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The Inner Game of Tennis W Timothy Gallwey Jonathan Cape Thirty-two Bedford Square London Every ame is !

omposed of two parts" an outer ame and an inner ame# The outer ame is played a ainst an e$ternal opponent to over!ome e$ternal o%sta!les" and to rea!h an e$ternal oal# &as- tarin this ame is the su%'e!t of many %oo(s offerin instru!tions ) on how to swin a ra!(et" !lu% or %at" and how to position arms" le s or torso to a!hieve the %est results# But for some reason most of us find these instru!tions easier to remem%er than to e$e!ute# It is the thesis of this %oo( that neither mastery nor satisfa!tion !an %e found in the playin of any ame without ivin some attention to the relatively ne le!ted s(ills of the inner ame# This is the ame that ta(es pla!e in the mind of the player" and it is played a ainst su!h o%sta!les as lapses in !on!entration" nervousness" self-dou%t and self-!ondemnation# In short" it is played to over!ome all ha%its of mind whi!h inhi%it e$!ellen!e in performan!e# We often wonder why we play so well one day and so poorly the ne$t" or why we !lut!h durin !ompetition" or %low easy shots# *nd why does it ta(e so lon to %rea( a %ad ha%it and learn a new one+ ,i!tories in the inner ame may provide no additions to the trophy !ase" %ut they %rin valua%le rewards whi!h are permanent and whi!h !ontri%ute si nifi!antly to one-s su!!ess thereafter" off the !ourt as well as on# The player of the inner ame !omes to value the art of rela$ed !on!entration a%ove all other s(ills. he dis!overs a true %asis for self-!onfiden!e. and he learns that the se!ret to winnin any ame lies in not tryin too hard# /e aims at the (ind of spontaneous performan!e whi!h o!!urs only when the mind is !alm and seems at one with the %ody" whi!h finds its own surprisin ways to surpass its own limits a ain and a ain# &oreover" while over!omin the !ommon han -ups of !ompetition" the player of the inner ame un!overs a will to win whi!h unlo!(s all his ener y and whi!h is never dis!oura ed %y losin # There is a far more natural and effe!tive pro!ess for learnin and doin almost anythin than most of us reali0e# It is similar to the pro!ess we all used" %ut soon for ot" as we learned to wal( and tal(# It uses the so-!alled un!ons!ious mind more than the deli%erate 1self-!ons!ious1 mind" the spinal and mid%rain areas of the nervous system more than the !ere%ral !orte$# This pro!ess doesn-t have to %e learned. we already (now it# *ll that is needed is to unlearn those ha%its whi!h interfere with it and then to 'ust let it happen# To e$plore the limitless potential within the human %ody is the quest of the Inner Game. in this %oo( it will %e e$plored throu h the medium of tennis#

23 Introdu!tion The pro%lems whi!h most perple$ tennisplayers are not those dealin with the proper way to swin a ra!(et# Boo(s and professionals ivin this information a%ound# 4or do most players !omplain e$!essively a%out physi!al limitations# The most !ommon !omplaint of sportsmen rin in down the !orridors of the a es is" 1It-s not that I don-t (now what to do" it-s that I don-t do what I (now51 6ther !ommon !omplaints that !ome !onstantly to the attention of the tennis pro) When I-m pra!ti!in " I play very well" %ut when I et into a mat!h# I fall apart# I (now e$a!tly what I-m doin wron on my forehand" 2 'ust !an-t seem to %rea( the ha%it# When I-m really tryin hard to do the stro(e the way it says to in the %oo(# I flu% the shot every time# When I !on!entrate on one thin I-m supposed to %e doin " I for et somethin else# Every time I et near mat!h point a ainst a ood player" I et so nervous I lose my !on!entration# I-m my own worst enemy. I usually %eat myself# &ost players of any sport run into these or similar diffi!ulties all the time" yet there are few professionals and fewer %oo(s that deal with the mental side of sports with any depth of insi ht# The player is usually left with su!h warmed-over aphorisms as" 1Well" tennis is a very psy!holo i!al ame" and you have to develop the proper mental attitudes# 7ou have to %e !onfident and possess the will to win or else you-ll always %e a loser#1 But how !anone 1%e !onfident1 or develop the 1proper mental attitudes1+ These questions are usually left unanswered# So there seems to %e room for !omment on the improvement of the mental pro!esses whi!h translate the (nowled e of how to hit a %all into the !orrespondin %odily a!tion# /ow to develop the mental s(ills" without whi!h hi h performan!e is impossi%le" is the su%'e!t of The Inner Game of Tennis# 28 The Typi!al Tennis Lesson Ima ine what oes on inside the head of an ea er student ta(in a lesson from an equally ea er new tennis pro# Suppose that the student is a middle-a ed %usinessman %ent on improvin his position on the !lu% ladder# The pro is standin at the net with a lar e %as(et of %alls" and %ein a %it un!ertain whether his student is !onsiderin him worth the lesson fee" he is !arefully evaluatin every shot# 1That-s ood" %ut you-re rollin your ra!(et fa!e over a little on your follow-throu h" &r# Weil# 4ow shift your wei ht onto your front foot as you step into the %all# # # 4ow you-re ta(in your ra!(et %a!( too late # # # 7our %a!(swin should %e a little

lower than on that last shot# # # That-s it" mu!h %etter"1 Before lon " &r# Weil-s mind is !hurnin with si$ thou hts a%out what he should %e doin and si$teen thou hts a%out what he shouldn-t %e doin # Improvement seems du%ious and very !omple$" %ut %oth he and the pro are impressed %y the !areful analysis of ea!h stro(e and the fee is ladly paid upon re!eipt of the advi!e to 1pra!ti!e all this" and eventually you-ll see a %i improvement#1 *s a new pro" 2 too was uilty of overtea!hin " %ut one day when I was in a rela$ed mood" I %e an sayin less and noti!in more# Errors that I saw %ut didn-t mention were !orre!tin themselves without the student ever (nowin he had made them# /ow were the !han es happenin + Thou h I found this interestin " it was a little hard on my e o" whi!h didn-t quite see how it was oin to et its due !redit for the improvements %ein made# It was an even reater %low when I reali0ed that sometimes ver%al instru!tion to a !ons!ientious student seemed to de!rease the pro%a%ility of the desired !orre!tion o!!urrin # *ll tea!hin pros (now what I-m tal(in a%out# They all have students li(e one of mine named 9orothy# I would ive 9orothy a entle" low-pressured instru!tion li(e" 1Why don-t you try liftin the follow-throu h up from your waist to the level of your shoulder+ The topspin will (eep the %all in the !ourt#1 Sure enou h" 9orothy would try with everythin she had# The mus!les would tense around her mouth. her eye%rows would set in a determined frown. the mus!les in her forearm would ti hten" ma(in fluidity impossi%le. and the follow-throu h would end only a few in!hes hi her# *t this point" the sto!( response of the patient pro is" 1That-s %etter" 9orothy" %ut rela$" dear" don-t try so hard51 The advi!e is ood as far as it oes" %ut 9orothy does not understand how to 1rela$"1 Why should 9orothy-or you or I-e$perien!e an aw(ward ti htenin when performin a desired a!tion whi!h is not physi!ally diffi!ult+ What happens inside the head %etween the time the instru!tion is iven and the swin is !omplete+ The first limmer of an answer to this (ey question !ame to me at a moment of rare insi ht after a lesson with 9orothy) 1Whatever-s oin on in her head" it-s too damn mu!h5 She-s tryin too hard" and it-s partly my fault#1 Then and there" I promised myself I would !ut down on the quantity of ver%al instru!tions# &y ne$t lesson that day was with a %e inner named :aul who had never helda ra!(et# I was determined to show himhow to play usin as few instru!tions as possi%le. I-d try to (eep his mind un!luttered and see if it made a differen!e# So I started %y tellin :aul I was tiyin somethm newrlwas oin tos(ipentirelymyusuale$planations to %e innin players a%out the proper rip" stro(e and footwor( for the %asi! forehand# Instead" I was oin to hit ten forehands myself" and I wanted him to wat!h !arefully" not thin(in a%out what I was doin " %ut simply tryin to rasp a visual ima e of

the forehand# /e was to repeat the ima e in his mind several times and then 'ust let his %ody imitate# *fter I had hit ten forehands" :aul ima ined himself doin the same# Then" as I put the ra!(et into his hand" slidin it into the !orre!t rip" he said to me" 1I noti!ed that the first thin you did was to move your feet#1 I replied with a non!ommittal runt and as(ed him to let his %ody imitate the forehand as well as it !ould# /e dropped the %all" too( a perfe!t %a!(swin " swun forward" ra!(et level" and with natural fluidity ended the swin at shoulder hei ht" perfe!t for his first attempt5 But wait" his feet. they hadn-t moved an in!h from the perfe!t ready position he had assumed %efore ta(in his ra!(et %a!(# They were nailed to the !ourt# I pointed to them" and :aul said" 16h yeah" I for ot a%out them51 The one element of the stro(e :aul had tried to remem%er was the one thin he didn-t do5 Everythin else had %een a%sor%ed and reprodu!ed without a word %ein uttered or an instru!tion %ein iven5 I was %e innin to learn what all ood pros and students of tennis must learn) that ima es are %etter than words" showin %etter than tellin " too mu!h instru!tion worse than none" and that !ons!ious tryin often produ!es ne ative results# 6ne question perple$ed me) What-s wron with tryin + What does it mean to try too hard+ :layin 6ut of 7our &ind ;efle!t on the state of mind of a player who is said to %e 1hot1 or 1on his ame#1 Is he thin(in a%out how he should hit ea!h shot+ Is he thin(in at all+ Listen to the phrases !ommonly used to des!ri%e aplayerathis %est) 1/e-soutof his mind1. 1/e-s playin over his head1. 1/e-s un!ons!ious1. 1/e doesn-t (now what he-s doin #12 The !ommon fa!tor in ea!h of these des!riptions is what mi ht %e !alled 1mindlessness#1 There seems to %e an intuitive sense that the mind is trans!ended-or at least in part rendered inoperative# *thletes in most sports use similar phrases" and the %est of them (now that their pea( performan!e never !omes when they-re thin(in a%out it# Clearly" to play un!ons!iously does not mean to play without !ons!iousness# That would %e quite diffi!ult5 In fa!t" someone playin 1out of his mind1 is more aware of the %all" the !ourt" and" when ne!essary" his opponent# But he is not aware of ivin himself a lot of instru!tions" thin(in a%out how to hit the %all" how to !orre!t past mista(es or how to repeat what he 'ust did# /e is !ons!ious" %ut not thin(in " not over-tryin # * player in this state (nows where he wants the %all to o" %ut he doesn-t have to 1try hard1 to send it there# It 'ust seems to happen-and often with more a!!ura!y then he !ould have hoped for# The player seems to %e immersed in a flow of a!tion whi!h requires his ener y" yet results in reater power and a!!ura!y# The 1hot strea(1 usually !ontinues until he starts thin(in a%out it and tries to maintain it. as soon as he attempts to e$er!ise !ontrol" he loses it#

To test this theory is a simple matter" if you don-t mind a little underhanded amesmanship# The ne$t time your opponent is havin ahot strea(" simply as( him as you swit!h !ourts" 1Say" Geor e" what are you doin so differently that-s ma(in your forehand so ood today+1If he ta(es the %ait-and <= per!ent will-and %e ins to thin( a%out how he-s swin in " tellin you how he-s really meetin the %all out in front" (eepin his wrist firm and followin throu h %etter" his strea( invaria%ly will end# /e will lose his timin and fluidity as he tries to repeat what he has 'ust told you he was doin so well# >? >2 But !an one learn to play 1out of his mind1 on purpose+ /ow !an you %e !ons!iously un!ons!ious+ It sounds li(e a !ontradi!tion in terms. yet this state !an %e a!hieved# :erhaps a %etter way to des!ri%e the player who is 1un!ons!ious1 is %y sayin that his mind is so !on!entrated" so fo!used" that it is still# It %e!omes one with what the %ody isdoin " and the un!ons!ious or automati! fun!tions are wor(in without interferen!e from thou hts# The !on!entrated mind has no room for thin(in how well the %ody is doin " mu!h less of the how-to-s of the doin # When the player is in this state of !on!entration" he is really into the ame. he is at one with ra!(et" %all and stro(e. he dis!overs his true potential# The a%ility to approa!h this state is the oal of the Inner Game# The development of inner s(ills is required" %ut it is interestin to note that if" while learnin tennis" you %e in to learn !ontrol of the mind" to !on!entrate the ener y of awareness" you have learned somethin far more valua%le than how to hit a for!eful %a!(hand# The %a!(hand !an %e used to advanta e only on a tennis !ourt" %ut the s(ill of masterin the art of effortless !on!entration is invalua%le in whatever you set your mind to# * ma'or %rea(throu h in my attempts to understand the art of !ontrol of mind and %ody !ame when" while tea!hin " I a ain %e an to noti!e what was ta(in pla!e %efore my eyes# Listen to the way players tal( to themselves on the !ourt) 1Come on" Tom" meet the %all in front of you@We-re interested in what is happenin inside the player-s mind# Who is tellin who what+ &ost players are tal(in to themselves on the !ourt all the time# 1Get up for the %all#1 1Aeep it to his %a!(hand#11Aeep your eyes on the %all#1 1Bend your (nees#1 The !ommands are endless# Bor some" it-s li(e hearin a tape re!ordin of the last lesson playin inside their head# Then" after the shot is made" another thou ht flashes throu h the mind and mi ht %e e$pressed as follows) 17ou !lumsy o$" your randmother !ould play %etter5 16ne day I was wonderin who was tal(in to whom# Who was s!oldin and who %ein s!olded# -Tm tal(in to myself"1 say most people# But 'ust who is this 1I1 and who the 1myself1+ 6%viously" the 1I1 and the 1myself1 are separate entities or there

would %e no !onversation" so one !ould say that within ea!h player there are two 1selves#1 6ne" the 1I"1 seems to ive instru!tions. the other" 1myself"1 seems to perform the a!tion# Then 1I1 returns with an evaluation of the a!tion# Bor !larity let-s !all the 1teller1 Self 2 and the 1doer1 Self ># 4ow we are ready for the first ma'or postulate of the Inner Game) within ea!h player the (ind of relationship that e$ists %etween Self 2 and Self > is the prime fa!tor in determinin one-s a%ility to translate his (nowled e of te!hnique into effe!tive a!tion# In other words" the (ey to %etter tennis-or %etter anythin -lies in improvin the relationship %etween the !ons!ious teller" Self 2" and the un!ons!ious" automati! doer" Self ># >= The Typi!al ;elationship %etween Self > and Self 2 Ima ine that instead of %ein parts of the same person" Self 2 CtellerD and Self > CdoerD are two separate persons# /ow would you !hara!teri0e their relationship after witnessin the followin !onversation %etween them+ The player on the !ourt is tryin to ma(e a stro(e improvement# 16(ay" dammit" (eep your stupid wrist firm"1 he orders# Then as %all after %all !omes over the net" Self 2 reminds Self >" 1Aeep it firm# Aeep it firm# Aeep it firm51 &onotonous+ Thin( how Self > must feel5 It seems as thou h Self 2 doesn-t thin( Self > hears well" or has a short memory" or is stupid# The truth is" of !ourse" that Self >" whi!h in!ludes the un!ons!ious mind and nervous system" hears everythin " never for ets anythin " and is anythin %ut stupid# *fter hittin the %all firmly on!e" he (nows forever whi!h mus!les to !ontra!t to do it a ain# That-s his nature# *nd what-s oin on durin the hit itself+ If you loo( !losely at the fa!e of the player" you will see that his !hee( mus!les are ti htenin and his lips are pursed in effort and attempted !on!entration# But fa!e mus!les aren-t required to hit the %a!(hand" nor do they help !on!entration# Who-s initiatin that effort+ Self 2" of !ourse# But why+ /e-s supposed to %e the teller" not the doer" %ut it seems he doesn-t really trust > to do the 'o% or else he wouldn-t have to do all the wor( himself# This is the nu% of the pro%lem) Self 2 does not trust Self >" even thou h the un!ons!ious" automati! self is e$tremely !ompetent# Ba!( to our player# /is mus!les tense in over-effort" !onta!t is made with the %all" there is a sli ht fli!( of the wrist" and the %all hits the %a!( fen!e# 17ou %um" you-ll never learn how to hit a %a!(hand"1 Self 2 !omplains# By thin(in too mu!h and tryin too hard" Self 2 has produ!ed tension and mus!le !onfli!t in the %ody# /e is responsi%le for the error" %ut he heaps the %lame on Self > and then" %y !ondemnin it further" undermines his own !onfiden!e in Self ># *s a result the stro(e rows worse and frustration %uilds#

>E 1Tryin /ard1) * Fuestiona%le ,irtue >8 /aven-t we %een told sin!e !hildhood that we-re never oin to amountto anythin unless we try hard+ So what does it mean when we o%serve someone who is tryin too hard+ Is it %est to try medium hard+ 6r mi ht the answer depend on the person doin the tryin + Equipped with the !on!ept of the two selves" see if you !an answer this seemin parado$ for yourself after readin the followin illustration# Wat!h the Gen parado$ of 1effortless effort1 dissolve# 6ne day while I was wonderin a%out these matters" a very !heery and attra!tive housewife !ame to me for a lesson !omplainin that she was a%out to ive up the ame of tennis# She was really very dis!oura ed %e!ause" as she said" 1I-m really not well !oordinated at all# I want to et ood enou h that my hus%and will as( me to play mi$ed dou%les with him without ma(in it sound li(e a family o%li ation#1 When I as(ed her what the pro%lem seemed to %e" she said" 1Bor one thin " I !an-t hit the %all on the strin s. most of the time I hit it on the wood#1 1Let-s ta(e a loo("1 I said" rea!hin into my %as(et of %alls# I hit her ten waist-hi h forehands near enou h so that she didn-t have to move for them# I was surprised that she hit ei ht out of ten %alls either dire!tly on the wood or partly on the strin s" partly on the frame# 7et her stro(e was ood enou h# I was pu00led# She hadn-t %een e$a eratin her pro%lem# I wondered if it was her eyesi ht" %ut she assured me that her eyes were perfe!t# So I told Joan we-d try a few e$periments# Birst I as(ed her to try very hard to hit the %all on the !enter of the ra!(et# I was uessin that this mi ht produ!e even worse results" whi!h would prove my point a%out tryin too hard# But new theories don-t always pan out. %esides" it ta(es alot of talent to hit ei ht out of ten %alls on the narrow frame of a ra!(et# This time" she mana ed to hit only si$ %alls on the wood# 4e$t" I told her to try to hit the %alls on the frame# This time she hit only four on the wood and made ood !onta!t with si$# She was a %it surprised" %ut too( the !han!e to ive her Self > a (no!(" sayin " 16h" I !an never do anythin I try to51 *!tually" she was !lose to an important truth# It was %e!omin !lear that her way of tryin wasn-t helpful# So %efore hittin the ne$t set of %alls" I as(ed Joan" 1This time I want you to fo!us your mind on the seams of the %all# 9on-t thin( a%out ma(in !onta!t# In fa!t" don-t try to hit the %all at all# Just let your ra!(et !onta!t the %all where it wants to" and we-ll see what happens#1 Joan loo(ed more rela$ed" and her ra!(et pro!eeded to hit nine out of ten %alls dead !enter5 6nly the last %all !au ht the frame# I as(ed her if she was aware of what was oin throu h her mind as she swun at the last %all# 1Sure"1 she replied with a lilt in her voi!e" 1I was thin(in I mi ht ma(e a tennis player after

