Author: Timothy Gallwey
|The Inner Game of Tennis (1974) is a self-help guide that explores how you can deliver maximum efficiency and improved performance. It will teach you how to win by making the best of your mind, willpower, and strategy.|
The Inner Game of Tennis Summary describes the situation, feelings, and thoughts of a player before and during the match. The author skilfully advises the players to combat the lack of confidence, self-doubt, anxiety, and pressure that he or she may experience during any match of their athletic career. By taking control of your inner game you can drive your outer game towards peak performance and eventually success.
The author advises you to calm and quieten your conscious state so that you do not get overwhelmed by the performance of the opponent, or audience or self-doubt yourself. Instead, let your self 2 which is your unconscious state work. Have faith in it because it will not lead you towards judgment rather it will make you calm and more focused on the possibilities with which you can win. When you let go and resolve this conflict between your conscious and unconscious state you will be able to perform well.
Gallwey focuses on the mental state of every human in a state of panic. Telling yourself or someone who is panicking to stop panicking rarely helps. So instead you can try the advice The Inner Game Summary has to offer.
The Inner Game of Tennis Summary Key Points
The Key is not Hard Focus Instead it’s quite the opposite
It might be the perfect recipe for failure if I tell you to try and control everything. You cannot and should not worry and try to micromanage everything before your game. The key is to be calm and mindful. Let go of telling yourself statements such as ‘it is going to be okay, ‘ I will win’ etc., etc. If you are doing this; you are trying too hard. Trying too hard to focus will not bring the best performance at all. But what you can do is not focus on such things at all. If you want to perform well be mindful and present in the situation. Putting yourself through more pressure to focus or telling yourself how important it is for you to do good will only tire your mental and physical capacities.
The Inner Game vs the Outer game
At the end of every game, it all comes down to how perfectly you have handled yourself, your thoughts, and your efficiency. The author presses on this matter time and again. If you cannot control how your thoughts and feel you will not be able to control how you perform. You need to minimize self-doubt and anxiety so that it does not affect your performance. Mostly it’s the job of the coach to show them how they can train their mental capacities. The author calls this phenomenon a match between the conscious mind self 1 of the player and her unconscious mind that is self 2.
To bring both of these into a harmonious stage the player has to battle all of his inner doubts. Imagine if you are about to go and give the most important performance of your career with thousands of people watching you live and millions of your fans dotting on you behind the screen. Such a situation is bound to bring lots of anxiety and pressure. At such times telling yourself to calm down or get your act together may not work. The best advice does not try to control your self 1 with the help of self 2.
Peak Performance comes from no Thinking and no Judgement
The author does not stick with the typical advice of thinking positive, using positive mantras, and giving yourself a pep talk. According to Timothy Gallwey, the best action can occur when you are not thinking at all. Do not rely on your conscious mind and overthink every detail once you have stepped inside the game zone. You will be inclined to look at the scoreboard, again and again, scan the audience or read the body language of your opponent but that is exactly what you should not do. Let your self 2 handle this situation. You will be relying on your instincts instead of thinking and it will lead to high performance and excellence.
How to Control Your self 1 without any coach?
Self 1 tries to get you to overthink whether something is right or wrong and makes you judge yourself and everyone around you in a match. That is why if you need to quieten your mind and get rid of negativity and self-doubt you need to keep only self 2 active during your matches but if you do not have any coach it can become harder as it puts more responsibility on your shoulders. The author advises his athletes to let go of such talk and only think about the possibilities in reverse. When you look at it in reserve your mind will not wander to judgments of what could be right or wrong instead it starts to think about the possibilities with which you can handle the ball thrown in your direction.
The Inner Game of Tennis Quotes
“When the mind is free of any thought or judgment, it is still and acts like a mirror. Then and only then can we know things as they are.” –Timothy Gallwey
“Fighting the mind does not work. What works best is learning to focus it.” –Timothy Gallwey
The Inner Game of Tennis Summary Review
The Inner Game of Tennis Summary can transform your mind into being a friend rather than a foe in times of pressure and adversity. Timothy Gallwey provides some of the best advice that can direct all of us towards using our abilities to the best just by staying mindful. It is a refreshing perspective that does not involve remembering mantras and positive self-talk. I would definitely share this book with anyone who needs to learn a thing or two about performance and the power of concentration.
To Whom I Would Recommend The Inner Game of Tennis Summary
- To the fourteen-year-old who experiences extreme panic and anxiety in stressful. Situations.
- To the eighteen-year-old athlete training for one of the biggest matches of his career.
- And to anyone who has a big audition coming up.