In Inner Tennis – Part 1, we talked about general premises of The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. He encourages players to achieve a nonjudgmental awareness. He says that “Judgment results in tightness, and tightness interferes with the fluidity required for accurate and quick movement.”
On the other hand, “relaxation produces smooth strokes and results from accepting your strokes as they are, even if erratic.”
This is good news to beginning tennis players like me! But if we aren’t supposed to think about all the things that our coach is telling us to do, what do we do?
Gallwey recommends that we focus on kinesthetics. “In short, become aware of your body. Know what it feels like to move your body into position, as well as how it feels to swing your racket.”
Be aware of the ball, too! “One of the easiest ways to maintain interest in the ball is to not look at it as a stationary object, but as an object in motion. Watching its seams helps focus your attention on the object itself, but it is just as important to increase your awareness of the flight of each ball as it moves toward you, and then again as it leaves your racket.”
So far, Gallwey has suggested that we play tennis with nonjudgemental awareness, focusing on the feel of our bodies playing the game, and focusing on the ball in motion. In “Inner Tennis – Part 3” you’ll learn how Gallwey manages anxiety.
Consultants at Summit Performance Consulting LLC work with tennis players and athletes of all levels to help them improve their mental game. Learn how you can take your game to the next level by calling us at 561-325-8363 or emailing us at Info@SummitPerformanceConsulting.com.