all#1 She was ri ht# Joan was %e innin to sense the differen!e %etween 1tryin hard#1the ener y of Self 2" and 1effort"1 the ener y used %y Self >" to do the wor( ne!essary# 9urin the last set of %alls" Self 2 was fully o!!upied in wat!hin the seams of the %all# *s a result" Self > was a%le to do its own thin unimpaired" and it proved to %e pretty ood at it# Even Self 2 was startin to re!o ni0e the talents of >. she was ettin them to ether# Gettin it to ether mentally in tennis involves the learnin of several internal s(ills) 2D learnin to pro ram your !omputer Self > with ima es rather than instru!tin yourself with words. >D learnin to 1trust thyself1 CSelf >D to do what you CSelf 2D as( of it# This means lettin Self > hit the %all and 3D learnin to see 1non'ud mentally1 -that is" to see what is happenin rather than merely noti!in how well or how %adly it is happenin # This over!omes 1tryin too hard@- */ these s(ills are su%sidiary to the master s(ill" without whi!h nothin of value isever a!hieved) the art of !on!entration# The Inner Game of Tennis will ne$t e$plore a way to learn these s(ills" usin tennis as a medium# >H We have arrived at a (ey point) it is the !onstant 1thin(in 1 a!tivity of Self 2" the e o-mind" whi!h !auses interferen!e with the natural doin pro!esses of Self ># /armony %etween the two selves e$ists when the mind itself is quiet# 6nly when the mind is still is one-s pea( performan!e rea!hed# When a tennis player is 1on his ame"1 he-s not thin(in a%out how" when" or even where to hit the %all# /e-s not tryin to hit the %all" and after the shot he doesn-t thin( a%out how %adly or how well he made !onta!t# The %all seems to et hit throu h an automati! pro!ess whi!h doesn-t require thou ht# There may %e an awareness of the si ht" sound and feel of the %all" and even of the ta!ti!al situation" %ut the player 'ust seems to (now without thin(in what to do# Listen to how 9# T# Su0u(i" the renowned Gen master" des!ri%es the effe!ts of the e o-mind on ar!hery in his foreword to Gen in the *rt of *r!hery) *s soon as we refle!t" deli%erate" and !on!eptuali0e" the ori inal un!ons!iousness is lost and a thou ht interferes# # # The arrow is off the strin %ut does not fly strai ht to the tar et" nor does the tar et stand where it is# Cal!ulation"" whi!h is mis!al!ulation" sets in### &an is a thin(in reed %ut his reat wor(s are done when he is not !al!ulatin and thin(in # 1Childli(eness1 has to %e restored with lon years of trainin in self-for etfulness# :erhaps this is why it is said that reat poetry is %orn in silen!e# Great musi! and art are said to arise from the quiet depths of the un!ons!ious" and true e$pressions of love are said to !ome from a sour!e whi!h lies %eneath words and thou hts# So it is with the reatest efforts in sports. they !ome when the mind is as still as a

lass la(e# Su!h moments have %een !alled 1pea( e$perien!es1 %y the humanisti! psy!holo ist 9r# *%raham &aslow# ;esear!hin the !ommon !hara!teristi!s of persons havin su!h e$perien!es" he reports the followin des!riptive phrases) 1/e feels more interated1 I the two selves are one J" 1feels at one with the e$perien!e"1 1is relatively e oless1 I quiet mind '" 1feels at the pea( of his powers"1 1fully fun!tionin "1 1is in the roove"1 1effortless"1 1free of %lo!(s" inhi%itions" !autions" fears" dou%ts" !ontrols" reservations" self!riti!isms" %ra(es"1 1he is spontaneous andmore !reative" 11is most here-now"1 1is non-strivin " non-needin " non-wishin ### he 'ust is#1 32 If you refle!t upon your own hi hest moments or pea( e$perien!es" it is li(ely that you will re!all feelin s that these phrases des!ri%e# 7ou will pro%a%ly also remem%er them as moments of reat pleasure" even e!stasy# 9urin su!h e$perien!es" the mind does not a!t li(e a separate entity tellin you what you should do or !riti!i0in how you do it# It is quiet. you are 1to ether"1 and the a!tion flows as free as a river# When this happens on the tennis !ourt" we are !on!entratin without tryin to !on!entrate# We feel spontaneous and alert# We have an inner assuran!e that we !an do what needs to %e done" without havin to 1try hard#1 We simply (now the a!tion will !ome" and when it does" we don-t feel li(e ta(in !redit. rather" we feel fortunate" 1 ra!ed#1 *s Su0u(i says" we %e!ome 1!hildli(e#1 The ima e !omes to my mind of the %alan!ed movement of a !at stal(in a %ird# Effortlessly alert" he !rou!hes" atherin his rela$ed mus!les for the sprin # 4o thin(in a%out when to 'ump" nor how he will push off with his hind le s to attain the proper distan!e" his mind is still and perfe!tly !on!entrated on his prey# 4o thou ht flashes into his !ons!iousness of the possi%ility or !onsequen!es of missin his mar(# /e sees only %ird# Suddenly the %ird ta(es off. at the same instant" the !at leaps# With perfe!t anti!ipation he inter!epts his dinner two feet off the round# :erfe!tly" thou htlessly e$e!uted a!tion" and afterward" no self-!on ratulations" 'ust the reward inherent in his a!tion) the %ird in the mouth# In rare moments" tennis players approa!h the unthin(in spontaneity of the leopard# These moments seem to o!!ur most frequently when players are volleyin %a!( and forth at the net# 6ften the e$!han e of shots at su!h short quarters is so rapid that a!tion faster than thou ht is required# These moments are e$hilaratin " and the players are often ama0ed to find that they ma(e perfe!t pla!ements a ainst shots they didn-t even e$pe!t to rea!h# &ovin more qui!(ly than they thou ht they !ould" they have no time to plan. the perfe!t shot 'ust !omes# *nd feelin that they didn-t e$e!ute the shot deli%erately" they often !all it lu!(. %ut if it happens repeatedly" one %e ins to trust oneself and feel a deep sense of !onfiden!e#

3> In short" 1 ettin it to ether1 requires slowin the mind# Fuietin the mind means less thin(in " !al!ulatin " 'ud in " worryin " fearin " hopin " tryin " re rettin " !ontrollin " 'itterin or distra!tin # The mind is still when it is totally here and now in perfe!t oneness with the a!tion and the a!tor# It is the purpose of the Inner Game to in!rease the frequen!y and the duration of these moments" quietin the mind %y de rees and reali0in there%y a !ontinual e$pansion of our !apa!ity to learn and perform# *t this point the question naturally arises) 1/ow !an I still my mind+16r 1/ow !an I (eep from thin(in on the tennis !ourt+1 The answer is simple) 'ust stop5 *san e$periment the reader mi ht want to put down this %oo( for a minute and simply stop thin(in # See how lon you !an remain in a perfe!tly thou htless state# 6ne minute+ Ten se!onds+ If you were a%le to quiet your mind" there is no reason to read further in this %oo( %e!ause you already (now the (ey to a !on!entrated mind" and there%y the se!ret that reveals all life-s other se!rets and the sour!e of truth and 'oy# &ore than li(ely" however" you found it diffi!ult" perhaps impossi%le" to still the mind !ompletely# 6ne thou ht led to another" then to another" et!# Bor most of us" quietin the mind is a radual pro!ess involvin the learnin of several inner s(ills# These inner s(ills are really arts of for ettin mental ha%its a!quired sin!e we were !hildren# The first s(ill to learn is the art of lettin o the human in!lination to 'ud e ourselves and our performan!e as either ood or %ad# Lettin o of the 'ud in pro!ess is a %asi! (ey to the Inner Game. its meanin will emer e as you read the remainder of this !hapter# When we &r!learn how to %e 'ud mental" it is possi%le to a!hieve spontaneous" !on!entrated play# 33 Lettin Go of Jud ments To see the pro!ess of 'ud ment in a!tion" o%serve almost any tennis mat!h or lesson# Wat!h !losely the fa!e of the hitter and you will see e$pressions of 'ud mental thou hts o!!urrin in his mind# Browns o!!ur after ea!h 1%ad1 shot" and e$pressions of selfsatisfa!tion after every shot 'ud ed as parti!ularly 1 ood#1 6ften the 'ud ments will %e e$pressed ver%ally in a vo!a%ulary whi!h ran es widely" dependin on the player and the de ree of his li(e or disli(e of his shot# Sometimes the 'ud ment is most !learly per!eived in the tone of voi!e used rather than the words themselves# The de!laration" 17ou rolled your ra!(et over a ain"1 !an %e said as a %itin self-!riti!ism or a simple o%servation of fa!t" dependin on the tone of voi!e# The imperatives" 1Wat!h the %all"1 or 1&ove your feet"1 !an %e uttered as an en!oura ement to the %ody or as a %elittlin !ondemnation of its past performan!e#

To understand more !learly what is meant %y 'ud ment" ima ine a sin les mat!h %ein played %y &r# * and &r# B" with &r# C a!tin as the umpire# &r# * is servin his se!ond serve to &r# B on the first point of a tie-%rea(er# The %all lands wide" and &r# C !alls" 16ut# 9ou%le fault#1 Seein his serve land out and hearin " 19ou%le fault#1 &r# * frowns" says somethin demeanin a%out himself" and !alls the serve 1terri%le#1Seein the same stro(e" &r# B# 'ud es it as 1 ood1 and smiles# The umpire neither frowns nor smiles) he simply !alls the %all as he sees it# What is important to see here is that neither the 1 oodness1 nor 1%adness1 as!ri%ed to the event %y the players is an attri%ute of the shot itself# ;ather" they are evaluations added to the event in the minds of the players a!!ordin to their individual rea!tions# &r# * is sayin " in effe!t" 1I don-t li(e that event1. &r# B is sayin " 1I li(e that event#1 The umpire" here ironi!ally !alled the 'ud e" doesn-t 'ud e the event as positive or ne ative. he simply sees the %all land and !alls it out# If the event o!!urs several more times" &r# * will et very upset" &r# B will !ontinue to %e pleased" and the umpire" sittin a%ove the s!ene" will still %e notin with deta!hed interest all that is happenin # What I mean %y 'ud ment is the a!t of assi nin a ne ative or positive value to an event# In effe!t it is sayin that some events within your e$perien!e are ood and you li(e them" and other events in your e$perien!e are %ad and you don-t li(e them# 7ou don-t li(e the si ht of yourself hittin a %all into the net" %ut you 'ud e as ood the si ht of your opponent %ein a!ed %y your serve# Thus" 'ud ments are our personal" e o rea!tions to the si hts" sounds" feelin s and thou hts within our e$perien!e# 3K What does this have to do with tennis+ Well" it is the initial a!t of 'ud ment whi!h provo(es a thin(in pro!ess# Birst the player-s mind 'ud es one of his shots as %ad or ood# If he 'ud es it as %ad" he %e ins thin(in a%out what was wron with it# Then he tells himself how to !orre!t it# Then he tries hard" ivin himself instru!tions as he does so# Binally he evaluates a ain# 6%viously the mind is anythin %ut still and the %ody is ti ht with tryin # If the shot is evaluated as ood" Self 2 starts wonderin how he hit su!h a ood shot. then tries to et his %ody to repeat the pro!ess %y ivin selfinstru!tions" tryin hard" and so on# Both mental pro!esses end in further evaluation" whi!h perpetuates the pro!ess of thin(in and self-!ons!ious performan!e# *s a !onsequen!e" the player-s mus!les ti hten when they need to %e loose" stro(es %e!ome aw(ward and less fluid" and ne ative evaluations are li(ely to !ontinue with rowin intensity# *fter Self 2 has evaluated several shots" he is li(ely to start enerali0in # Instead of 'ud in a sin le event as 1another %ad %a!(hand"1 he starts thin(in " 17ou have a terri%le %a!(hand#1 Instead of sayin " 17ou were nervous on that point"1 he enerali0es" 17ou-re the worst !ho(e artist in the !lu%#1 6ther !ommon

'ud mental enerali0ations are" 1I-m havin a %ad day"1 1I always miss the easy ones"-- 1I-m slow"1 et!# It is interestin to see how the 'ud mental mind e$tends itself# It may %e in %y !omplainin " 1What a lousy serve"1 thene$tendto 1I-m servin %adly today#1 *fter a few more 1%ad1 serves" the 'ud ment may %e!ome further e$tended to 1I have a terri%le serve#1 Then" 1Bm a lousy tennis player"1 and finally" -Tm no ood#1 Birst the mind 'ud es the event" then roupsevents" then identifies with the !om%ined event" and finally 'ud es itself# *s a result" what usually happens is that these self-'ud ments %e!ome self-fulfillin prophe!ies# That is" they are !ommuni!ations from Self 2 a%out Self > whi!h" after %ein repeated often enou h" are %elieved %y Self ># Then Self >" a!tin li(e the !omputer he is" %e ins to live up to these e$pe!tations# If you tell yourself often enou h that you are a poor server" a (ind of hypnoti! pro!ess ta(es pla!e# It-s as if Self > is %ein iven a role to play-the role of %ad server-and he plays it to the hilt" suppressin for the time %ein his true !apa%ilities# 6n!e the 'ud mental mind esta%lishes a self-identity %ased on its ne ative 'ud ments" the role-playin !ontinues to hide the true potential of Self > until the hypnoti! spell is %ro(en# &ost players would do well to heed the wisdom of an!ient yo a philosophy) 17ou %e!ome what you thin(#1 3= *fter a num%er of %ad %a!(hands are hit" and the player tells himself that he has a %ad %a!(hand" or at least that his %a!(hand is 1off"1 he often oes to a pro to et it repaired# It is my e$perien!e that players !ome to tennis pros in the same frame of mind that patients o todo!tors) as if they are si!( and want to %e !ured# This (ind of 'ud ment is so pervasive in!ur !ulture that it is ta(en for ranted# It would seem stran e to ta(e a tennis lesson when you didn-t see anythin wron with your ame# *ny pro (nows" however" that it is easier to help a player who is on his ame improve than it is to help one who !onsiders he is playin poorly# CIn China" people ma(e re ular visits to do!tors when they are healthy# The do!tor-s 'o% is more to (eep people healthy than it is to !ure them of si!(ness# If a Chinese follows his do!tor-s instru!tions and then ets si!(" he is li(ely to !han e do!tors#D Why not o to a tennis pro a!!eptin your ame as it is+ When as(ed to ive up ma(in 'ud ments a%out one-s ame" the 'ud mental mind usually protests" 1But if I !an-t hit a %a!(hand inside the !ourt to save my life" do you e$pe!t me to i nore my faults and pretend my ame is fine+1 Be !lear a%out this) lettin o of 'ud ments does not mean i norin errors# It simply means seein events as they are and not addin anythin to them# 4on'ud mental awareness mi ht o%serve that durin a!ertain mat!h you hit =? per!ent of your first serves into the net# It doesn-t i nore the fa!t# It may a!!urately des!ri%e your serve on that day as errati! and see( to dis!over the !auses# Jud ment %e ins when the serve is la%eled 1%ad1 and !auses interferen!e with one-s playin when a rea!tion

of an er" frustration or dis!oura ement follows# If the 'ud ment pro!ess !ould %e stopped with the namin of the event as %ad" and there were no further e o rea!tions" then the interferen!e would %e minimal# But 'ud mental la%els usually lead to emotional rea!tions and then to ti htness" tryin too hard" self-!ondemnation" et!# This pro!ess !an %e slowed %y usin des!riptive %ut non'ud mental words to des!ri%e the events you see# If a 'ud mental player !omes to me" I will do my %est not to %elieve his tale of a %ad %a!(hand or of the %ad player who has it# If he hits the %alls out" I will noti!e they o out" and I may noti!e the reason why they are oin out# But is there a need to 'ud e him or the %a!(hand as si!(+ If I do" I am li(ely to et as upti ht in the pro!ess of !orre!tin him as he is li(ely to %e in !orre!tin himself# Jud ment results in ti htness" and ti htness interferes with the fluidity required for a!!urate and qui!( movement# ;ela$ation produ!es smooth stro(es and results from a!!eptin your stro(es as they are" even if errati!# 3E ;ead this simple analo y and see if an alternative to the 'ud in pro!ess doesn-t %e in to emer e# When we plant a rose seed in the earth" we noti!e that it is small" %ut we do not !riti!i0e it as 1rootless andstemless#1 We treat it as a seed" ivin it the water and nourishment required of a seed# When it first shoots up out of the earth" we don-t !ondemn it as immature and underdeveloped. nor do we !riti!i0e the %uds for not %ein open when they appear# We stand in wonder at the pro!ess ta(in pla!e and ive the plant the !are it needs at ea!h sta e of its development# The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies# Within it" at all times" it !ontains its whole potential# It seems to %e !onstantly in the pro!ess of !han e. yet at ea!h state" at ea!h moment" it is perfe!tly all ri ht as it is# Similarly" theerrors we ma(e !an %e seen as an important part of the developin pro!ess# In its pro!ess of developin " our tennis ame learns a reat deal from errors# Even slumps are part of the pro!ess# They are not %ade vents" %ut they seem to endure endlessly as lon as we !all them %ad and identify with them# Li(e a ood ardener who (nows when the soil needs al(aline and when a!id" the !ompetent tennis pro should %e a%le to help the development of your ame# Lsually the first thin that needs to %e done is to deal with the ne ative !on!epts inhi%itin the innate developmental pro!ess# Both the pro and the player stimulate this pro!ess as they %e in to see and to a!!ept the stro(es as they are at that moment# Thefirststepis to see your stro(es as they are# They must %e per!eived !learly# This !an %e done only when personal 'ud ment is a%sent# *s soon as a stro(e is seen !learly and a!!epted as it is" a natural and speedy pro!ess of !han e %e ins# The e$ample %elow" a true story" illustrates the (ey to un%lo!(in the natural development in our stro(es# 38

6ne day when I was tea!hin a roup of men at John Gardiner-s Tennis ;an!h in Carmel ,alley" California" a %usinessman reali0ed how mu!h more power and !ontrol he ot on his %a!(hand when his ra!(et was ta(en %a!( %elow the level of the %all# /e was so enthusiasti! a%out his 1new1 stro(e that he rushed to tell his friend Ja!( a%out it as if some (ind of mira!le had o!!urred# Ja!(" who !onsidered his errati! %a!(hand one of the ma'or pro%lems of his life" !ame rushin up to me durin the lun!h hour" e$!laimin " 1I-ve always had a terri%le %a!(hand# &ay%e you !an help me#1 I as(ed" 1What-s so terri%le a%out your %a!(hand+1 1I ta(e my ra!(et %a!( too hi h on my %a!(swin #1 1/ow do you (now+1 1Be!ause at least five different pros have told me so# I 'ust haven-t %een a%le to !orre!t it#1 Bor a %rief moment I was aware of the a%surdity of the situation# /ere was a %usiness e$e!utive who !ontrolled lar e !ommer!ial enterprises of reat !omple$ity as(in me for help as if he had no !ontrol over his own ri ht arm# Why wouldn-t it %e possi%le" I wondered" to ive him the simple reply" 1Sure" I !an help you# L-o-w-e-r y-o-u-r r-a-!-(-e-t51 But !omplaints su!h as Ja!(-s are !ommon amon people of all levels of intelli en!e and profi!ien!y# Besides" it was !lear that at least five other pros had told him to lower his ra!(et without mu!h effe!t# What was (eepin him from doin it I wondered# I as(ed Ja!( to ta(e a few swin s on the patio where we were standin # /is %a!(swin started %a!( very low" %ut then" sure enou h" 'ust %efore swin in forward it lifted to the level of his shoulder and swun down into the ima ined %all# The five pros were ri ht# I as(ed him to swin several more times without ma(in any !omment# 1Isn-t that %etter+1 he as(ed# 1I tried to (eep it low"1 But ea!h time 'ust %efore swin in forward" his ra!(et lifted. it was o%vious that had he %een hittin an a!tual %all" the underspin imparted %y the downward swin would have !aused it to sail out# 17our %a!(hand is all ri ht"1 I said reassurin ly# 1It-s 'ust oin throu h some !han es# Why don-t you ta(e a !loser loo( at it#1 We wal(ed over to a lar e windowpane and there I as(ed him to swin a ain while wat!hin his refle!tion# /e did so" a ain ta(in his !hara!teristi! hit!h at the %a!( of his swin " %ut this time he was astounded# 1/ey" I really do ta(e my ra!(et %a!( hi h5 It oes up a%ove my shoulder51 There was no 'ud ment in his voi!e. he was 'ust reportin with ama0ement what his eyes had seen# What surprised me was Ja!(-s surprise# /adn-t he said that five pros had told him his ra!(et was too hi h+ I was !ertain that if I had told him the same thin after his first swin " he would have replied" 3H 17es" I (now#1 But what was now !lear was that he didn-t really 9is!overin the :ro!ess 3<

