for tennis players - the principles in the book can be applied to any sport or activity. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, you'll find something valuable in this book.