GH Raise, 15m Bounds, Wtd Rev Lunge, DB Chest (flat/incline), Tri Ext
Many sport psychology/mental training for performance books cross our threshold. But the go-to book for basic, common-sense reading is “The Inner Game of Tennis” (Gallwey, 1974).
It just rises to the top, and obviously, it’s not just about tennis.
It’s relatable, written with no pretense or the showiness of many books in the genre.
Let’s just look at 2 ideas briefly:
- The 2 selves of the inner game:
…Gallwey describes the discovery of Self 1 and Self 2 in performance.
…ask people what they do during a match or game, and they say, “I talk to myself.”
…ergo, 2 selves: “I” and “Myself“.
…too often Self 1 (judgmental) undermines the ability of Self 2 (unconscious doer).
…”In other words, the key to better tennis – or better anything – lies in improving the relationship between the conscious teller, Self 1, and the natural capabilities of Self 2.” (p. 10)
…certainly not new ideas in the development of the self, see Freud or G H Mead’s Me-self/I-self.
…but worth reading grounded in practical tennis instruction.
- The insights on changing habits:
…Gallwey’s emphasis on creating more adaptive behavioral patterns is to stop fighting the old ones and start doing new ones.
…This is a very effective analogy, “A child doesn’t have to break the habit of crawling, because he doesn’t think he has a habit. He simply leaves it as he finds walking an easier way to get around” (p. 74).
…Too often the judgmental self bogs us down in the negative and the past, lamenting the fact that we have a bad habit, which digs our “groove” even deeper. Those behavior patterns, then become more deeply etched.
…Rather, just start a groove, dig a new, adaptive behavior pattern. This “doing” becomes the new habit, and we didn’t waste energy fighting the old, bad habit.
…”It is much more difficult to break a habit when there is no adequate replacement for it.” (p. 72).
It’s a kind, thoughtful read. Of course, in reading it, you’ll see applications outside of tennis, reinforcing the idea that success in any realm requires mastery of “The Inner Game.”