(now" sin!e no one is ever surprised at seein somethin they already (now# 9espite all those lessons" he had never dire!tly e$perien!ed his ra!(et oin %a!( hi h# /is mind had %een so a%sor%ed in the pro!essof 'ud ment and tryin to !han e this 1%ad1 stro(e that he had never per!eived the stro(e itself# Loo(in in the lass whi!h mirrored his stro(e as it was" Ja!( was a%le to (eep his ra!(et low quite effortlessly as he swun a ain# 1That feels entirely different than any %a!(hand I-ve ever swun "1 he de!lared# By now he was swin in up throu h the %all over and over a ain# Interestin ly" he wasn-t !on ratulatin himself for doin it ri ht. he was simply a%sor%ed in how different it felt# *fter lun!h I threw Ja!( a few %alls and he was a%le to remem%er how the stro(e felt and to repeat the a!tion# This time he 'ust felt where his ra!(et was oin " lettin his sense of feel repla!e the visual ima e offered %y the mirror# It was a new e$perien!e for him# Soon he was !onsistently hittin topspin %a!(hands into the !ourt with an effortlessness that made it appear this was his natural swin # In ten minutes he was feelin 1in the roove@22 and he paused to e$press his ratitude# 1I !an-t tell you how mu!h I appre!iate what you-ve done forme# I-ve learned more in ten minutes from you than in twenty hours of lessons I-ve ta(en on my %a!(hand#1 I !ould feel somethin inside me %e in to puff up as it a%sor%ed these 1 ood1 words# *t the same time" I didn-t (now quite how to handle this lavish !ompliment" and found myself hemmin and hawin " tryin to !ome up with an appropriately modest reply# Then" for a moment" my mind turned off and I reali0ed that I hadn-t iven Ja!( a sin le instru!tion on his %a!(hand5 I than(ed him for his praise" and then as(ed" 1But what did I tea!h you+1 /e was quiet for a full half-minute" tryin to remem%er what I had told him# Binally he said" 1I !an-t remem%er your tellin me anythin 5 7ou were 'ust wat!hin me" %ut I sure learned a lot#1 /e had learned without %ein tau ht# I !an-t des!ri%e how ood I felt at that moment" or why# Tears even %e an to !ome to my eyes# I had learned and he had learned" %ut there was no one there to ta(e !redit# There was only the limmer of a reali0ation that we were %oth parti!ipatin in a wonderful pro!ess# The (ey that unlo!(ed Ja!(-s new %a!(hand- whi!h was really there all the time 'ust waitin to %e let out-was that in the instant he stopped tryin to !han e his %a!(hand" he saw it as it was# *t first" with the aid of the mirror" he dire!tly e$perien!ed his %a!(swin # Without thin(in or analy0in " he in!reased his awareness of that part of his swin # When the mind is free of any thou ht or 'ud ment" it is still and a!ts li(e a perfe!t mirror# Then and only then !an we (now thin s as they are# Seein " Beelin " and *wareness of What Is In the ame of tennis there are two important thin s to (now# The

first is where the %all is# The se!ond is where the ra!(et head is# Brom the time anyone %e ins to learn tennis" he is told the importan!e of wat!hin the %all# It-s very simple) you !ome to (now where the %all is %y loo(in at it# 7ou don-t have to thin(" 16h" here !omes the %all. it-s !learin the net %y a%out one foot and !omin pretty fast# It should %oun!e near the %ase line" and I-d %etter hit it on the rise#1 4o" you simply wat!h the %all and let the proper response ta(e pla!e# In the same way" you don-t have to thin( a%out where your ra!(et head should %e" %ut you should reali0e the importan!e of %ein aware of where the ra!(et head is at all times# 7ou !an-t loo( at it to (nowwhere it is %e!ause you-re wat!hin the %all# 7ou must feel it# Beelin it ives you the (nowled e of where it is# Anowin where it should %e isn-t feelin where it is# Anowin what your ra!(et didn-@ do isn-t feelin where it is# Beelin where it is is (nowin where it is# 4o matter what a person-s !omplaint when he has a lesson with me" I have found that the most %enefi!ial first step is to en!oura e him to see and@ee@what he is doin -that is" to in!rease his awareness of what a!tually is# I follow the same pro!ess when my own stro(es et out of their roove# But to see thin s as they are" we must ta(e off our 'ud mental lasses" whether they-re dar( or rosetinted# This a!tion unlo!(s a pro!ess of natural development whi!h is as surprisin as it is %eautiful# Bor e$ample" suppose that a player !omplains that the timin on his forehand is off# I wouldn-t ive him an analysis of what is wron and then instru!t him" 1Ta(e your ra!(et %a!( sooner"1 or 1/it the %all farther out in front of you#1 Instead I mi ht simply as( him to put his attention on where his ra!(et head is at the moment the %all %oun!es on his side of the net# Sin!e this is not a !ommon instru!tion" it is li(ely that the player will never have %een told anythin a%out where his ra!(et should or shouldn-t %e at that parti!ular moment# If his 'ud mental mind is en a ed" he is li(ely to %e!ome a little nervous" sin!e Self 2 li(es to try to do thin s 1ri ht1 and is nervous when he doesn-t (now the Ti htness or wron ness of a parti!ular a!tion# So at on!e the player may as( where his ra!(et should %e when the %all is %oun!in # But I de!line to say" as(in him only to o%serve where his ra!(et is at that moment# *fter he hits a few %alls. I as( him to tell me where his ra!(et was at the moment in question# The typi!al reply is" -Tm ta(in my ra!(et %a!( too late# I (now what I-m doin wron " %ut I !an-t stop it#1 This is a !ommon response of players of all sports" and is the !ause of a reat deal of frustration# K? 1Bor et a%out ri ht and wron for now"1 I su est# 1Just o%serve your ra!(et at the moment of %oun!e#1 *fter five or ten more %alls are hit to him" the player is li(ely to reply" -Tm doin %etter. I-m ettin it %a!( earlier#1 17es" and where was your ra!(et+1 I as(# 1I don-t (now" %ut I thin( I was ettin it %a!( on time# # #wasn-t

I+1 Ln!omforta%le without astandard for ri ht and wron " the 'ud mental mind ma(es up standards of its own# &eanwhile" attention is ta(en off what is and pla!ed on the pro!ess of tryin to do thin s ri ht# Even thou h he may %e ettin his ra!(et %a!( earlier and is hittin the %all more solidly" he is still in the dar( a%out where his ra!(et is# CIf the playerisleft in this state" thin(in that he has found the 1se!ret1 to his pro%lem-that is" ettin his ra!(et %a!( earlier -he will %e momentarily pleased# /e will o out ea erly to play and repeat to himself %efore hittin every forehand" 1Get it %a!( early" et it %a!( early" et it %a!( early# # #1Bor a while this ma i! phrase will seem to produ!e 1 ood1 results# But after a while" he will start missin a ain in spite of his self-reminder" will wonder what-s oin 1wron 1 and will !ome %a!( to the pro for another tip#D So instead of stoppin the pro!ess at the point where the player is 'ud in positively" la ain as( himtoo%serve his ra!(et and to tell me e$a!tly where it isat the moment of %oun!e# *s the player finally lets himself o%serve his ra!(et with deta!hment and interest" he !an feel what it is a!tually doin and his awareness in!reases# Then" without any effort to !orre!t" he will dis!over that his swin has %eun to develop a natural rhythm# In fa!t" he will find the perfe!t rhythm for himself" whi!h may %e sli htly different from what mi ht %e di!tated %y some universal standard !alled 1!orre!t#1 Then when he oes out to play" he has no ma i! phrase that must %e repeated" and !an !on!entrate without thin(in # What I have tried to illustrate is that there is a natural learnin pro!ess whi!h operates within everyone-if it is allowed to# This pro!ess is waitin to %e dis!overed %y all those who do not (now of its e$isten!e# There is no need to ta(e my word for it. it !an %e dis!overed for yourself if it hasn-t %een already# If it has %een e$perien!ed" trust it# CThis is the su%'e!t of Chapter K#D To dis!over this natural learnin pro!ess" it is ne!essary to let o of the old pro!ess of !orre!tin faults. that is" it is ne!essary to let o of 'ud ment and see what happens# Will your stro(es develop under the effe!t of non!riti!al attention or won-t they+ Test this# K2 What a%out :ositive Thin(in + K> Before finishin with the su%'e!t of the 'ud mental mind" somethin needs to %e said a%out 1positive thin(in #1 The 1%ad1 effe!ts of ne ative thin(in are frequently dis!ussed these days# Boo(s and arti!les advise readers to repla!e ne ative thin(in with positive thin(in # :eople are advised to stop tellin themselves they are u ly" un!oordinated" unhappy" or whatever" and to repeat to themselves that they are attra!tive" well !oordinated and happy# The su%stitutin of a (ind of --positive hypnotism1 for a previous ha%it of 1ne ative hypnotism1 may appear at least to have short-ran e

%enefits" %ut I have always found that the honeymoon ends all too soon# 6ne of the first lessons I learned as a tea!hin pro was not to find fault with any pupil or even his stro(es# So I stopped !riti!i0in either# Instead" I would !ompliment the pupil when I !ould" and ma(e only positive su estions a%out how to !orre!t his stro(es# Some time later" I found myself no lon er !omplimentin my students# The reali0ation that pre!eded this !han e o!!urred one day when I was ivin a roup of women a lesson on footwor(# I had made a few introdu!tory remar(s a%out self-!riti!ism when Clare" one of the women" as(ed" 1I !an understand that ne ative thin(in is harmful" %ut what a%out !omplimentin yourself when you do well+ What a%out positive thin(in +1 &y answer to her was va ue -1Well" I don-t thin( positive thin(in is as harmful as ne ative thin(in 1-%ut durin the lesson that followed" I !ame to see the issue more !learly# *t the %e innin of the lesson" I told the women that I was oin to hit ea!h of them si$ runnin forehands" and that I wanted them simply to %e!ome aware of their feet# 1Get in tou!h with how your feet move ettin into position" and whether there is any transfer of wei ht as you hit the %all#1 I told them that there was no ri ht and wron to thin( a%out. they were only to o%serve their own footwor( with full attention# While I hit the %alls to them" I made no !omments# I wat!hed intently what was happenin %efore my eyes" %ut e$pressed no 'ud ment either positive or ne ative# Similarly" the women were quiet" wat!hin ea!h other without !omment# They ea!h seemed a%sor%ed in the simple pro!ess of e$perien!in the movement of their feet# *fter the series of thirty %alls" I noti!ed that there were no %alls at the net. they were all %un!hed to ether in the !ross!ourt area on my side# 1Loo("1 I said" 1all the %alls are to ether in the !omer" and not one at the net#1 *lthou h semanti!ally this remar( was simply an o%servation of fa!t" my tone of voi!e revealed that I was pleased with what I saw# I was !omplimentin them" and indire!tly I was !omplimentin myself as their instru!tor# L To my surprise" the irl who was due to hit ne$t said" 16h" you would have to say that 'ust %efore my turn51 Thou h she was half (iddin " I !ould see that she was a little nervous# I repeated the same instru!tions as %efore and hit thirty more %alls without !omment# This time there were frowns appearin on the women-s fa!es and their footwor( seemed a little more aw(ward than %efore# *fter the thirtieth %all" there were ei ht %alls at the net and the %alls %ehind me were quite s!attered# Inwardly I !riti!i0ed myself for havin spoiled the ma i!# Then Clare" the irl who had ori inally as(ed me a%out positive thin(in " e$!laimed" 16h" I ruined it for everyone# I was the first to hit a %all into the net" and I hit four of them#1 I was ama0ed" as were the others" %e!ause it wasn-t true# It was another person who had netted

the first %all" and Clare had hit only two %alls into the net# /er 'ud mental mind had distorted her per!eption of what had a!tually happened# Then I as(ed the women if they were aware of somethin different oin throu h their minds durin the se!ond series of %alls# Ea!h of them reported %ein less aware of their feet and more intent on tryin to (eep from hittin %alls into the net# They were tryin to live up to an e$pe!tation" a standard of ri ht and wron " whi!h they felt had %een set %efore them# This was e$a!tly what had %een missin durin the first set of %alls# I %e an to see that my !ompliment haden a ed their 'ud mental minds# Self 2" the e o-mind" had otten into the a!t# Throu h this e$perien!e" I %e an to see how Self 2 operated# *lways loo(in for approval and wantin to avoid disapproval" this su%tle e o-mind sees a !ompliment as a potential !riti!ism# /e reasons" 1If the pro is pleased with one (ind of performan!e" he will %e displeased %y the opposite# If he li(es me for doin well" he will disli(e me for not doin well#1 The standard of ood and %ad had %een esta%lished" and the inevita%le result was divided !on!entration and e o-interferen!e# The women also %e an to reali0e the !ause of their ti htness on the third round of %alls# Then Clare seemed to li ht up li(e a 2???watt %ul%# 16h" I see:shee$!laimed" slappin her hand to her forehead# 1Compliments are !riti!isms in dis uise5 Both are used to manipulate %ehavior" and !ompliments are 'ust more so!ially a!!epta%le51 Whereupon she ran off the !ourt sayin she had to find her hus%and# Evidently she had seen the !onne!tion %etween what she had learned on the tennis !ourt and some other aspe!t of her life whi!h was important to her" for an hour later I saw her with her hus%and" still a%sor%ed in intense !onversation# K3 Clearly" positive and ne ative evaluations are relative to ea!h other# It is impossi%le to 'ud e one event as positive without seein other events as not positive or as ne ative# There is no way to stop 'ust the ne ative side of the 'ud mental pro!ess# To see your stro(es as they are" there is no need to attri%ute oodness or %adness to them# The same oes for the resultsof your stro(es# 7ou !an noti!e e$a!tly how far out a %all lands without la%elin it a 1%ad1 event# By endin 'ud ment" you do not avoid seein what is# Endin 'ud ment means you neither add nor su%tra!t from the fa!ts %efore your eyes# Thin s appear as they are-undistorted# In this way" the mind %e!omes more !alm# 1But"1 protests Self 2" 1if I see my %all oin out and I don-t evaluate it as %ad" I won-t have any in!entive to !han e it# If I don-t disli(e what I-m doin wron " how am I oin to !han e it+1 Self 2" the e o-mind" wants to ta(e responsi%ility for ma(in thin s 1%etter#1 /e wants the !redit for playin an important role in thin s# /e also worries and suffers a lot when thin s don-t o his way#

The followin !hapter will deal with an alternative pro!ess) a pro!ess %y whi!h a!tions flow spontaneously and sensi%ly without an e o-mind on the s!ene !hasin positives and tryin to reform ne atives# But %efore !on!ludin this !hapter" read this profound %ut de!eptively simple story told me %y a mu!h respe!ted friend of mine named Bill# Three men in a !ar are drivin down a !ity street early one mornin # Bor the sa(e of analo y" suppose that ea!h man represents a different (ind of tennis player# The man sittin on the ri ht is a positive thin(er who %elieves that his ame is reat and is full of self-esteem %e!ause his tennis is so superior# /e-s also a selfadmitted play%oy who en'oys all the ood thin s of life# The man sittin in the middle is a ne ative thin(er who is !onstantly analy0in what is wron with himself and his ame# /e is always involved in some (ind of self-improvement pro ram# The third man" who is drivin " is in the pro!essof lettin o of value 'ud ments alto ether# /e plays the Inner Game" en'oyin thin s as they are and doin what seems sensi%le at the moment# The !ar pulls up at a stopli ht" and !rossin the street in front of the !ar is a %eautiful youn lady who !at!hes the attention of all three men# /er %eauty is parti!ularly apparent %e!ause she is wearin no !lothes# KK The man on the ri ht %e!omes en rossed in thou hts of how ni!e it would %e to %e with this lady under other !ir!umstan!es# /is mind ra!es throu h past memories and future fantasies of sensual pleasures# *s he reminds himself what a reat lover he is" he %reathes heavily" !ausin fo to form on the windshield and sli htly dimmin the view for the others# The man sittin in the middle is seein an e$ample of modern de!aden!e# /e-s not sure that he should %e loo(in !losely at the irl# Birst minis(irts" he thin(s" then topless dan!ers" then %ottomless dan!ers" and now they-re out on the streets in %road dayli ht5 Somethin must %e done to stop all this5 /e thin(s that he should %e in %y strai htenin out the play%oy on his ri ht# The driver is seein the same irl that the others are o%servin " %ut is simply wat!hin what is %efore his eyes# Sin!e his e o is uninvolved" he sees neither ood nor %ad" and as a result" a detail !omes to his attention whi!h was not noti!ed %y either of his !ompanions) the irl-s eyes are shut# /e reali0es that the lady is sleepwal(in " and his response is immediate and un!al!ulatin # /e stops the !ar" steps out and puts his !oat over the woman-s shoulders# /e ently wa(es her and e$plains to her that she must have %een sleepwal(in and offers to ta(e her home# &y friend Bill used to end the story with a twin(le in his eye" sayin " 1There he re!eived the rewards of his a!tion"1 leavin ea!h listener to hear what he would# The first inner s(ill to %e developed in the Inner Game is that of non'ud mental awareness# When we 1unlearn1 'ud ment we dis-

!over" usually with some surprise" that we don-t need the motivation of a reformer to !han e our 1%ad1 ha%its# There is a more natural pro!ess of learnin and performin waitin to %e dis!overed# It is waitin to show what it !an do when allowed to operate without interferen!e from the !ons!ious strivin s of the 'ud mental e o-mind# The dis!overy of and relian!e upon this pro!ess is the su%'e!t of the ne$t !hapter# K= The thesis of the last !hapter was that the first step in %rin in a reater harmony %etween e o-mind and %ody-that is" %etween Self 2 and Self >-was to let o of self-'ud ment# 6nly when Self 2 stops sittin in 'ud ment over Self > and its a!tions !an he %e!ome aware of who and what Self > is and appre!iate the pro!esses %y whi!h he wor(s# *s this step o!!urs" trust is developed" and eventually the %asi! %ut elusive in redient for all top performan!e emer es-self-!onfiden!e# :ut aside for a moment the opinions you have a%out your %odywhether you thin( of it as !lumsy" un!oordinated" avera e" or really fantasti!-and thin( a%out what it does# *s you read these very words your %ody is performin a remar(a%le pie!e of !oordination# Eyes are movin effortlessly" ta(in in ima es of %la!( and white whi!h are automati!ally !ompared with memories of similar mar(in s" translated into sym%ols" then !onne!ted with other sym%ols to form an impression of meanin # Thousands of these operations are ta(in pla!eevery fewse!onds# *t the same time" a ain without !ons!ious effort" your heart is pumpin and your %reath is oin in and out" (eepin a fantasti!ally !ompli!ated system of or ans" lands and mus!les nourished and wor(in # Without !ons!ious effort" %illions of !ells are fun!tionin " reprodu!in and fi htin off disease# If you wal(ed to a !hair and turned on a li ht %efore %e innin to read" your %ody !oordinated a reat num%er of mus!le movements to a!!omplish those tas(s without help from the !ons!ious mind# Self 2 did not have to tell your %ody how far to rea!h %efore !losin your fin ers on the li ht swit!h. you (new your oal" and your %ody did what was ne!essary without thou ht# The pro!ess %y whi!h the %ody learned and performed these a!tions is no different from the pro!ess %y whi!h it learns and plays the ame of tennis# ;efle!t on the !ompli!ated series of a!tions performed %y Self > in the pro!ess of returnin a serve# In order to anti!ipate how and where to move the feet and whether to ta(e the ra!(et %a!( on the forehand or %a!(hand side" the %rain must !al!ulate within a fra!tion of a se!ond the moment the %all leaves the server-s ra!(et appro$imately where it is oin to land and where the ra!(et will inter!ept it# Into this !al!ulation must %e !omputed the initial velo!ity of the %all" !om%ined with an input for the pro ressive de!rease in velo!ity and the effe!t of wind and of spin" to say nothin of the !ompli!ated tra'e!tories involved# Then" ea!h of these fa!tors must %e re!al!ulated after the %oun!e of the %all

