The Inner Game
I have just bought The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Gallwey. I bought it in a bookshop almost on a whim as it is rather expensive at £6.99 for only 128 pages.
Although I have not yet read it through a couple of sections that I did read in the bookshop rang a bell with me which is why I bought it. Two examples:
- One time I had an important evening match and would like to have had a good night's sleep the night before with a restful day to prepare. However it was not to be and I was up early, around 5 a.m with just over 4 hours sleep and then a frantic day at work. I arrived for my match feeling quite tired and expected my timing to be off and focus gone. In fact what happened was that I played 'in the zone' where it seemed at the time I just let the unconscious part of my mind and game take over and play. I played brillliantly.
- Another time I played really well, in the zone, I remember being in some sort of strange focus where all I was really conscious of was a ring or halo around the ball and tennis action. There were no other conscious thoughts of, "must step in, racket back, high to low, move feet," etc,
The book seems to explore these psyche's calling them Self 1 and Self 2 whereby it is normally the dominant and conscious Self 1 that interferes with the unconscious spiritual Self 2 and messes up our game. If only we could recreate the 'in the zone' state at will or get someway towards it.
More on this in the future after I have read the book and tried to put into practise whatever its recommendations are.