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The Inner Game Of Tennis:

The origins of Coaching come from sports. It is about trusting ourselves, our body, self-limiting beliefs and focus.

Timothy Gallwey states that there are two parts to every game: The player’s Mind + Goal.

When we give detailed instructions it clutters the mind and prevents fluidity. When we show, on the contrary, we engage a lot more the person.

Inside us we have two selves talking to each other: Self 1 “Teller” + Self 2 “Doer”.

The key is to get better at anything is to improve the relationship between Self 1 and Self 2. The more Self 1 is pushing the more Self 2 gets tensed; the least good outcomes are produced.

We need to learn:

  • How to get the clearest picture of the outcome.
  • How to trust Self 2 to perform at its best.
  • Learning to see how things are really happening and not how well or bad they happen.

How to quiet Self 1:

Practice non-judgement. Things are neither good or bad. Judgement/Evaluation/Thinking leads to a state of self-conscious performance — making flow impossible and leads to generalization. Gradually it extends itself more and more with catastrophic results. In the beginning the mind judges an event, then a group of events, it identifies with the combined events then it judges itself. This is what we describe as a self fulfilling prophecy: “You become what you think you are”.

What is important is not to ignore our mistakes but to look at them as we look at data (just a fact no judgement). Observe, experience and let go of judgement as development comes from non-critical attention.

How to trust Self 2:

The more important the stakes, the more Self 1 tries to take over and control things. This tightens you up thus negatively affecting your performance. The secret here is to let go and trust yourself. Adjust naturally from the awareness you gain from practice. “The prevailing learning is a freedom to search for the feel that works for you”.

Learn to focus in the here and now and not fight the mind. The more challenging the obstacle we face the greater the opportunity to discover and extend our true potential.