to anti!ipate the point where !onta!t will %e made %y the ra!(et# Simultaneously" mus!le orders must %e iven-not 'ust on!e" %ut Who and What is Self 2+ !onstantly refined on updated information# Binally" the mus!les have to respond in !ooperation with one another) a movement of feet o!!urs" the ra!(et is ta(en %a!( at a !ertain speed and hei ht" and the fa!e of the ra!(et is (ept at a !onstant an le as the ra!(et and %ody move forward in %alan!e# Conta!t is made at a pre!ise point a!!ordin to whether the order was iven to hit down the line or !ross-!ourt-an order not iven until after a split-se!ond analysisof the movement and %alan!e of the opponent on the other side of the net# If :an!ho Gon0ale0 is servin " you have appro$imately #E23 se!onds to a!!omplish all this" %ut even if you are returnin the serve of an avera e player" you will have only a%out 2 se!ond# Just to hit the %all is !learly a remar(a%le feat. to return it with !onsisten!y and a!!ura!y is a mind-%o lin a!hievement# 7et it is not un!ommon# The truth is that everyone who inha%its a human %ody possesses a remar(a%le !reation# In the li ht of this" it seems inappropriate to !all our %odies dero atory names# Self >-that is" the physi!al %ody" in!ludin the %rain" memory %an( C!ons!ious and un!ons!iousD" and the nervous system-is a tremendously sophisti!ated and !ompetent servant# Inherent within it is an inner intelli en!e whi!h is sta erin # What it doesn-t already (now" this inner intelli en!e learns with !hildli(e ease# It uses %illions of memory !ells and neurolo i!al !ommuni!ation !ir!uits# If modern man undertoo( to !reate an ele!troni! memory of a !apa!ity equal to the human one %y usin the most sophisti!ated !omputer parts yet devised" the finished produ!t would %e" a!!ordin to a friend of mine who is a !omputer e$pert" lar er than three Empire State Buildin s# Burthermore" no !omputer yet made is !apa%le of doin the !al!ulations and ivin the ne!essary mus!le orders involved in returnin a fast serve in the time required# The fore oin has only one purpose) to en!oura e the reader to respe!t his %ody# This ama0in instrument is what we have the effrontery to !all 1a !lumsy oaf@- ;efle!t on the silent intelli en!e of your %ody" and the arro ant mistrust we have of Self > will %e in to dissolve# With it will dissolve the many self-instru!tions that o!!upy the un!on!entrated mind# =? Trust Thyself =2 There will %elittle hopeof ettin Self 2 and Self > to ether without developin trust %etween them# *s lon as Self 2 is i norant of the true !apa%ilities of Self >" he is li(ely to mistrust it# It is the mistrust of Self > whi!h !auses %oth the interferen!e !alled 1tryin

too hard1 and that of too mu!h self-instru!tion# The first results in usin too many mus!les" the se!ond in mental distra!tion and la!( of !on!entration# Clearly" the new relationship to %e esta%lished with ourselves must %e %ased on the ma$im -Trust thyself#1 What does 1Trust thyself1 mean on the tennis !ourt+ It doesn-t mean positive thin(in -fore$ample" e$pe!tin that you are oin to hit an a!e on every serve# Trustin your %ody in tennis means lettin your %ody hit the %all# The (ey word is let# 7ou trust in the !ompeten!e of your %ody and its %rain" and you let it swin the ra!(et# Self 2 stays out of it# But thou h this is very simple" it does not mean that it is easy# In some ways the relationship %etween Self 2 and Self > is analoous to the relationship %etween parent and !hild# Some parents have a hard time lettin their !hildren do somethin when they %elieve that they themselves (now %etter how it should %e done# But the trustin and lovin parent lets the !hild perform his own a!tions" even to the e$tent of ma(in mista(es" %e!ause he trusts the !hild to learn from them# Lettin it happen is not ma(in it happen# It is not tryin hard# It is not !ontrollin yourshots# These are all the a!tions of Self 2" who ta(es thin s into his own hands %e!ause he mistrusts Self ># This is what produ!es ti ht mus!les" ri id swin s" aw(ward movements" ritted teeth and tense !hee( mus!les# The results are mis-hit %alls and a lot of frustration# 6ften when we are rallyin we trust our %odies and let it happen %e!ause the e o-mind tells itself that it doesn-t really !ount# But on!e the ame %e ins" wat!h Self 2 ta(e over. at the !ru!ial point he starts to dou%t whether Self > will perform well# The more important the point" the more Self 2 will try to !ontrol the shot" and this is e$a!tly when ti htenin up o!!urs# The results are almost always frustratin # Let-s ta(e a !loser loo( at this ti htenin pro!ess" %e!ause it is a phenomenon whi!h ta(es pla!e in every athlete in every sport# *natomy tells us that mus!les are two-way me!hanisms. that is" a iven mus!le is either rela$ed or !ontra!ted# It !an-t %e partially !ontra!ted any more than a li ht swit!h !an %e partially off# The differen!e %etween holdin our ra!(et loosely or ti htly is in the num%er of mus!les whi!h are !ontra!ted# /ow many and whi!h mus!les are a!tually needed to hit a fast serve+ 4o one (nows" %ut if the !ons!ious mind thin(s it does and tries to !ontrol those mus!les" it will inevita%ly use mus!les that aren-t needed# When more than ne!essary are used" not only is there a waste of ener y" %ut !ertain ti htened mus!les interfere with the need of other mus!les to stret!h# Thin(in that it has to use a lot of mus!le to hit as hard as it wants to" Self 2 will initiate the use of mus!les in the shoulder" forearm" wrist and even fa!e whi!h will a!tually Impede the for!e of the swin # If you have a ra!(et handy" hold it and try this e$periment# CIf you don-t have a ra!(et" ra% any mova%le o%'e!t" or 'ust ra% the air with your hand#D Ti hten up the mus!les in your wrist and see

how fast you !an snap your ra!(et# Then release the mus!les in your wrist and see how fast it will snap# Clearly" a loose wrist is more fle$i%le# When servin " power is enerated %y the fle$i%le snap of the wrist# If you try to hit hard intentionally" you are li(ely to ti hten the wrist mus!les" slow down the snap of your wrist" and there%y lose power# Burthermore" the entire stro(e will %e ri id" and %alan!e will %e diffi!ult to maintain# This is how Self 2 interferes with the wisdom of the %ody# C*s you !an ima ine" a stiffwristed serve will not meet the e$pe!tations of the server# Consequently he is li(ely to try even harder ne$t time" ti htenin more mus!les" and %e!omin more and more frustrated and e$haustedand" I mi ht add" in!reasin the ris( of tennis el%ow#D Bortunately" most !hildren learn to wal( %efore they !an %e told how to %y their parents# *s a result" !hildren not only learn how to wal( very well" %ut they ain !onfiden!e in the natural learnin pro!ess whi!h operates within them# &others o%serve their !hildren-s efforts with love and interest" and if they are wise" without mu!h interferen!e# If we !ould treat our tennis ames as we do a !hild learnin to wal(" we would ma(e ama0in pro ress# When the !hild loses his %alan!e and falls" the mother doesn-t !ondemn it for %ein !lumsy# She doesn-t even feel %ad a%out it. she simply noti!es the event and perhaps ives a word or esture of en!oura ement# Consequently" a !hild-s pro ress in learnin to wal( is never hindered %y the idea that he is un!oordinated# Why shouldn-t a %e innin player treat his %a!(hand as a lovin mother would her !hild+ The tri!( is not to identify with the %a!(hand# If you view an errati! %a!(hand as a refle!tion of who you are" you will %e upset# But you are not your %a!(hand any more than a parent is his !hild# If a mother identifies with every fall of her !hild and ta(es personal pride in its every su!!ess" her self-ima e will %e as unsta%le as her !hild-s %alan!e# She finds sta%ility when she reali0es that she is not her !hild" and wat!hes it with love and interest-%ut as a separate %ein # => :ro rammin Self 2 This same (ind of deta!hed interest is what is ne!essary to let your tennis ame develop naturally# ;emem%er that you are not your tennis ame# 7ou are not your %ody# Trust the %ody to learn and to play" as you would trust another person to do a 'o%" and in a short time it will perform %eyond your e$pe!tations# Let the flower row# The pre!edin theory should %e tested and not ta(en on faith# Toward the end of the !hapter there are several e$periments that will ive you a !han!e to e$perien!e the differen!e %etween ma(in yourself do somethin " andfettm it happen# I su est that you also devise your own e$periments to dis!over 'ust how mu!h you are willin to trust yourself" %oth when rallyin and when under pressure#

*t this point it may have o!!urred to the reader to as(" 1/ow !an I 'ust -let a forehand happen- if I-ve never learned how to hit one in the first pla!e+ 9on-t I need someone to tell me how to do it+ If I-ve never played tennis %efore" !an 2 'ust o out on the !ourt and -let it happen-12+ The answer is) if your %ody (nows how to hit a forehand" then 'ust let it happen) if it doesn-t" then lei it learn# The a!tions of Self > are %ased on information it has stored in its memory of past a!tions of itself or of the o%served a!tions of others# * player who has never held a ra!(et in his hand needs to let the %all hit the strin s a few times %efore Self > learns how far away the !enter of the ra!(et is from the hand holdin it# Every time you hit a %all" whether !orre!tly or in!orre!tly" the !omputer memory of Self > is pi!(in up valua%le information and storin it away for future use# *s one pra!ti!es" Self > refines and e$tends the information in its memory %an(# *ll the time it is learnin su!h thin s as how hi h a %all %oun!es when hit at varyin speeds and varyin spins. how fast a %all falls and how fast if !omes up off the !ourt. and where it should %e met to dire!t it to different parts of the !ourt# It remem%ers every a!tion it ma(es and the results of every a!tion" dependin on the de ree of your attention and alertness# So the important thin for a %e innin player to remem%er is to allow the natural learnin pro!ess to ta(e pla!e and to for et a%out stro(e-%y-stro(e self-instru!tions# The results will %e surprisin # =3 =K /avin said this" let me add that Self 2 does have some role in this pro!ess# /e !an fun!tion in a !ooperative way" thou h the role is a more hum%le one than he usually prefers# The main 'o% of Self 2" the !ons!ious e o-mind" is to set oals" that is" to !ommuni!ate to Self > whathe wants from itand then to let Self > do it# If you wal(ed onto the !ourt without a oal and let Self > do what it wanted" you mi ht end up hittin all the %alls over the fen!e as hard as you !ould and have a reat time# But if your intention is to (eep the %alls within the lines" that oal must %e !ommuni!ated to Self ># This !ommuni!ation !an %e a!!omplished in a natural and effortless way" %ut if there is the usual !ommuni!ation ap and mistrust %etween the two selves" the learnin pro!ess will %e slow and aw(ward# Let me illustrate with an e$ample whi!h demonstrates the easy and hard ways of learnin # When I was twelve years old" I was sent to dan!in s!hool" where I was tau ht the walt0" fo$ trot and other steps (nown only to the dar(er a es of man# We were told" 1:ut your ri ht foot here and your left foot there" then %rin them to ether# 4ow shift your wei ht to your left foot" turn"1 and so forth# The steps were not !ompli!ated" %ut it was wee(s %efore I was dan!in without the need to play %a!( the tape in my head) 1:ut your left foot here" ri ht foot there" turn" one" two" three. one" two" three#1 2 would thin( out ea!h step" !ommand myself to do it" and then e$e!ute it#

I was %arely aware there was a irl in my arms" and it was wee(s %efore I was a%le to handle a !onversation while dan!in # This is the way most of us tea!h ourselves the footwor( and stro(es of tennis# But it-s su!h a slow and painful way5 Contrast it with the way the modern twelve-year-old learns to dan!e# /e oes to a party one ni ht" sees his friends doin the &on(ey" the Jer(" and the Swim" and !omes home havin mastered them all# 7et these dan!es are infinitely more !omple$ than the fo$ trot# Just ima ine the si0e of the instru!tion manual required to put into words ea!h of the movements involved in doin the &on(ey5 It would require a :h#9# in physi!al edu!ation and a full semester to leam these dan!es 1%y the %oo(#1 But a (id who may %e failin math and En lish learns them effortlessly in a sin le ni ht# /ow does he do this+ Birst" %y simply wat!hin # /e doesn-t thin( a%out what he is seein -how the left shoulder lifts a %it while the head 'er(s forward and the ri ht foot twists# /e simply a%sor%s visually the ima e in front of him# This ima e !ompletely %ypasses the e o-mind" and seems to %e fed dire!tly to the %ody" for in a few minutes the (id is on the floor doin movements very similar to those he was wat!hin # 4ow he is feelin how it is to imitate those ima es# /e repeats the pro!ess a few times" first loo(in " then feelin " and soon is dan!in effortlessly-totally :ro rammin Self 2-s Computer 1with it#1 If the ne$t day he is as(ed %y his sister how to do the &on(ey he-ll say" 1I don-t (now # # # li(e this # # # see+1 Ironi!ally" he thin(s he doesn-t (now how to do the dan!e %e!ause he !an-t e$plain it in words" while most of us who learn tennis throu h ver%al instru!tion !an e$plain in reat detail how tht %all should %e hit %ut have trou%le doin it# To Self >" a pi!ture is worth a thousand words# It learns %y wat!hin the a!tions of others" as well as %y performin a!tions itself# *lmost all tennis players have e$perien!ed playin over their heads after wat!hin !hampionship tennis on television# The %enefits to your ame !ome not from analy0in the stro(es of top players" %ut from !on!entratin without thin(in and simply lettin yourself a%sor% the ima es %efore you# Then" the ne$t time you play" you may find that !ertain important intan i%les su!h as timin " anti!ipation and sense of !onfiden!e are reatly improved" all without !ons!ious effort or !ontrol# Lp to this point we have dis!ussed the need to quiet Self 2" to slow down his 'ud in and !ontrollin a!tivities# It may have sounded as if we wanted to et rid of Self 2 entirely# But the !ons!ious self does have a valid role in learnin and playin tennis# By assumin his proper role and lettin o of his improper ones he !an reatly speed the learnin pro!ess and help Self > rea!h the limits of its a%ilities# Learnin tennis without the help of Self 2 would %e li(e learnin tennis on an island where the ame had never %een heard of# If the

rules of tennis were introdu!ed to su!h an island" and !ourts were %uilt and equipment provided" eventually the stro(es used %y the island players would !ome to resem%le !losely those whi!h we now enerally !onsider 1proper#1 The speed with whi!h these stro(es would %e learned would depend on the e$tent to whi!h Self > was left to its own resour!es-that is" the e$tent to whi!h Self 2 refrained from interferin with the natural learnin pro!ess# But this learnin would ta(e a reat deal lon er than it would in a so!iety where there were plenty of models of effe!tive tennis for one to learn from# In a tennis-playin so!iety" Self 2 !an assume an important role %y frequently e$posin Self > to models of hi h!ali%er tennis# In this way# Self 2 pro rams the !omputer memory %an( of Self > with valua%le information whi!h mi ht ta(e it a lon time to develop on its own# == :ro rammin for ;esults The remainder of this !hapter will dis!uss three %asi! methods of pro rammin Self ># By this I simply mean !ommuni!atin to Self > what you want from it# The primary role of Self 2 is to set oals for Self >" then to let Self > perform# It is %asi! to ood !ommuni!ations that we use the most suita%le lan ua e# If &r# * wishes to ma(esure of ettin his messa e a!ross to &r# B" he will" if he !an" use &r# B-s native ton ue# What is the native lan ua e of Self >+ Certainly not words5 Words were not learned %y Self > until several years after %irth# 4o" the native ton ue of Self > is ima ery) sensory ima es# &ovements are learned throu h visual and feelin ima es# So the three methods of pro rammin I will dis!uss all involve !ommuni!atin oal-oriented messa es to Self > %y ima es and 1feelma es#1 &any students of tennis are too stro(e-!ons!ious and not attentive enou h to results# Su!h players are aware of how they stro(e the %all" %ut un!on!erned with where it is a!tually oin # It is often helpful for these players to shift their attention from means to ends# /ere is an e$ample# 9urin a roup lesson with five women" I as(ed ea!h player what one !han e she would most li(e to ma(e in her ame# The first woman" Sally" wanted to wor( on her forehand" whi!h she said 1had really %een terri%le lately@- When I as(ed her what she didn-t li(e a%out her forehand" she replied" 1Well" I ta(e my ra!(et %a!( too late and too hi h" and I roll it over too mu!h on the follow-throu h. also I ta(e my eye off the %all a lot" and I don-t thin( I step into it very well@- It was !lear that if I were to ive her instru!tion on ea!h element she mentioned" I would start and end the lesson with her# So I as(ed Sally what she felt a%out the results of her forehand" and she replied" 1It oes too shallow and doesn-t have mu!h power@-4ow we had somethin we !ould wor( with" I told her that I ima ined her %ody CSelf >D already (new how to hit the %all deep and with more power" and that if it didn-t" it would leam very

qui!(ly# I su ested that she ima ine the ar! the %all would have to ta(e to land deep in the !ourt" noti!in how hi h over the net it would pass" and to hold that ima e in her mind for several se!onds# Then" %efore hittin some %alls" I said" 19on-t try to hit the %all deep# Just as( Self > to do it and let it happen# If the hall !ontinues to fall shallow" don-t ma(e any !ons!ious effort to !orre!t# Simply let o and see what happens@=E The third %all Sally hit landed a foot inside the %ase line# 6f the ne$t twenty" fifteen landed in the %a!( quarter of the !ourt and did so with in!reasin for!e %ehind them# *s she hit" the other four women and I !ould see all the elements she had mentioned !han in appre!ia%ly and naturally. her %a!(swin lowered" her followthrou h flattened" and she %e an flowin into the %all with %alan!e and !onfiden!e# When she was finished hittin " I as(ed her what !han es she had made" and she replied" 1I didn-t ma(e any# I 'ust ima ined the %all passin two feet over the net and landin near the %ase line" and it did5-1 She was %oth deli hted and surprised# The !han es whi!h Sally made in her forehandlay in the fa!t that she ave Self > a !lear visual ima e of the results she desired# Then she told her %ody in effe!t" 19o whatever you have to do to o there#1 *ll she had to do was let it happen# :ro rammin for results is the most useful method of !ommuni!atin with Self > when playin a mat!h# 6n!e you are !ompetin it is too late to wor( on your stro(es" %ut it is possi%le to hold in your mind the ima e of where you want the %all to o and then allow the %ody todo what is ne!essary to hit it there# It is essential here to trust Self ># Self 2 must stay rela$ed" refrainin from ivin 1howto-do-it1 instru!tions and from any effort to !ontrol the stro(e# *s Self 2 learns to let o" a rowin !onfiden!e in the a%ility of Self > emer es# =8 :ro rammin for Borm It is sometimes useful to %e a%le to ma(e a deli%erate !han e in one or more elements of a iven stro(e when simple non'ud mental attention and pro rammin %y results %oth fail to produ!e the desired results# Then it is appropriate to use another (ind of pro rammin -pro rammin for form# CThis pro!ess will %e dis!ussed in reater detail in Chapter E" 1Chan in /a%its) * 4ew Way of Learnin #1D In %rief" the pro!ess is very similar to pro rammin for results# Suppose" for e$ample" that you are !onsistently rollin your ra!(et over on the follow-throu h" and the ha%it !ontinues despite all efforts to !han e it# Birst you must ive Self > a very !lear ima e of what you are as(in it to do# This !an %est %e done %y holdin your ra!(et in front of you in a proper follow-throu h position and loo(in at it with undivided attention for several se!onds# 7ou may

