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The inner game of tennis or inner game of life

Reflections on The inner game of tennis. I read it many years ago and I am now re-reading it. I feel like looking back over what I have learnt since and what it reminds me of.

for starters page 17 has a fantastic quote.

The backhand can be used to advantage only on a tennis court,  but the skill of effortless concentration is invaluable in whatever you set your mind to.

Timothy Gallwey

The correlation for me is not just about tennis. It talks about life lessons which I’ve been learning. Particularly over the last 10 years or so. I think it started with my A levels. They were the first time I really tried hard over a long period of time for anything. I got such great results I seem to have adopted this approach for everything since.

The last few years for me have been about learning not to try so hard all the time and to trust myself more. It’s funny that already in chapter 2 this point is picked up.

On page 22 there are quotes from Dr T. Suzuki who wrote zen and the art of archery. Makes me feel  I should read it as it inspired this book.


I got a bit further into the book and got inspired to check out the inner game web site. Found the history page which gives background to why I use the inner game principles in all aspects of life and also why sports science combined with education is such a powerful set of tools.Then found a wonderful article explaining how the inner game can apply to work not just tennis. It reflects just what I’ve been doing my entire career. Applying the principles you learn through sport, those of maximising human performance, I find the lesson of the inner game I’ve learnt through my love of sports and sports science. Sicne it’s about achieving results in any situation I naturally apply this to work.I find I get great results. From my searches I also discovered a new sport psychology site that has articles on the inner game.

I also found an old video of Timothy Gallwey discussing his book

An Interview with Tim Gallwey

I managed to find an interview with Tim Gallwey discussing the inspiration for his book in his own words.

People have more potential than they think they do

Timothy Gallwey

Masterclass : The Inner Game of Coaching with Tim Gallwey

Timothy Gallweys’ book is such a breath of fresh air for me I just can not get enough of listening to him because he describes learning and teaching the way I believe it should be done and the way the best teachers I had taught. They just put me in situations and supported my learning, they gave me what I needed at the time and let me troubleshoot through action and activity. In essence they let me gain experience, not just knowledge, but knowledge gained through failure and through trial and analysis end in success. So I learnt how to apply the knowledge and why it was valuable not just the theory for an exam but skills for life.

Here Timothy is explaining how his coaching style came about.

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