- Paperback: 122 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Revised, Subsequent edition (May 27, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679778314
- ISBN-13: 978-0679778318
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 520 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance Paperback – May 27, 1997
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A phenomenon when first published in 1972, the Inner Game was a real revelation. Instead of serving up technique, it concentrated on the fact that, as Gallwey wrote, "Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an inner game." The former is played against opponents, and is filled with lots of contradictory advice; the latter is played not against, but within the mind of the player, and its principal obstacles are self-doubt and anxiety. Gallwey's revolutionary thinking, built on a foundation of Zen thinking and humanistic psychology, was really a primer on how to get out of your own way to let your best game emerge. It was sports psychology before the two words were pressed against each other and codified into an accepted discipline.
The new edition of this remarkable work--Billie Jean King called the original her tennis bible--refines Gallwey's theories on concentration, gamesmanship, breaking bad habits, learning to trust yourself on the court, and awareness. "No matter what a person's complaint when he has a lesson with me, I have found the most beneficial first step," he stressed, "is to encourage him to see and feel what he is doing--that is, to increase his awareness of what actually is."
There are aspects of psychobabble and mysticism to be found here, sure, but Gallwey instructs as much by anecdote as anything else, and time has ultimately proved him a guru. What seemed radical in the early '70s is now accepted ammunition for the canon; the right mental approach is every bit as important as a good backhand. The Inner Game of Tennis still does much to keep that idea in play. --Jeff Silverman
From the Inside Flap
The Inner Game of Tennis is a revolutionary program for overcoming the self-doubt, nervousness, and lapses of concentration that can keep a player from winning. Now available in a revised paperback edition, this classic bestseller can change the way the game of tennis is played.
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Simply put, Timothy Gallwey writes that we should trust of bodies to do what they already know how to do, without all the judgement, self-coaching and self-criticism that so many players, myself included do. I used to puzzle over why my a certain stroke was so effortlessly effective one day and then just plain terrible in the next. My body would feel a lack of confidence, for example, a kind of forehand or volley or serve anxiety. The problem was that I never fully truly trusted my body to do what it already knew how to do. And once I did, my game changed.
I now play relaxed and confident, whether my opponent is better than me or not. And when errors occur, I notice them and let go, something I never used to do before.
Many thanks to Mr. Gallwey for giving me my a new and most powerful tool for tennis and beyond!!
Fortunately I purchased a copy of this book and indeed it was a real eye opener in fact, it was almost like the author was speaking directly to me. The simple way he describes how the inner mind works for and against you was logical and it helped me understand what I was dealing with for the first time. The exercises are quite simple and the benefit came immediately. After spending about a half hour with the mental exercise I went out to the court and hit balls with the ball machine. Set on 2 line medium speed I usually have about 15 - 20 balls on the net side after hitting the full bin of 150. I hit the balls as usual but this time I was totally focuses and "in the now" the only thing I was aware of was the ball was getting great top spin and most of the balls where hitting in. When I finished I looked down at the net and there were only 3 balls that hadn't made it over. I was shocked "hey this stuff really does work!" I thought. I've only played in one match since then but I can see the results already.
It is truly amazing what the mind can accomplish when you get in the zone and tune out all the distractions. This is a great book and has benefit for anyone who wants to improve at tennis or any other sport IMO.
My shooter thought it was just too simple, so I asked her to go apply it and she came back 2 nights in a row practicing women's air rifle with 421.2 and 421.3 trying to prove me and this book wrong.
The mental game is the last level to get past, but I say, learn it early in the game.
It is just that simple but everyone wants to work harder when it really is all about getting out of your own way.
suggested to me many years ago and I've finally read it. The techniques for internal mastery are shared using language that I could absorb. This book is an easy read, filled with gems.
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