feel foolish" thin(in that you already (now the proper fellowthrou h" %ut it is vital to ive Self > an ima e to imitate# /avin done this" it mi ht also %e useful to shut your eyes and ima ine as !learly as possi%le your entire forehand with the ra!(et stayin flat throu hout the swin # Then" %efore hittin any %alls" swin your ra!(et several times" lettin the ra!(et stay flat and allowin yourself to e$perien!e how it feels to swin in this new way# 6n!e you start to hit %alls" it is important not to try and (eep your ra!(et flat# 7ou have as(ed Self > to (eep it flat" so let it happen5 6n!e havin pro rammed the %ody" Self I-s only role is to %e still and o%serve the results in a deta!hed manner# Let me stress a ain that it is important not to ma(e any !ons!ious effort to (eep the ra!(et flat# 2 f after a few stro(es the ra!(et does not !onform to the ima e you ave Self >" then pro ram and let your %ody swin yourra!(et" ma(in sure Self 2 isn-t ivin it the sli htest assistan!e# 9on-t try to ma(e this e$periment wor(. if you do" Self 2 will et involved and you won-t really (now if Self > is hittin the %all unassisted or not# Two E$periments =< It is important not only to understand intelle!tually the differen!e %etween lettin it happen and ma(in it happen" %ut to e$perien!e the differen!e# To e$perien!e the differen!e is to (now the differen!e# To this end" let me su est two e$periments# The first involves tryin to hit a stationary tar et with a tennis %all# :la!e a tennis-%all !an in the %a!(hand !orner of one of the servi!e !ourts# Then fi ure out how you should swin your ra!(et in order to hit the !an# Thin( a%out how hi h to toss the %all" a%out the proper an le of your ra!(et at impa!t" the proper wei ht flow" and so forth# 4ow aim at the !an and attempt to hit it# If you miss" try a ain# If you hit it" try to repeat whatever you did so that you !an hit it a ain# If you follow this pro!edure for a few minutes" you will e$perien!e what I mean %y 1tryin hard1 and ma(in yourself serve# *fter you have a%sor%ed this e$perien!e" move the !an to the %a!(hand !orner of the other servi!e !ourt for the se!ond half of the e$periment# This time stand on the %ase line" %reathe deeply a few times and rela$# Loo( at the !an# Then visuali0e the path of the %all from your ra!(et to the !an# See the %all hittin the !an ri ht on the la%el# If you li(e" shut your eyes and ima ine yourself servin "and the %all hittin the !an# 9o this several times# If in your ima ination the %all misses the !an" that-s all ri ht. repeat the ima e a few times until the %all hits the tar et# 4ow" ta(e no thou ht of how you should hit the %all# 9on-t try to hit the tar et# *s( your %ody" Self >" to do whatever is ne!essary to hit the !an" then let it do it# E$er!ise no !ontrol. !orre!t for no ima ined %ad ha%its# /avin pro rammed yourself with the desired fli ht of the %all" simply trust your %ody to do it# Whenyou toss the %all up" fo!us

your attention on its seams" then let the serve serve itself# The %all will either hit or miss the tar et# 4oti!e e$a!tly where it lands# 7ou should free yourself from any emotional rea!tion to su!!ess or failure. simply (now your oal and ta(e o%'e!tive interest in the results# Then serve a ain# If you have missed the !an" don-t %e surprised and don-t try to !orre!t for your error# This is most important# * ain fo!us your attention on the !an. then let the serve serve itself# If you faithfully do not try to hit the !an" and do not attempt to !orre!t for your misses" %ut put full !onfiden!e in your %ody and its !omputer" you will soon see that the serve is !orre!tin itself# 7ou will e$perien!e that there really is a Self > who is a!tin and learnin without %ein told what to do# 6%serve this pro!ess. o%serve your %ody ma(in the !han es ne!essary in order to !ome nearer and nearer to the !an" 6f !ourse" Self 2 is very tri!(y and it is most diffi!ult to (eep him from interferin a little" %ut if you quiet him a%it" you will %e in to see Self > at wor(" and you will %e as ama0ed as I have %een at what it !an do" and how effortlessly# The se!ond e$periment I would re!ommend in order to e$perien!e the reality of Self > %e ins with pi!(in some !han e you would li(e to ma(e in one of your stro(es# Bor instan!e" !hoose a %ad ha%it that you have %een tryin unsu!!essfully to alter# Then on the !ourt" as( a friend to throw you twenty %alls and try to !orre!t the ha%it# Tell himtvhat you are tryin to do and as( him to o%serve if it is !orre!tin # Try hard. try the way you are used to in attemptin to !han e a ha%it# E$perien!e this (ind of tryin # 6%serve how you feel if you fail# *lso note whether you feel aw(ward or ti ht# 4ow try to pra!ti!e your !orre!ted stro(e while rallyin # Then see what hapM pens when you play a mat!h# 4e$t" pi!( another ha%it you would li(e to !han e" or even the same one# CIf the ha%it has not %een !orre!ted %y your first efforts" it would %e interestin to wor( on the same one#D *s( your friend to throw you five or ten %alls# 9urin this" ma(e no attempt to !han e your stro(e. simply o%serve it# 9on-t analy0e it" 'ust o%serve it !arefully. e$perien!e where your ra!(et is at all times# Chan es may o!!ur while you are merely o%servin your stro(e non'ud mentally" %ut if you feel further !orre!tion is needed" then 1pro ram for form@- Show yourself e$a!tly what you want Self > to do# Give it a !lear visual ima e" movin your ra!(et slowly in the desired path" and let yourself wat!h it very !losely# Then repeat the pro!ess" %ut this time feel e$a!tly what it-s li(e to move your ra!(et in this new manner# /avin pro rammed yourself with an ima e and a feelin " you are ready to hit some %alls# 4ow fo!us your eyes and mind on the seams of the %all and let it happen# Then o%serve what happened# 6n!e a ain" don-t analy0e. simply see how !lose Self > !ame to doin what you wanted it to# If your ra!(et didn-t follow e$a!tly the path you had pro rammed" then repro ram and let the stro(e happen a ain# Continue this pro!ess" lettin Self 2 rela$ more and

more with ea!h %all# Soon you will see that Self > !an %e trusted# Lon -standin ha%its!an %e altered in a few moments# *fter twenty %alls or so" as( your friend to rally a ain with you# Be sure you don-t try to ma(e this e$periment wor( %y attemptin to do it 1ri ht1 when playin . merely !ontinue to o%serve the pre!ise part of your swin that is !han in # Wat!h it with deta!hment and !are as you would wat!h someone else-s stro(e# Wat!h it" and it will !han e quite effortlessly %y its own smooth pro!ess# :erhaps this seems too ood to %e true# I !an only su est that you e$periment and see for yourself# &ore needs to %e said a%out this art of !han in ha%its %e!ause it is what so many players spend so mu!h time and money on in lessons" %ut %efore underta(in a fuller des!ription of this art" let-s dis!uss a third method of pro rammin Self ># E? In the last !hapter" I pointed out how the pro!ess of 'ud ment often feeds on and e$tends itself until a stron ne ative self-ima e has formed# 6ne %e ins %elievin that he isnot a ood tennis player and then a!ts this role" never allowin himself anythin %ut limpses of his true !apa%ilities# &ost players hypnoti0e themselves into a!tin the roles of mu!h wrorse players than they a!tually are" %ut interestin results !an often %e a!hieved %y doin a little roleplayin of a different (ind" 1:ro rammin %y identity1 isaphrase to des!ri%e this other (ind of role-playin # When introdu!in this idea" I usually say somethin li(e this) 1Ima ine that I am the dire!tor of a television series# Anowin that you are an a!tor that plays tennis" I as( if you would li(e to do a %it part as a top-fli ht tennis player# I assure you that you needn-t worry a%out hittin the %all out or into the net %e!ause the !amera will only %e fo!used on you and will not follow the %all# What Bm mainly interested in is that you adapt professional mannerisms" and that you swin your ra!(et with supreme selfassuran!e# *%ove all" your fa!e must e$press no self-dou%t# 7ou should loo( as if you are hittin every %all e$a!tly where you want to# ;eally et into the role" hit as hard as you li(e and i nore where the %all is a!tually oin #1 When a player su!!eeds in for ettin himself and really a!ts out hisassumed rote" remar(a%le !han es in his ame often ta(e pla!e. if you don-t mind puns" you mi ht even say that the !han es are dramati!# *s lon as he is a%le to stay in this role he e$perien!es a style that he may not have (nown was in his repertoire# There is an important distin!tion %etween this (ind of roleplayin and what is normally !alled positive thin(in # In the latter" you are tellin yourself that you are as ood as Aen ;osewall" while in the former you are not tryin to !onvin!e yourself that you are any %etter than you %elieve you are# 7ou are quite !ons!iously playin a role" %ut in the pro!ess" you may %e!ome more aware of the ran e of your true !apa%ilities# The pro!ess is similar to the one that o!!urs when a sweet

thirteen-year-old hi h s!hool irl wrho has never %een (issed is as(ed to play the part of the femme fatale in a s!hool play# *s she ets into the role" she is almost as astonished as the audien!e at how !omforta%ly she !an a!t the part# I :ro rammin %y Identity E$perimentin with ;ole:layin *fter they have played tennis for a year or so" most people fall into a parti!ular pattern of play from whi!h they seldom depart# Some adopt a defensive style. they spare no effort to retrieve every %all" lo% often" hit deep into the opponent-s !ourt" and seldom hit the %all hard or o for a winner# The defensive player waits for his opponent to ma(e an error and wears him down %y de rees with endless patien!e# Some Italian !lay-!ourt players are the prototype for this style# The opposite of this is the offensive style adopted %y some reat and would-%e reat *meri!an players# In its e$treme form the %all is hit for a winner every time# Every serve is desi ned to %e an a!e" every return of serve a !lean passin shot" while volleys and overheads are all aimed to land within one or two in!hes of the lines# * third !ommon pattern is what mi ht %e !alled the 1formal1 style of play# :layers in this !ate ory don-t !are so mu!h where their %all oes as lon as they loo( ood stro(in it# They would rather %e seen usin flawless form than winnin the mat!h# In !ontrast" there is the !ompetitive style of the player who will do anythin to win# /e runs hard and hits hard or soft" dependin on what seems to %other his opponent most" and uses amesmanship to the hilt# 6ne final style worth mentionin is that of the deta!hed Buddhist# /e plays with perfe!t serenity" aware of everythin %ut atta!hed to nothin . that is" even thou h he ma(es reat effort" he seems un!on!erned with the results of his a!tions# *lways alert" he shows no tension even on mat!h point# /avin outlined these %asi! styles to a roup of players" I often su est that as an e$periment they adopt the style that seems most unli(e the one they have previously adopted# I also su est that they a!t the role of a ood player" no matter what style they have !hosen# Besides %ein a lot of fun" this (ind of role-playin !an reatly in!rease a player-s ran e# The defensive player learns that he !an hit winners. the a ressive one finds that he !an also %e stylish# I have found that when players %rea( their ha%itual patterns" they !an reatly e$tend the limits of their own style and e$plore su%dued aspe!ts of their personality# Lettin o of 'ud ments" the art of pro rammin with ima es and 1lettin it happen1 are three of the %asi! s(ills involved in the Inner Game# Before oin on to the fourth and most important

inner s(ill" that of !on!entration" I will devote one !hapter to a dis!ussion of e$teroa@te!hnique# 6n!e you learn to let Self > do the learnin " relatively few instru!tions on stro(e and footwor( are needed# E> The pre!edin !hapters put heavy emphasis on the importan!e of quietin the mind %y lettin o of mental self-instru!tions and trustin the %ody to do what !omes most naturally# The purpose of these !hapters was not to dispara e stro(e te!hnique in learnin tennis %ut to prepare the way for the proper use of su!h (nowled e# There is nothin wron with (nowin that a firm wrist will tend to in!rease the !onsisten!y of one-s %a!(hand" %ut if" on learnin this" the player persists in tellin himself to (eep his wrist firm %efore every shot" fluid tennis will evade him# Thin(in himself into do in everythin %y the %oo(" he will e$perien!e the aw(wardness" in!onsisten!y and frustration all too familiar to most players# * most important lesson !an %e learned %y wat!hin the way animals tea!h their !hildren %asi! s(ills# 4ot lon a o I was wal(in thro u h the San 9ie o Goo and !ame upon a pool 'ust in time to see a mother hippopotamus ivin her new%orn !hild what appeared to %e its first swimmin lesson# *t the deep end of the pool one hippo was floatin with 'ust his nose appearin a%ove the surfa!e# Soon he su%mer ed and san( to the %ottom" where he rested for a%out twenty se!onds %efore pushin off with his hind le s and risin a ain toward the surfa!e# Then I wat!hed the mother hippo" whi!h had %een nursin her %a%y in the sun" et up and %e in to push it toward the pond with her snout# When the !hild toppled in" it san( li(e a ro!( to the %ottom and stayed there# &other sauntered !asually to the shallow end of the pool and waded in# *%out twenty se!onds later she rea!hed the %a%y and %e an to lift it upward with her nose" sendin it toward the surfa!e# There the youn student asped a %reath and san( a ain# 6n!e a ain the mother repeated the pro!ess" %ut this time moved off to the deeper end of the pool" somehow (nowin that her role in the learnin pro!ess was finished# The %a%y hippo inhaled on the surfa!e and san( a ain to the %ottom" %ut after some time he pushed himself toward the air with his own hind le s# Then he repeated his new s(ill a ain and a ain# It seemed to me that the mother (new that somehow her !hild already (new what she was tea!hin it" and her role was simply to ive nud in en!oura ement so that the %a%y-s %ehavior would fall into a pattern whose form was already imprinted within it# I li(e to thin( that the same holds true for tennis stro(es) that the perfe!t stro(es are already within us waitin to %e dis!overed" and that the role of the pro is to ive nud in en!oura ement# 6ne reason I li(e to thin( this is that when I and my students thin( of stro(es as %ein dis!overed rather than manufa!tured" they seem to learn the ame mu!h faster and without frustration# E=

Instru!tions properly iven and used !an help a player dis!over his roove faster than if he were left on his own# But %eware of too many instru!tions" and %eware of mista(in them for the roove itself# 4o sin le !hapter !ould des!ri%e all the elements of ea!h of the three ma'or stro(es# * moment a o I noted on a pie!e of s!rat!h paper some of the important !omponents of the standin forehand. there were over fifty# If it had in!luded !ommon instru!tions on thin s not to do" the list would have rown to over two hundred# The %est advi!e I !an ive to the student of stro(e te!hnique is (eep it simple" (eep it natural# &aster tips refers to !ertain (ey elements of a stro(e whi!h" if done properly" tend to !ause many other elements to %e done properly# By dis!overin the roove of these (ey elements of %ehavior there is little need to !on!ern yourself with s!ores of se!ondary details# :lease do not ta(e these su estions as !ommands with whi!h to %lud eon your %ody into 1ri ht1 %ehavior" %ut as entle nud es meant to help you find your own most natural and effe!tive way of hittin a tennis %all# Bew of the followin instru!tions are ori inal" %ut ea!h has %een tested" and its merit proven# Before %e innin " let me simplify the e$ternal pro%lem fa!in the tennis player# /e fa!es only two requirements for winnin any iven point) ea!h %all must %e hit over the net and into his opponent-s !ourt# The sole aim of stro(e te!hnique is to fulfill these two requirements with !onsisten!y and with enou h pa!e and a!!ura!y to (eep pressure on one-s opponent# Aeepin it simple" let-s loo( at the dynami!s for hittin forehand and %a!(hand round stro(es %oth over the net and into the !ourt# EE /ittin the %all over the net wouldn-t %e diffi!ult if it weren-t for the requirement that the %all !ome %a!( down a ain in the !ourt# What %esides ravity ma(es a %ail !ome down+ /ow to (eep the %all from oin out of the !ourt is the reatest te!hni!al pro%lem involved in hittin round stro(es# /ere it may %e of interest to understand somethin a%out a !ertain law of physi!s whi!h overns the fli ht of a spinnin tennis %all# *lthou h it is not essential to understand the physi!s of the matter" it may help in understandin why round stro(es are hit the way they are# Some may remem%er from their hi h s!hool physi!s !lass the name of a Swiss mathemati!ian named 9aniel Bernoulli and his namesa(e" Bernoulli-s :rin!iple# This theorem states that in any hori0ontally movin fluid the pressure in!reases as the velo!ity de!reases# Got it+ The !on!ept may row more interestin when seen in relation to a tennis %all# *ir is a fluid that moves hori0ontally in respe!t to a tennis %all movin from one side of the net to the other# The pressure of that air on the %all affe!ts its fli ht# When the %all is hit with topspin-that is" with the top of the %all spinnin in the same dire!tion as the fli ht of the %all -the relative velo!ity

of air will %e least at the top of the %all# Thus" a!!ordin to Bernoulli-s :rin!iple" the pressure at the top of the %all will %e reatest# This hi her pressure tends to push the %all toward the round# Conversely" when a %all is hit with underspin-with the %ottom of the %all movin in the same dire!tion as its fli ht-the reater #pressure at the %ottom tends to (eep the %all from droppin # Even if you didn-t fully understand the theory" I re!ommend an e$periment if you aren-t already aware of the effe!t of spin on the fli ht of the %all# Birst hit several %alls hard with heavy underspin# C9o this %y ta(in your %a!(swin a%ove the level of the %all and sli!in down throu h it" finishin with your ra!(et %elow the level of impa!t with the %all#D Wat!h the %all-s fli ht !arefully# 4ot only will it tend to float" %ut if you hit with enou h underspin" you may even see it rise a%ove the level of its ori inal tra'e!tory# 4e$t" hit several %alls with topspin# Topspin is %est a!hieved %y ta(in a low %a!(swin and finishin with a follow-throu h at shoulder level or hi her# In this way" the ra!(et %rushes the %all upward# If the ra!(et fa!e has %een flat throu hout the stro(e" you will noti!e that the %alls first tend to rise" and then to dive down toward the !ourt# 4ow" hittin with medium to heavy topspin" try to hit the %all out# If you aim one or two feet over the net" you will e$perien!e how diffi!ult it is to hit a topspin %all out# The more topspin" the more diffi!ult it is# It-s fun to find a way to stro(e the %all whi!h ma(es it hard to hit out5 E8 Ground Stro(es EH The !lear lesson to %e learned is that topspin %alls !an %e hit quite hi h over the net without oin out of the !ourt# This allows you a wide mar in for error and in!reases !onsisten!y# 6n the other hand" a stro(e hit with underspin must %e hit lower to the net to %e (ept in the !ourt" thus in!reasin the !han!es of error# * smooth and low %a!(swin is the (ey to a!hievin topspin" and is usually the first !omponent of a round stro(e whi!h should %e mastered# The reason is simple) most of the %ad ha%its whi!h players a!!umulate in their round stro(es are !aused %y their 'ury-ri ed attempts to (eep their shots from sailin out# Lsually the first thin a player will try is rollin his ra!(et over after hittin the %all# Lnfortunately" this may wor( a few times" en!oura in the repetition of the %ehavior# But in!onsisten!y soon sets in %e!ause of the diffi!ulty of (nowin 'ust how mu!h and 'ust when to turn the ra!(et fa!e# 4e$t the player may try shortenin his follow-throu h" or not steppin into the %all# Both these devi!es deprive the stro(e of power and don-t help mu!h in (eepin the %all in the !ourt# Common sense may then di!tate ta(in the ra!(et %a!( hi her and levelin out the swin . surely this will (eep the %all lower# But thou h the %all may %e !loser to the round as it passes over the net" it will la!( topspin and tend to sail out-e$a!tly

the opposite of the intended result# The ne$t !ommon step is to ta(e the ra!(et still hi her on the %a!(swin " and soon the player is hittin the %all with underspin and has a very small mar in for error# Contrary to !ommon sense" it is a low %a!(swin whi!h helps to (eep round stro(es from flyin out# If a player ta(es his ra!(et %a!( enou h %elow the level of the %all to produ!e medium topspin" he frees himself from the need to !ompli!ate his stro(e with other devi!es for !ontrollin the %all# Burthermore" when he dis!overs how diffi!ult it is to hit a topspin %all out" he %e ins to hit stron ly with !onfiden!e" steppin into the %all without fear that it will sail out# In short" when hittin round stro(es" allow your %ody to turn sideways to the net" drawin the ra!(et %a!( %elow the level of the %all C%etween the (nee and waist for a waist-hi h %allD" pausin when it is a%out perpendi!ular to the %ase line# Then" (eepin the ra!(et as flat as you would if hittin it with your hand" let it swin forward to meet the %all at a point even with your front foot" and then follow throu h to a%out shoulder level# Consider the ra!(et an e$tension of your arm" and the ra!(et fa!e your hand# /it the %all as if you were hittin your hand# Let the stro(e %e natural. let it remain simple# If you do" you won-t et involved with varyin the fa!e of your ra!(et" with fli!(s of the wrist" or with other !ompli!ations that ma(e for in!onsistent stro(es# ;emem%er) simpli!ity is the (ey to !onsisten!y# Summary Even if you develop perfe!t footwor( and ra!(et wor(" it will %e impossi%le to a!hieve !onsisten!y" power or a!!ura!y if you don-t dis!over a sense of timin # Timin is a !ompli!ated matter" so one shouldn-t thin( a%out it# /owever" one should pay attention to it# Bor instan!e" hit several %alls while ivin !lose attention to where your ra!(et head is at the moment the %all lands on your side of the !ourt# 9on-t try to ta(e your ra!(et %a!( early. simply o%serve how you naturally ta(e it %a!( in relation to the on!omin %all# &any %e inners wait for the %all to %oun!e %efore %e innin their swin . as a result they are usually rushed# Some players have trained themselves always to %e prepared %y ta(in their ra!(et %a!( as qui!(ly as possi%le. these players often lose their natural sense of rhythm and find themselves waitin with their ra!(et %a!( %efore hittin # 4e$t hit a few %alls while o%servin where your ra!(et meets the %all# 9on-t try to do what you thin( is 1ri ht1. merely o%serve where" in relation to your front foot" your ra!(et meets the %all# 4ote this as pre!isely as you !an# :erhapsat first the point of impa!t will vary" %ut %efore lon it will tend to %e!ome !onsistent as you pay attention to it# Bor most people it !omes to feel natural and %est when the %all is met a%out even with the front foot on the forehand" and a few in!hes ahead of the front foot on the %a!(hand# 2# Ba!(swin ) E$a!tly where do you pla!e your ra!(et head on the %a!(swin + What happens to the fa!e of the ra!(et+ ># Impa!t) Can you feel the ra!(et impartin topspin to the %all+

3# Bollow-throu h) Where does your ra!(et finish+ In what dire!tion+ Is the fa!e flat+ K# Bootwor() *re you flowin into the %all with !onfiden!e+ What isyour wei ht doin at the moment of impa!t+ 9o you retreat as the %all approa!hes+ What (ind of %ase do you hit from+ =# Timin ) Where is your ra!(et head Clevel and dire!tionD at the moment the %all %oun!es+ Where doyouma(e !onta!t with the %all relative to your front foot+ ;emem%er to use the a%ove !he!(points not to tell yourself how to hit the %all" %ut as points of o%servation# Simply pay attention to ea!h of these elements one at a time" and allow the pro!ess to %rin you to the most natural and effe!tive way forNou to hit forehands and %a!(hands# The ,olley To understand the volley it is helpful to ta(e a ood loo( at the situation that presents itself when you are standin at the net in volley position# Brom near the net it is possi%le to hit almost any spot in the !ourt and at an les that are eometri!ally impossi%le when hittin from the %a!(!ourt# There is no way an opponent !an !over all the shots that !an %e hit from the net# In addition" sin!e you are almost twi!e as !lose to your opponent than usual" he has only half the time to rea!t to the shot you hit# /en!e" when you are at net" you are in an offensive position with many opportunities# The !loser to the net you meet the %all" the more opportunities you have# ;eali0e also that you too have only half the normal time to respond to your opponent-s shot" so %e very alert5 This fa!t overns the two !ardinal prin!iples of effe!tive volleyin # Birst" do not ta(e a %a!(swin . you seldom have time# Se!ondly" meet the hallos far out in front of you as you !omforta%ly !an# It-s almost impossi%le to hit a volley too early# In front of you is where the %all !an %est %e seen. in front of you is where you have the %est an les. in front of you is where you will find power in your volley# If you really want to hit the volley in front of you" you will find that the most effe!tive footwor( and ra!(et wor( will !ome into %ein quite automati!ally# It will also require of you the alertness that is indispensa%le to effe!tive volleyin # CSee Chapter <" 1Con!entration@-D The reatest pro%lem most players have with the volley is that they simply do not en'oy the stro(e enou h# To volley well" you must really want to# Then you will %e!ome alert" will anti!ipate ea!h %all" and will step forward to meet it# But if you have the idea that you don-t volley well" you are apt to hesitate" and if you fear it" you are apt to step %a!( instead of forward# ,olleyin !an %e the most e$!itin part of tennis" and the most fun# If you do not find this so" I re!ommend a little pra!ti!e of the art of pro rammin %y identity CChapter KD# 9o some role-playin " a!tin the part of a !onfident" qui!( volleyer# Get into the role" and if you ive it a !han!e" the ne!essary %ehavior will follow your assumed attitude#

Try the spa!e theory of the volley# *s you are a%out to volley" not only wat!h the %all %ut %e aware of the top of the net# See the spa!e %etween the %all and the top of the net e$tendin as a re!tanular !orridor to the !ourt and pun!h the %all throu h that spa!e# The hi her the %all is over the net" the more spa!e you have to pun!h it throu h" so et to the %all early# Let yourself %e qui!(. let yourself pun!h the %all throu h the spa!e and down into the !ourt# 8? The Serve 82 /owever" sometimes it is impossi%le to rea!h the %all %efore it has dipped %elow the level of the net# In this !ase you have to %end your (nees" wat!h the %all" %e aware of the top of the net" and let yourself %e firm" yet more deli!ate# Compare how it is to hit a volley from %elow with hittin it from a%ove. this will in!rease your in!entive to meet the %all %efore it has time to drop# 4ever wait for the %all to !ome to you when at net. as( your %ody to sprin forward# Be very alert# Compared with the other stro(es of tennis" the serve is the most !ompli!ated# Both arms are involved in the stro(e" and your servin arm is ma(in simultaneous movements in the shoulder" el%ow and wrist# The movements of the serve are mu!h too !ompli!ated for Self 2 to learn and to try to apply# Let Self > wat!h some professionals serve# Stan Smith-s serve is an e$!ellent model for men" and Billy Jean Ain -s for women# Wat!h these serves !arefully" then imitate the motions and rhythm with your own ra!(et# If you are wat!hin T," pra!ti!e ri ht in front of your set# If you find this imitation diffi!ult" perhaps you are thin(in too hard a%out it# 6ne way to et into the natural motion of the serve is to e$perien!e how mu!h servin is li(e throwin # Throw a tennis %all over the net with your servin arm# Then repeat the motion very slowly" e$perien!in the movement of your arm# If you have an old ra!(et" o to an open area of rass and wind up and throw your ra!(et hi h into the air with an overhand motion# The way one throws is usually the most natural way to serve# The (ey position in %oth throwin and servin is with the el%ow hi h" and with the ra!(et droppin down your %a!(# ;eali0e that as in throwin " most of the power of the serve !omes from the snap of the wrist# &ost people serve with less power than they are !apa%le of %e!ause they do not allow the wrist to snap fully# There are two !ommon reasons for this# 6ne is that the player is often tryin so hard to hit the %all with for!e that he rips his ra!(et too hard# Grip your ra!(et handle with all your stren th and see how infle$i%le your wrist %e!omes# The ra!(et must %e held firmly" %ut not so ti htly that your wrist %e!omes infle$i%le# Grip your handle as you would a %ird) not so ti htly that you squee0e the life from it" and not so loosely that it will es!ape# 8>

The se!ond !ommon reason for limited wrist snap is the use of a rip that lo!(s the wrist# The !loser you are to a %a!(hand rip" the more wrist snap is possi%le# :eople who serve with a Western forehand rip will find they !an rotate their wrist only <? de rees# Their ra!(et e$tends %a!( a little farther than to a verti!al an le relative to the !ourt and snaps throu h a <?-de ree ar! until the ra!(et is parallel to the !ourt# With an Eastern forehand rip-that is" with the 1,12 %etween thum% and forefin er !entered on top of the ra!(et-most wrists are a%le to !o!( %a!( an additional >? de rees and to follow throu h fifteen de rees %elow the hori0ontal# With a %a!(hand rip" as mu!h as an additional 3? de rees of ar! is possi%le# The reater the ar! of wrist snap possi%le" the reater the for!e that !an %e enerated" so allow your wrist to %e fle$i%le and swin in its reatest possi%le ar!# Be inners may not find it a simple matter to %e in servin with the %a!(hand rip# I would re!ommend that they start with an Eastern forehand rip and slowly ed e over toward the %a!(hand rip as it rows more !omforta%le# *llow at least a year to !omplete the !han e# *!onsistent toss is indispensa%le to a!hievin a !onsistent serve# If the %ody has to swin'# differently on every serve to o after tosses whi!h vary in hei ht and pla!ement" howr !an it develop a uniform motion and rhythm+ To toss the %all !onsistently" let your movement %e as smooth as an elevator# /old the %all in the !ushions of your first three fin ers" drop your arm to your le " then lift it as slowly and evenly as an elevator# ;elease the %all at the top floor %y openin your fin ers# *s( your %ody to lift the %all 'ust a little hi her than the full e$tension of your arm and ra!(et# *s( yourself to pla!e the %all sli htly in front and to the outsideof your front foot# ,isuali0e the spot in the air where you want the %all to %e tossed" and then as( yourself to put it there# 9on-t try to !orre!t faulty tosses-and don-t hit faulty tosses# Simply repro ram and let your %ody do it# Self > will ma(e all the ne!essary !orre!tions# The pro%lem of rhythm in the serve is !ompli!ated %e!ause the two arms must move in !oordination with ea!h other# Wat!h Stan Smith serve# Startin with his ri ht and left hands to ether" %oth drop at the same time# The ri ht arm drops down until the ra!(et is 'ust past the verti!al with the !ourt" andat the same time the left arm drops down toward his left thi h# Then %oth arms rise to ether at appro$imately thesame rateof speed# &ovin the arms to ether in this manner a!hieves a natural rhythm and allows for an unrushed yet powerful motion# &any players fail to ta(e the tossin arm down to the le " and are therefore for!ed either to move the servin arm very fast" or to throw the %all very hi h to ive the servin arm time to !omplete its full swin # O O M The 6verhead

Smash When servin " don-t simply aim for the !ourt. et into the ha%it of aimin for aparti!ular spot# Ima ine !learly the entire path of the %all" noti!in e$a!tly whi!h square in the net the %all should pass over and at what hei ht# 9on-t worry whether you hit your spot" %ut if you ive your !omputer a %ull-s-eye to aim at" your per!enta e of faults will de!rease appre!ia%ly# ;emem%er) after aimin for your spot" don-t try to hit it# Let Self > ta(e !are of that# Self 2 pi!(s the spot and then simply o%serves how Self > performs# Eliminate e o involvement in your serve and you wrill eliminate frustration# Eliminate frustration" and you will find yourself servin a!!urately# The overhead smash is even more !omple$ than the serve" %ut the motion is very similar# I have only a few thin s to say a%out the smash other than that a ain you should try to imitate the stro(e and rhythm of an e$perien!ed player# The smash is similar to the serve" the only differen!e %ein that youropponent has tossed the %all up for you# Lsually it is hi h" and farfrom where you are standin # This !reates a diffi!ult pro%lem of timin whi!h only your %uilt-in !omputer is !apa%le of solvin # /ow fast is the %all !omin down+ When must I %e in my swin in order to meet the %all at the hi hest point+ Self > !an only solve this pro%lem with !onsisten!y if it has e$perien!ed a lot of %alls droppin toward it from different hei hts and tra'e!tories" so pra!ti!e is required# Let your !omputer learn# 9on-t 'am its system %y tryin to fi ure it out yourself" or %y ettin dis!oura ed if you miss a few# Wat!h the %all !arefully. wat!h its seams spinnin a%ove you# It-s a oodideato let your left hand point toward the %all as it falls# &a(e the timin easier %y ta(in an a%%reviated %a!(swin # Ta(e your ra!(et dire!tly %ehind your %a!( and (eep it !o!(ed and ready for the ri ht moment to swin throu h# Let your %ody de!ide when the time is ri ht. it will learn qui!(ly if you let it# 7ou !an also help yourself hit de!isive smashes %y never %ein surprised when your opponent lo%s# If you e$pe!t him to lo%" you will have a split-se!ond more to et into position# *s soon as you see a lo%" turn sidewise and ta(e your ra!(et %a!(. then let your %ody move qui!(ly under the %all" s(ippin %a!(ward or forward in a sidewise position# Let your %ody %e a ressive# Smash the %all. don-t pat it %a!(# There is somethin in Self > whi!h wants to let out all the stops# The overhead smash is one of the few stro(es it !an hit with a%andon" without worry a%out hittin it too hard" so let it# But don-t try to help it hit hard %y usin all your arm mus!les# Self > (nows whi!h mus!les to use# Let it e$periment" and you-ll find yourself hittin smashes that don-t !ome %a!(# Trust yourself and have fun# 83 The previous !hapter may have iven you some ideas a%out !han es you would li(e to ma(e in your tennis stro(es# The aim of this !hapter is to summari0e the Inner Game method of how to effe!t su!h !han es so that they %e!ome a spontaneous part of

your %ehavior# Tips are a dime a do0en" and there are ood ones and %ad ones# But what is more diffi!ult to !ome %y is a wor(a%le way to apply tips" to repla!e one pattern of %ehavior with a new one# It is in the pro!ess of !han in ha%its that most players e$perien!e the reatest diffi!ulty# When one learns how to %rea( aha%it" it is a relatively simple matter to learn whi!h ones to %rea(# 6n!e you learn how to learn" you have only to dis!over what is worth learnin # Summari0ed %elow is what !ould %e !alled anew way of learnin # *!tually" it is not new at all. it is the oldest and most natural way of learnin -simply a method of for ettin the unnatural ways of learnin whi!h we have a!!umulated# Why is it so easy for a !hild to pi!( up a forei n lan ua e+ :rimarily %e!ause he hasn-t learned how to interfere with his own natural" untau ht learnin pro!ess# The Inner Game way of learnin is a return to this !hildli(e way# By the word 1learnin 1 I do not mean the !olle!tion of information" %ut the reali0ation of somethin whi!h a!tually !han es one-s %ehavior-either e$ternal %ehavior" su!h as a tennis stro(e" or internal %ehavior" su!h as a pattern of thou ht# We all develop !hara!teristi! patterns of a!tin and thin(in " and ea!h su!h pattern e$ists %e!ause it serves a fun!tion# The time for !han e !omes when we reali0e that the same fun!tion !ould %e served in a %etter way# Ta(e the ha%it of rollin one-s ra!(et over after hittin a forehand# This %ehavior is an attempt to (eep the %all from oin out" and it e$ists to produ!e the desired result# But when the player reali0es that %y the proper use of topspin the %all !an %e (ept in the !ourt without the ris(s of error involved in a roll-over follow-throu h" then the old ha%it is ready to %e dropped# It is mu!h more diffi!ult to %rea( a ha%it when there is no adequate repla!ement for it# This diffi!ulty often e$ists when we %e!ome moralisti! a%out our tennis ame# If a player reads in a %oo( that it is wron to roll his ra!(et over" %ut is not offered a %etter way to (eep the %all in the !ourt" it will ta(e a reat deal of will power to (eep his ra!(et flat when he-s worried a%out the %all flyin out of the !ourt# *s soon as this player ets into a ame" you !an %e sure that he will revert to the stro(e that ave some sense of se!urity that his %all would not sail out# 88 The Groove /a%its It is not helpful to !ondemn our present %ehavior patternsin this !ase our present imperfe!t stro(es-as 1%ad1. it is helpful to see what fun!tion these ha%its are servin " so that if we learn a %etter way to a!hieve the same end" we !an do so# We never repeat any %ehavior whi!h isn-t servin some fun!tion or purpose# It is diffi!ult to %e!ome awareof the fun!tionof any pattern of %ehavior while we are in the pro!ess of %lamin ourselves for havin a 1%ad ha%it#1 But when we stop tryin to suppress or !orre!t the ha%it" we !an see the fun!tion it serves" and then an alternative pattern

of %ehavior" whi!h serves the same fun!tion %etter" emer es quite effortlessly# 6ne hears a lot of tal( a%out roovin one-s stro(es in tennis# The theory is a simple one) every time you swin your ra!(et in a !ertain way" you in!rease the pro%a%ilities that you will swin that way a ain# In this way patterns" !alled rooves" %uild up whi!h have a predisposition to repeat themselves# Golfers use the same term# It is as if the nervous system were li(e a re!ord dis(# Every time an a!tion is performed" a sli ht impression is made in the mi!ros!opi! !ells of the %rain" 'ust as a leaf %lowin over a fine- rained %ea!h of sand will leave its faint tra!e# When the same a!tion is repeated" the roove is made sli htly deeper# *fter many similar a!tions there is a more re!o ni0a%le roove into whi!h the needle of %ehavior seems to fall automati!ally# Then the %ehavior !an %e termed rooved# Be!ause these patterns are servin a fun!tion" the %ehavior is reinfor!ed or rewarded and tends to !ontinue# The deeper the roove in the nervous system" the harder it seems to %e to %rea( the ha%it# We have all had the e$perien!e of de!idin that we will not hit a tennis %all a !ertain way a ain# Bor e$ample" it would seem to %e a simple matter to (eep your eye on the %all on!e you understand the o%vious %enefits of doin so# But time and a ain we ta(e our eye off it# 6ften" in fa!t" the harder we try to %rea( a ha%it" the harder it %e!omes# If you wat!h a player tryin to !orre!t the ha%it of rollin his ra!(et over" he will usually %e seen rittin his teeth and e$ertin all his will power to et out of his old roove# Wat!h his ra!(et# *fter it hits the %all it will %e in to turn over" followin the old pattern. then his mus!les will ti hten and for!e it to return to the flat position# 7ou !an see in the resultin waver e$a!tly where the old ha%it was halted and the new will power too( over# Lsually the %attle is won only after a reat deal of stru le and frustration over the !ourse of some time# 8H It is a painful pro!ess to fi ht one-s way out of a deep mental roove# It-s li(e di in yourself out of a tren!h# But there is a natural and more !hildli(e method# * !hild doesn-t di his way out of his old rooves. he simply starts new ones5 The roove may %e there" %ut you-re not in it unless you put yourself there# If you thin( you are !ontrolled %y a %ad ha%it" then you will feel you have to try to %rea( it# * !hild doesn-t have to %rea( the ha%it of !rawlin " %e!ause he doesn-t thin( he has a ha%it# /e simply leaves it as he finds wal(in an easier way to et around# /a%its are statements a%out the past" and the past is one# I-m not even sure it e$ists" sin!e I don-t e$perien!e it e$!ept as a memory or as a !on!ept in the present# There may %e a deep roove in the nervous system whi!h will ta(e your forehand on the rollover trip if you !hoose to step into that tren!h. on the other hand" your mus!les are as !apa%le as they ever were of swin in your

ra!(et throu h flat# There is no need to strain all the mus!les in the arm to (eep the ra!(et flat. in fa!t" it requires fewer mus!les to (eep it flat than it does to roll it over# Bi htin the fantasy of old ha%its is what !auses the !ons!ientious tennis player to strain and ti hten unne!essarily# In short" there is no need to fi ht old ha%its# Start new ones# It is the resistin of an old ha%it that puts you in that tren!h# Startin a new pattern is easy when done with !hildli(e disre ard for ima ined diffi!ulties# 7ou !an prove this to yourself %y your own e$perien!e# /ere is a simple summary of the traditional way we have %een tau ht to learn" !ontrasted with the Inner Game of learnin # E$periment with this method and you will dis!over a wor(a%le way to ma(e any desired !han e in your ame# 8< &a(in a Chan e in Stro(e" Step %y Step Step 2) 6%servation Where do you want to start+ What part of your ame needs attention+ It is not always the stro(e that you 'ud e as worst whi!h is the most ready for !han e# It is ood to pi!( the stro(e you most want to !han e# Let the stro(e tell you if it wants to !han e# When you want to !han e what is ready to !han e" then the pro!ess flows# Bor e$ample" let-s assume it is your serve that you de!ide to fo!us your attention on# The first step is to for et all the ideas you may have in your mind a%out what is wron with it as it is# Erase all your previous ideas and %e in servin without e$er!isin any !ons!ious !ontrol over your stro(e# 6%serve your serve freshly" as it is1ow# Let it fall into its own roove for %etter or worse# Be in to %e interested in it and e$perien!e it as fully as you !an# 4oti!e how you stand and distri%ute your wei ht %efore %e innin your motion# Che!( your rip and the initial position of your ra!(et# ;emem%er" ma(e no !orre!tions. simply o%serve without interferin # 4e$t" et in tou!h with the rhythm of your servin motion# Beel the path of your ra!(et as it des!ri%es its swin # Then serve several %alls and wat!h only your wrist motion# Is your wrist lim%er or ti ht+ 9oes it have a full snap or somethin less+ &erely wat!h# *lso o%serve your toss durin several serves# E$perien!e your tossin motion# 9oes the %all o to the same spot ea!h time+ Where is that spot+ Binally" %e!ome aware of your follow-thro u h# Before lon you will feel that you (now your serve very well as it is presently rooved# 7ou may also %e aware of the results of your motionthat is" the num%er of %alls hit into the net" the speed and a!!ura!y of those that rea!h the far !ourt# *wareness of what is# without 'ud ment" is rela$in " and is the %est pre!ondition for !han e#

It is not unli(ely that durin this o%servation period some !han es have already %e un to ta(e pla!e unintentionally# If so" let the pro!ess !ontinue# There-s nothin wron with ma(in un!ons!ious !han es. you avoid the !ompli!ation of thin(in that you made the !han e" and thus of the need to remind yourself howr to do it# *fter you have wat!hed and felt your serve for five minutes or so" you may have a stron idea a%out the parti!ular element of the stro(e that needs attention# *s( your serve how it wrould li(e to %e different# &ay%e it wants a more fluid rhythm. may%e it wants more power" or a reater amount of spin# If <? per!ent of the %alls are oin into the net" it-s pro%a%ly quite o%vious what needs to !han e# In any !ase" let yourself feel the !han e most desired" then o%serve a few more serves# H? Step >) :ro rammin Step 3) Let It /appen H2 Let-s assume that what is desired in your serve is more power# The ne$t step is to pro ram yourself for more power# 6ne way to do this mi ht %e to wat!h the motion of someone who ets a lot of power in his serve# 9on-t overanaly0e. simply a%sor% what you see and try to feel what he feels# Listen to the sound of the %all after it hits the ra!(et and wat!h the results# Then ta(e some time to ima ine yourself hittin the %all with power" usin the stro(e whi!h is natural to you# In your mind-seye" pi!ture yourself servin " fillin in as mu!h visual and ta!tile detail as you !an# /ear the sound at impa!t and see the %all speed toward the servi!e !ourt# /old this mental ima e for a minute or so" then as( your %ody to do whatever is ne!essary to produ!e the desired power# Be in servin a ain" %ut with no !ons!ious effort to !ontrol your stro(e# In parti!ular" resist any temptation to try to hit the %all harder# Simply let your serve %e in to serve itself# /avin as(ed for more power" 'ust let it happen# See if your %ody has fi ured out how to produ!e what you want# This isn-t ma i!" so ive your %ody a!han!e to e$plore the possi%ilities# But no matter what the results" (eep Self 2 out of it# If in!reased power doesnot !ome immediately" don-t for!e it# Trust the pro!ess" and let it happen# If after a short while the serve does not seem to %e movin in the dire!tion of in!reased power" you may want to return to Step 2# *s( yourself what is inhi%itin speed# If you don-t !ome up with an answer" you mi ht as( a pro to ta(e a loo(# Let-s say the pro o%serves that you are not ettin a ma$imum wrist snap at the top of your swin # /e may o%serve that one reason is that you are holdin your ra!(et too ti htly to allow for fle$i%ility# The ha%it of holdin the ra!(et ti htly and swin in with a stiff wrist usually !omes from a !ons!ious attempt to hit the %all hard# So now you are ready for repro rammin # Let your hand e$perien!e what it feels li(e to hold your ra!(et with medium firm-

ness# Show your wrist what it feels li(e to move in a full" fle$i%le ar!# 9on-t assume you (now 'ust %e!ause you-ve %een shown. let yourself feel the wrist motion intimately# If you are in any dou%t" as( the pro to show you the motion" not tell you a%out it# Then" in your mind-s eye ima ine your servin motion" this time seein distin!tly your wrist movin from a fully !o!(ed position" rea!hin up to the s(y" then snappin down until it points to the !ourt on the follow-throu h# *fter you have fi$ed the ima e of your new wrist motion" serve a ain# ;emem%er that if you try to snap your wrist" it will pro%a%ly ti hten" so 'ust let it o# Let it %e fle$i%le. allow it to snap in an ever-in!reasin ar! as mu!h as it wants to# En!oura e it" %ut don-t for!e it# 4ot tryin does not mean %ein limp# 9is!over for yourself what it does mean# The Lsual Way of Learnin Step 2 Criti!i0e or Jud e :ast Behavior E$amples) I-m hittin my forehand rotten a ain today # # # 9ammit" why do I (eep missin those easy setups # # # I-m not doin anythin the !oa!h told me to do in my last lesson# 7ou were reat rallyin " now you-re playin worse than your randmother # # # PQRCMRCP5 CThe a%ove is usually delivered in a punitive" %elittlin tone#D Step > Tell 7ourself to Chan e" Instru!tin with Word Commands ;epeatedly E$amples) Aeep your ra!(et low" (eep your ra!(et low" (eep your ra!(et low# /it the %all in front of you" in front" in front# # # 4o" dammit" further5 9on-t fli!( your wrist" (eep it stiff # # # 7ou stupid %um" you did it a ain # # # Toss the %all ood and hi h this time" then rea!h up" remem%er to snap your wrist" and don-t !han e rips in midserve# /it this one into the !ross!ourt !orner# I-ll try harder ne$t time5 Step 3 Try /ard. &a(e 7ourself 9o It ;i ht In this step" Self 2" the e o-mind" havin told Self > what to do" tries to !ontrol the a!tion# Lnne!essary %ody and fa!ial mus!les are used# There is a ti htness whi!h prevents ma$imum fluidity of stro(e and pre!ision of movement# Self > is not trusted# Step K Criti!al Jud ment a%out ;esults Leadin to ;epetition of :ro!ess When one has tried hard to perform an a!tion 1ri ht"1 it is diffi!ult not to %e!ome either frustrated at failure or e$!ited %y su!!ess# Both these emotions are distra!tin to one-s !on!entration" and prevent full e$perien!in of what happens# 4e ative 'ud ment of the results of one-s efforts tends to ma(e one try even harder. positive evaluation tends to ma(e one try to for!e oneself into the same pattern on the ne$t shot# Both positive

and ne ative thin(in inhi%it spontaneity# H> The Inner Came Way of Learnin Step 2 6%serve" 4on'ud mentally" E$istin Behavior E$amples) The last three of my %a!(hands landed lon " %y a%out two feet# &y ra!(et seems to %e hesitatin " instead of followin throu h all the way# &ay%e I should o%serve the level of my %a!(swin # # # 7es" I thou ht so" it-s well a%ove my waist # # # There" that shot ot hit with more pa!e" yet it stayed in# CThe a%ove is delivered in an interested" somewhat deta!hed tone#D Step > *s( 7ourself to Chan e" :ro rammin with Ima e and Beel 4o !ommands are used# Self > is as(ed to perform in the desired way to a!hieve the desired results# Self > is shown %y use of visual ima e and felt a!tion any element of stro(e desired# If you wish the %all to o to the !ross!ourt !orner" you simply ima ine the ne!essary path of the %all to the tar et" and feed it into the !omputer as a pro%lem to %e solved# 9o not try to !orre!t for errors# Step 3 Let it /appen5 /avin requested your %ody to perform a !ertain a!tion" ive it the freedom to do it# The %ody is trusted" without the !ons!ious !ontrol of mind# The serve seems to serve itself# Effort is initiated %y Self >" %ut there is no tryin %y Self 2# Lettin it happen doesn-t mean oin limp. it means lettin Self > use only the mus!les ne!essary for the 'o%# 4othin is for!ed. you flow as surely and powerfully as a river# Step K 4on'ud mental" Calm 6%servation of the ;esults Leadin to Continuin 6%servation of :ro!ess until Behavior Is in *utomati! Thou h the player (nows his oal" he is not emotionally involved in a!hievin it and is therefore a%le to wat!h the results !almly and e$perien!e the pro!ess# By so doin " !on!entration is %est a!hieved" as is learnin at its hi hest rate of speed. repro rammin is only ne!essary when results do not !onform to the ima e iven# 6therwise only !ontinuin o%servation of the %ehavior under oin !han e is ne!essary# Wat!h it !han e. don-t do the !han in # H3 Step K) 6%servation *s you are lettin your serve serve itself" your 'o% is simply to

o%serve# Wat!h the pro!ess without e$er!isin !ontrol over it# If you feel you want to help" don-t# But don-t wat!h with deta!hed o%'e!tivity. wat!h with faith# *!tively trust your %ody to respond to your pro rammin # The more you !an %rin yourself to put trust in the natural pro!ess that is at wor(" the less you will tend to fall into the usual interferin patterns of tryin hard" 'ud in and thin(in -and the frustration that inevita%ly follows# 9urin this pro!ess it is still important to have a !ertain la!( of !on!ern for where the %all is oin # *s you allow one element of a stro(e to !han e" others will %e affe!ted# *s you in!rease your wrist snap" you will alter your rhythm and timin # Initially this may result in in!onsisten!y" %ut if you !ontinue with the pro!ess" simply allowin the serve to serve itself while you remain attentive and patient" the other elements of the serve will ma(e the needed ad'ustments# Sin!e power is a fun!tion of more than the wrist" after your snap is automati! you may want to let your attention shift to your toss" your %alan!e or some other element# 6%serve these" pro ram if ne!essary" and let it happen# Serve until you have reason to %elieve that a roove has %een esta%lished# To test if the roove is there" serve a few %alls with all your attention solely on the %all# Be en rossed in the seams of the %all as you throw the %all into the air so that you are sure that your mind is not tellin your %ody what to do# If the serve is servin itself in the new manner" a roove has automati!ally %een started# The pro!ess is an in!redi%ly simple one# The important thin is to e$perien!e it# 9on-t intelle!tuali0e it# See what it feels li(e to as( yourself to do somethin and let it happen without any !ons!ious tryin # Bor most people it is a surprisin e$perien!e" and the results spea( for themselves# This method of learnin !an %e pra!ti!ed in most endeavors on or off the !ourt# The more you let yourself perform free of !ontrol on the tennis !ourt" the more !onfiden!e you tend to ain in the %eautiful me!hanism that is the human %ody# The more you trust it" the more !apa%le it seems to %e!ome# But there is one pitfall I should mention# I have noti!ed that after %ein thrilled %y the improvements they are a%le to ma(e in their tennis ame %y lettin it happen" students often revert the ne$t day to tryin as hard as usual# What is surprisin is that thou h they are playin mu!h worse tennis" they don-t seem to mind# *t first this pu00led me# Why would one o %a!( to lettin Self 2 !ontrol the show if the results were so !learly less effe!tive+ I HK had to sear!h myself for the answer# I reali0ed that there was a distin!tly different (ind of satisfa!tion ained in the two methods of hittin the %all# When you try hard to hit the %all !orre!tly" and it oes well" you et a !ertain (ind of e o satisfa!tion# 7ou feel that you are in !ontrol" that you are master of the situation# But when you simply allow the serve to serve itself" it doesn-t seem

as if you deserve the !redit# It doesn-t feel as if it were you who hit the %all# 7ou tend to feel ood a%out the a%ility of your %ody" and possi%ly even ama0ed %y the results" %ut the !redit and sense of personal a!!omplishment are repla!ed %y another (ind of satisfa!tion# If a person is out on the !ourt mainly to satisfy the desires and dou%ts of e o" it is li(ely that in spite of the lesser results" he will !hoose to let Self 2 play the ma'or role# When a player e$perien!es what it means to 1let o12 and allows Self > to play the ame" not only do his shots tend to ain a!!ura!y and power" %ut he feels an e$hilaratin sense of rela$ation even durin rapid movements# In an attempt to repeat this quality of performan!e" the player often allows Self 2 to !reep %a!( on the s!ene with a remar( su!h as" 14ow I-ve ot the se!ret to this ame. all I have to do is ma(e myself rela$#1 But of !ourse the instant I try to ma(e myself rela$" true rela$ation vanishes" and in its pla!e is a stran e phenomenon !alled --tryin to rela$#1 ;ela$ation happens only when allowed" never as a result of 1tryin 1 or 1ma(in #1 Self 2 should not %e e$pe!ted to ive up its !ontrol all at on!e. it %e ins to find its proper role only as one pro resses in the art of rela$ed !on!entration# H= H< Lp to this point we have %een dis!ussin the art of surrenderin Self 2-s !ontrol and lettin the %ody# Self >" play the ame spontaneously# The primary emphasis has %een on ivin pra!ti!al e$amples of the value of lettin o of 'ud in " thin(in too mu!h" and tryin too hard# But even if the reader is wholly !onvin!ed of the value of thus stillin the mind" he may find it diffi!ult to %lot out entirely these thin(in pro!esses# The quiet mind !annot %e a!hieved %y means of intelle!tual understandin # 6nly %y the e$perien!e of pea!e in a moment when the mind is relatively still is one suffi!iently en!oura ed to let o more !ompletely the ne$t time# ,ery radually one %e ins to trust the natural pro!esses whi!h o!!ur when the mind is less and less a!tive# Even when one has e$perien!ed the pra!ti!al %enefits of a still mind" he usually finds it a stran ely elusive state# In spite of the fa!t that I deliver my most effe!tive performan!e when I permit Self > to %e the only player of the ame" there is still a re!urrin impulse to thin( and to want to !ontrol my a!tions# I %e in to theori0e a%out how I !an a!hieve the same ood results a ain# I %e in to want to re ain !ommand# *t su!h moments I re!o ni0e this impulse as the seemin ly indomita%le e o wantin !redit" wishin to %e somethin it isn-t" and in the pro!ess spawnin an endless flow of distra!tin thou hts# ;e!ently I found myself a%le to let o of almost all !ons!ious effort on my serve and as a result the serve 'ust seemed to serve itself with rare !onsisten!y and power# Bor a period of a%out two wee(s <? per!ent of my first serves went in. I didn-t serve a sin le dou%le fault# Then one day my roommate" another professional"

!hallen ed me to a mat!h# I a!!epted" sayin half 'o(in ly" 1But you %etter wat!h out" I-ve found the se!ret to the serve#1 The ne$t day we played and I served two dou%le faults the first ame5 The moment I triedto apply some 1se!ret"1 Self 2 was %a!( in the pi!ture a ain" this time under the su%tle uise of 1tryin to let o#1 Self 2 wanted to show off to my roommate. it wanted the !redit# Even thou h I soon reali0ed what had happened" the ma i! of the spontaneous" effortless servin didn-t return in its same pure form# In short" the pro%lem of lettin o of Self 2 and its interferin a!tivities is not easy# * !lear understandin of the pro%lem !an help" %ut pra!ti!al demonstrations help more and pra!ti!in the pro!essof lettin o helps still more# 4evertheless" I do not %elieve that ultimately the mind !an %e !ontrolled %y the mere a!t of lettin o-that is" %y a simply passive pro!ess# To still the mind one must learn to put it somewhere# It !annot 'ust %e let o. it must %e 1par(ed#1 If pea( performan!e is a fun!tion of a still mind" then we are led to the question of where and how to par( it# If we a!hieve this" we have attained !on!entration# Con!entration is the a!t of fo!usin one-s attention# *s the mind is allowed to fo!us on a sin le o%'e!t" it stills# *s the mind is (ept in the present" it %e!omes !alm# Con!entration means (eepin the mind now and here# Con!entration is the supreme art %e!ause no art !an %e a!hieved without it" while with it" anythin !an %e a!hieved# 6ne !annot rea!h the limit of his a%ility in tennis without learnin it. what is even more !ompellin is that tennis !an %e a marvelous medium throu h whi!h s(ill in !on!entration !an %e developed# By learnin to !on!entrate while playin tennis" one develops a s(ill that !an hei hten his performan!e in every other aspe!t of his life# *ll that is needed to %e in pra!ti!in !on!entration is an appropriate o%'e!t on whi!h to fo!us your attention# In tennis the most !onvenient and pra!ti!al o%'e!t is the %all itself# :ro%a%ly the most often repeated di!tum in tennis is 1Wat!h the %all1. yet few players see it well# The instru!tion is an appeal for the player to !on!entrate# This does not mean to thin( a%out the %all" to !onsider how hi h it is passin over the net or what (ind of spin it has. one is simply as(ed to wat!h it# &ost players loo( at the %all" or the eneral area surroundin the %all" %ut most of the time fall far short of a!hievin !on!entration# They loo( at the %all" %ut at the same time they are thin(in a%out how they want to hit it" or a%out what the s!ore will %e if they miss it" or a%out the people tal(in on the sidelines# The !on!entrated mind does not admit su!h distra!tions" e$ternally or internally. it is totally en rossed in the o%'e!t of !on!entration# <? Wat!hin the Ball Wat!hin the %all means to fo!us your attention on the si ht of it#

I have found that the most effe!tive way to deepen !on!entration throu h si ht is to fo!us on somethin su%tle" not easily per!eived# It-s easy to see the %all" %ut not so easy to noti!e the e$a!t pattern made %y its seams as it spins# The pra!ti!e of wat!hin the seams produ!es interestin results# *fter a short time the player dis!overs that he is seein the %all mu!h %etter than when he was 'ust 1wat!hin 1 it# When loo(in for the pattern made %y the seams one naturally wat!hes the %all all the way to one-s ra!(et and %e ins to fo!us his attention on it earlier than %efore# The %all should %e wat!hed from the time it leaves the opponent-s ra!(et to the time it hits yours# CSometimes the %all even %e ins to appear %i er or to %e movin slower# These are natural results of the !on!entration of one-s !ons!ious ener y#D But seein the %all %etter is only a partial %enefit of fo!usin on its seams# Be!ause the pattern made %y the spinnin %all is so su%tle" it tends to en ross the mind more !ompletely# The mind is so a%sor%ed in wat!hin the pattern that it for ets to try too hard# To the e$tent that the mind is preo!!upied with the seams" it tends not to interfere with the natural movements of the %ody# Burthermore" the seams are always here and now" and if the mind is on them it is (ept from wanderin to the past or future# The pra!ti!e of this e$er!ise will ena%le the tennis player to a!hieve deeper and deeper states of !on!entration# &ost players who pra!ti!e seam-wat!hin as a dis!ipline find it helpful almost immediately" %ut after a while they often dis!over their minds wanderin a ain# The mind has diffi!ulty fo!usin on a sin le o%'e!t for an e$tended period of time# Even yo is who pra!ti!e !on!entratin on a sin le e$ternal o%'e!t" su!h as a rose or a flame" rarely su!!eed in stillin the mind for lon . it simply loses interest and then wanders# Let-s fa!e it) as interestin as a tennis %all may %e for some" it is not oin to easily !apture the %eeli(e mind so ha%ituated to flittin from flower to flower# 6n the other hand" the tennis %all has one quality whi!h ma(es it a very ood o%'e!t for !on!entration) it is movin # The mind is attra!ted %y o%'e!ts in motion. it has %een ever sin!e %irth# <2 The question arises) /ow do you in!rease your a%ility to maintain !on!entration on the %all for lon periods of time+ 6n this su%'e!t somethin !an %e learned from %ah(ti yo a# Bah(ti is the yo a that aims at a!hievin perfe!t !on!entration of mind throu h devotion# Indian yo is in parti!ular have re!o ni0ed the power of love in over!omin distra!tion of mind# Bah(ti yo a tea!hes that love of the o%'e!t of !on!entration ma(es it possi%le to fo!us one-s attention without waverin " and eventually to %e!ome one with that o%'e!t# There is a story told %y holy men in the East whi!h may ma(e this point more memora%le# * see(er after Truth sou ht out a yo a master and %e ed him to help him a!hieve the enli htenment of perfe!t union with his true self# The &aster told him to o into a

room and meditate on God for as lon as he !ould# *fter 'ust two hours the see(er emer ed distrau ht" sayin that he !ould not !on!entrate" sin!e his mind (ept thin(in a%out his mu!h %eloved %ull he had left at home# The &aster then told him to return to the room and meditateon his %ull# This time the would-%e yo i entered the room and after two days had still not emer ed# Binally the &aster !alled for him to !ome out# Brom within the see(er replied" 12 !annot. my horns are too wide to fit throu h the door#1 The see(er had rea!hed su!h a state of !on!entration that he had lost all sense of separation from his o%'e!t of !on!entration# *s silly as it may sound" one of the most pra!ti!al ways to in!rease !on!entration on the %all is to learn to love it5 Get to (now the tennis %all. appre!iate its qualities# Loo( at it !losely and noti!e the fine patterns made %y the nap# Bor et for a moment that it is a tennis %all and loo( freshly at its shape" its te$ture" its feel# Consider the inside of the %all and the role played %y the empty middle# *llow yourself to (now the %all %oth intelle!tually and throu h your senses# &a(e friends) do anythin to start a relationship with it# It will help !on!entration immeasura%ly# Con!entration is not starin hard at somethin # It is not tryin to !on!entrate. it is not thin(in hard a%out somethin # Con!entration is fas!ination of mind# When there is love present" the mind is drawn irresisti%ly toward the o%'e!t of love# It is effortless and rela$ed" not tense and purposeful# When wat!hin the seams of the %all" allow yourself to fall into rela$ed !on!entration# If your eyes are squintin or strainin " you are tryin too hard# Let the %all attra!t your mind" and %oth it and your mus!les will stay rela$ed# <> The tennis%all should %e wat!hed as an o%'e!t in motion# Wat!hin its seams helps fo!us your attention on the o%'e!t itself" %ut it is 'ust as important to in!rease your awareness of the fli ht of ea!h %all as it moves toward you" and then a ain as it leaves your ra!(et# &y favorite fo!us of !on!entration durin a point is on the parti!ular tra'e!tories of ea!h shot" %oth mine and my opponent-s# I noti!e the hei ht of the %all as it passes over the net" its apparent speed" and with utmost !are the an le at whi!h it rises after %oun!in # 2 also o%serve whether the %all is risin " fallin or at its ape$ in the instant %efore the ra!(et ma(es !onta!t# I ive the same !areful attention to the tra'e!tory of my own shot# Soon I %e!ome more and more aware of the rhythm of the alternatin shots of ea!h point" and am a%le to in!rease my sense of anti!ipation# It is this rhythm" %oth seen and heard" whi!h holds fa!ination for my mind and ena%les it to fo!us for lon periods of time without %e!omin distra!ted# <3 Listenin to the Ball

It rarely o!!urs to a player to listen to the %all" %ut I have found reat value in this form of !on!entration# When it hits your ra!(et" it ma(es a distin!t sound" the quality of whi!h varies !onsidera%ly" dependin on its pro$imity to the !enter of the ra!(et" the an le of the fa!e" the distri%ution of your wei ht" and where the %all is met# If you listen !losely to the sounds of one %all after another" you will soon %e a%le to distin uish a num%er of different (inds and qualitiesof sounds# Soon it is possi%le to re!o ni0e the sound produ!ed %y an overspin forehand hit squarely and an underspin forehand hit sli htly off !enter# 7ou will !ome to (now the sound of a flat %a!(hand" and to distin uish it from one hit with an open fa!e# 6ne day when I was pra!ti!in this form of !on!entration while servin " I %e an hittin the %all unusually well# I !ould hear a sharp !ra!( instead of the usual sound at the moment of impa!t# It sounded terrifi!" and the %all had more speed and a!!ura!y# *fter I reali0ed how well I was servin " I resisted the temptation to fi ure out why" and simply as(ed my %ody to do whatever was ne!essary to reprodu!e that 1!ra!(#1 I held the sound in my memory" and to my ama0ement my %ody reprodu!ed it time and a ain# Throu h this e$perien!e I learned how effe!tive the remem%erin of !ertain sounds !an %e as a !ue for the %uilt-in !omputer within our %rains# While one listens to the sounds of his forehand" he !an hold in his memory the sound that results from solid !onta!t. as a result" the %ody will tend to repeat the elements of %ehavior whi!h produ!ed that sound# This te!hnique !an %e parti!ularly useful in learnin the different (inds of serves# There is a distin!t differen!e in the sounds of a flat" sli!e" and twist serve# Similarly" one !an learn to a!hieve the desired amount of spin in a se!ond serve %y listenin !losely to the sounds of %alls hit with varyin amounts of spin# Burther" listenin to the sound of the %all when volleyin !an improve %oth volley footwor( and ra!(et wor(# When a volley is met squarely at 'ust the ri ht moment" the a!tion produ!es a wonderfully memora%le sound# Some players find the sound of the %all more mind-a%sor%in than wat!hin the seams %e!ause it is somethin they-ve never done %efore# *!tually there is no reason why %oth means of !on!entration !annot %e employed on ea!h shot" sin!e one need listen only at the instant of !onta!t# I have found that the pra!ti!e of listenin to the %all is %est used durin pra!ti!e# If you %e!ome sensitive to sound in pra!ti!e" you will find that you will then use sound automati!ally durin a mat!h to en!oura e the repetition of solid shots# The ha%it will in!rease the num%er of %alls hit in die !enter of your ra!(et# <K Beelin <= When I was twelve years old" I heard my pro say of my dou%les partner" 1/e really (nows where his ra!(et head is#1 I didn-t (now

what he meant" %ut I intuited its importan!e and never for ot the remar(# Bew players understand the importan!e of !on!entratin attention on the feel of the ra!(et as they are holdin it# There are two thin s that a player must (now on every shot) where the %all is and where his ra!(et is# If he loses !onta!t with either of these he is in trou%le# &ost players have learned to put visual attention on the %all" %ut many have only the va uest notion a%out where their ra!(et head is most of the time# The !riti!al time to (now the position of the ra!(et is when it is %ehind you" and this requires !on!entration throu h the sense of feel# 6n the forehand your hand is a%out ei hteen in!hes from the !enter of your ra!(et# This means that even a tiny !han e in the an le of your wrist !an produ!e a si nifi!ant differen!e in the position of the !enter of the ra!(et# Similarly" the sli htest !han e in the an le of the fa!e of the ra!(et !an have a su%stantial effe!t on the tra'e!tory of the %all# /en!e" to a!hieve !onsisten!y and a!!ura!y" you must %e!ome e$traordinarily sensitive to feel# It would %e useful for all tennis players to under o some 1sensitivity trainin 1 with their %odies# The easiest way to et su!h trainin is simply to fo!us your attention on your %ody durin pra!ti!e# Ideally" someone should throw %alls to you" or hit them so that they %oun!e in appro$imately the same spot ea!h time# Then" payin relatively little attention to the %all" you !an e$perien!e what it feels li(e to hit %alls the way you hit them# 7ou should spend some time merely feelin the e$a!t path of your ra!(et on your%a!(swin # The reatest attention should %e pla!ed on the feel of your arm and hand at the moment 'ust %efore they swin forward to meet the %all# *lso %e!ome sensitive to how the handle feels in your hand# *re you squee0in too hard+ There are many ways to in!rease one-s awareness of mus!le feel# 6ne is tota(eea!h of your stro(es in slow motion# Ea!h !an %e perf ormedas an e$er!ise" in whi!h all attention is pla!ed on the feel of the movin parts of the %ody# Get to (now the feel of every in!h of your stro(e"every mus!le in your %ody# Then when you in!rease your stro(e speed to normal and %e in hittin " you may %e parti!ularly aware of !ertain mus!les# Bor instan!e" when I hit my %est %a!(hands" I am aware that my shoulder mus!le" rather than my forearm" is pullin my arm throu h# By remem%erin the feel of that mus!le %efore hittin a %a!(hand" I pro ram myself to attain the full %enefit of the power it enerates# Similarly" on my forehand I am parti!ularly aware of my tri!eps when my ra!(et is %elow the %all# By %e!omin sensitive to the feel of that mus!le" I de!rease my tenden!y to ta(e my ra!(et %a!( too hi h# It is also important to %e!ome more aware of rhythm# 7ou !an reatly improve your power and timin merely %y payin attention durin pra!ti!e to the rhythm with whi!h you hit ea!h of your stro(es# Every player has a rhythm natural to himself# If you learn to !on!entrate on the sense of rhythm" it is not diffi!ult to fall into the rhythm most natural and effe!tive for you# ;hythm !an

never %e a!hieved %y %ein overly purposeful a%out it. you have to let it happen# But sensitivity to rhythm developed throu h !on!entration helps# Those who have pra!ti!ed !on!entratin on the feel of the path of their ra!(et usually find that without intentional effort their stro(e %e ins to slow down and to simplify# Both the rapid 'er(s and the fan!y stuff tend to disappear and !onsisten!y and power to in!rease# Just as it is helpful to %e!ome more aware of the sound of the %all" it is also useful to pra!ti!e fo!usin on the feel of the %all at impa!t# 7ou !an noti!e su%tle and not so su%tle differen!es in the vi%ration sent up your hand when the %all stri(es the ra!(et" dependin on where !onta!t is made" your distri%ution of wei ht" and the an le of the fa!e of your ra!(et# * ain" you !an pro ram the %est results %y remem%erin as pre!isely as possi%le the feel in your hand" wrist and arm after a ood solid hit# :ra!ti!in this (ind of feel develops what is !alled 1tou!h"1 and is parti!ularly %enefi!ial in hittin drop shots and lo%s# In short" %e!ome aware of your %ody# Anow what it feels li(e to move your %ody into position" as well as how it feels to swin your ra!(et# ;emem%er) it is almost impossi%le to feel or see anythin well if you are thin(in " a%out how you should %e movin # Bor et should-s and e$perien!e is# In tennis there are only one or two elements to %e aware of visually" %ut there are many thin s to feel# E$pandin sensory (nowled e of your %ody will reatly speed the pro!ess of developin s(ill# In the last E pa es" I have dis!ussed ways of sharpenin three of the five senses and e$pandin the awareness whi!h is re!eived throu h them# :ra!ti!e them not as a list of tennis do-s and don-t-s" %ut one at a time at your own rhythm# CTo !omplete the !y!le" I should say somethin a%out taste and smell" %ut as far as I (now" these senses have little or nothin to do with one-s a%ility to play ood tennis# :erhaps I-ve missed somethin # The %est I !an do is to pass on the advi!e of my !oa!h at /arvard" Ja!( Barna%y" who used to tell us to atta!( the volley %y (eepin our fa!es near the %all# 1Bite the %all51 he used to shout# It-s ood advi!e" for it helps you to hit the %all in front of you and aids in %alan!e#D O M O The Theory of Con!entration The pra!ti!es mentioned a%ove !an speed learnin to play your %est tennis# But we have !ome to an important point that should not %e passed over qui!(ly# *fter I developed %y pra!ti!e some small a%ility to !on!entrate my mind" I dis!overed that !on!entration was not only a means to an end" %ut somethin of tremendous value in itself# *s a result" instead of usin !on!entration to help my tennis" I now use tennis as a means to further in!rease !on!en-

tration# Bor those interested" I will ela%orate this point# Whatever we e$perien!e on a tennis !ourt is (nown to us %y virtue of awareness-that is" %y the !ons!iousness within us# It is !ons!iousness whi!h ma(es possi%le awareness of the si hts" sounds" feelin s and thou hts whi!h !ompose what we !all 1e$perien!e#1 It is self-evident that one !annot e$perien!e anythin outside of !ons!iousness# Cons!iousness is that whi!h ma(es all thin s and events (nowa%le#-Without !ons!iousness eyes !ould not see" ears !ould not hear" and mind !ould not thin(# Cons!iousness is li(e a pure li ht ener y whose power is to ma(e events (nowa%le" 'ust as an ele!tri! li ht ma(es o%'e!ts visi%le# Cons!iousness !ould %e !alled the li ht of li hts %e!ause it is %y its li ht that all other li hts %e!ome visi%le# In the human %ody the li ht ener y of !ons!iousness does its (nowin throu h several limited fa!ilities-namely" the five senses and the intelle!t# Throu h eyes" it (nows si hts. throu h ears" sounds. and throu h mind it (nows !on!epts" fa!ts and ideas# *ll that ever happens to us" all that we ever do" is (nown to us throu h the li ht ener y of this awareness# ;i ht now your !ons!iousness is aware throu h your eyes of the words in this senten!e# But other thin s are also happenin within the ran e of your !ons!iousness# If you stop to listen !losely to whatever your ears !an hear" you will no dou%t %e a%le to hear sounds whi!h you previously weren-t aware of" even thou h they were oin on while you were readin # If you now listen to these sounds !losely" you will hear them %etter-that is" you will %e a%le to (now them %etter# :ro%a%ly you were not aware of how your ton ue fee Is in your mouth-%ut in all li(elihood after readin the fore oin words" you now are# While you were readin or listenin to the si hts and sounds around you" you were not aware of the feelin of your ton ue" %ut with the sli htest su estion" the mind dire!ts the fo!us of attention from one thin to another# When attention is allowed to rest in one pla!e" it !omes to (now that pla!e %e!ause attention is fo!used !ons!iousness" and !ons!iousness is that power of (nowin # <8 *wareness *ttention Con!entration 6ne-:ointed Con!entration

IIllustration of a tar et !ir!le with a dot in the !entre and 3 rin sJ *wareness - outer rin *ttention - >nd from outer rin Con!entration - 3rd from outer rin 6ne-:ointed Con!entration - dot

Con!entration" then" is a further fo!usin of !ons!ious ener y# Consider this analo y# Cons!iousness is similar to an ele!tri! lamp shinin in a dar( forest# Let-s say that this lamp has the power of 2??? watts# By virtue of this li ht it is possi%le to see and (now the forest within a !ertain radius# The !loser an o%'e!t is to the li ht" the more it will %e illuminated and the reater the detail that will %e visi%le# 6%'e!ts farther away !an %e seen only va uely# But if we put a refle!tor around one side of the lamp" preventin the li ht from shinin there" all the li ht ener y will %e availa%le to illuminate what is in front of it# Those o%'e!ts that were seen previously will now appear with mu!h reater !larity" while those that were previously invisi%le will now %e (nowa%le# This is the power of attention" or the fo!usin of !ons!ious ener y# Con!entration is analo ous to fo!usin all 2??? watts throu h an everde!reasin aperture# When all 2??? watts are fo!used throu h one point" the li ht will have the ma$imum power# Whatever one !hooses to learn !an %e (nown with the %enefit of total illumination# 4o shadows" no se!rets. all is revealed# - There is mu!h tal( these days a%out hi her !ons!iousness# What is hi her !ons!iousness %ut see(in more of what is already there+ *s one-s a%ility to fo!us the li ht ener y of !ons!iousness in!reases" the effe!tive ran e of his vision in!reases# /e seems to see thin s that are invisi%le" su!h as the thou hts of others" the so-!alled past or the future# *!tually" he is only seein what is already there and is now visi%le to him %e!ause he !an fo!us the ener y of his awareness# The value of !on!entration %e!omes !lear as we row to understand that nothin !an %e en'oyed or appre!iated if it !annot %e (nown# Beauty !annot %e en'oyed unless one !an (now it# :ea!e !annot %e en'oyed unless it !an %e (nown# The same oes for love and truth-in fa!t" anythin that is valued %y man# By in!reasin the effe!tive power of awareness" !on!entration allows us to throw more li ht on whatever we value (nowin " and to that e$tent ena%les us to (now and en'oy it more# The /ere and 4ow of the Tennis Court Ba!( to the tennis !ourt# When one !on!entrates on the !ourt" he fo!uses his awareness in two dimensions" the here and the now-that is" in spa!e and in time# The first part of this !hapter su ested several 1here1s as o%'e!ts of !on!entration# The seams fo!us awareness more e$a!tly in spa!e than merely the %all itself does" and as you add awareness of one element of the ame of tennis after another-from the sound of the %all to the feel of ea!h part of ea!h stro(e- reater (nowled e is ained# But it is also ne!essary to learn to fo!us awareness in the now# This simply means tunin into what is happenin in the present#

The reatest lapses in !on!entration !ome when we allow our minds to pro'e!t what is a%out to happen or to dwell on what has already happened# /ow easily the mind a%sor%s itself in the world of 1what if-s# 1What if I lose this point+1 it thin(s. 1then 222 %e %ehind =-3 on his serve# If I don-t %rea( his serve" then I-ll have lost the first set and pro%a%ly the mat!h# I wonder what &artha will say when she hears I lost to Geor e#1 *t this point it is not un!ommon for the mind to lapse into a little fantasy a%out &artha-s rea!tion to hearin the news that you have lost to Geor e# &eanwhile" %a!( in the now" the s!ore is still 3-K" 3?-K?" and you are %arely aware that you are on the !ourt. the !ons!ious ener y you need to perform at your pea( in the now has %een lea(in into an ima ined future# Similarly" the mind often draws one-s attention into the past# 1If the linesman hadn-t !alled that last serve out" the s!ore would %e deu!e and I wouldn-t %e in this mess# The same thin happened to me last wee(" and it !ost me the mat!h# It made me lose my !on!entration" then !onfiden!e" and now the same thin is happenin a ain# I wonder why# 6ne ni!e aspe!t of tennis is that %efore lon you or your opponent is oin to hit a %all" and this will summon you %a!( to the present# But usually part of our ener y is left in the thou ht world of past or future" so that the present is not seen with all of one-s li ht awareness# *s a result" o%'e!ts loo( dim" the %all seems to !ome faster" appears smaller" and even the !ourt seems to shrin(# Sin!e the mind seems to have a will of its own" how !an one learn to (eep it in the present+ By pra!ti!e# There is no other way# Every time your mind starts to lea( away" simply %rin it ently %a!(# *lso pra!ti!e %ein more and more present# This !an %e developed espe!ially well with the volley and return of serve# I use a %all ma!hine with a wide ran e in velo!ity" and have a simple drill whi!h helps players e$perien!e what it means to %e more in the present# I as( students to stand at net in the volley position" and then set the ma!hine to shoot %alls at three-quarter speed# Brom 2?? %ein initially !asual" they suddenly %e!ome more alert# *t first the %alls seem too fast for them" %ut soon their responses qui!(en# Gradually I turn the ma!hine to faster and faster speeds" and the volleyers %e!ome more !on!entrated# When they are respondin qui!(ly enou h to hit the top-speed %alls and %elieve they are at the pea( of their !on!entration" I move the ma!hine to mid!ourt" fifteen feet !loser than %efore# *t this point students will often lose some !on!entration as a de ree of fear intrudes# Their forearms tense sli htly" ma(in their movements less qui!( and a!!urate# 1;ela$ your forearm# ;ela$ your mind# Simply rela$ into the present" fo!us on the seams of the %all" and let it happen#1 Soon they are a ain a%le to meet the %all in front of them with the !enter of their ra!(ets# There is no smile of self-satisfa!tion" merely total a%sorption in ea!h moment# *fterward some players

say that the %all seemed to slow down) others remar( how weird it is to hit %alls when you don-t have time to thin( a%out it# *ll who enter even a little into that state of %ein present will e$perien!e a !almness and a de ree of e!stasy whi!h they will want to repeat# The pra!ti!al !onsequen!es to your volley of in!reasin your alertness are o%vious# &ost volleys are missed either %e!ause !onta!t is made too far %ehind the player" or %e!ause they are not hit on the !enter of the ra!(et# Be!omin more aware of the present ma(es it easier to (now where the %all is at all times and to rea!t soon enou h to meet it at the instant of your !hoi!e# Some people thin( that they are 'ust too slow to return a hard drive when they are at net# But time is a relative thin " and it really is possi%le to slow it down# Consider) there are 2??? millise!onds in every se!ond# That-s a lot of millise!onds# *lertness is a measure of how many nows you are aware of in a iven period" and everyone-s alertness !an %e hei htened with the pra!ti!e of !on!entration# The result is simple) you %e!ome more a ware of what is oin on as you learn to (eep your attention in the now# I have found that the most dire!t means of in!reasin one-s a%ility to !on!entrate is throu h the pra!ti!e of meditation# *fter pra!ti!in a !ertain te!hnique of meditation for several months" I was surprised to find my alertness so in!reased that I !ould !ompletely alter the style and ta!ti! of my return of serve# Instead of standin %ehind the %ase line to re!eive a hard serve" I found it possi%le to re!eive serve standin only one foot %ehind the servi!e line5 Even a ainst hard first serves I seemed to have the time needed to respond and pi!( up the %all 'ust a split se!ond after it %oun!ed# There was no time fora %a!(swin and no time to thin( a%out what I was doin # There would 'ust %e a !alm !on!entration followed %y a qui!( movement to meet the %all-initiated even %efore the %all had passed over the net-a follow-throu h whi!h Con!entration durin a 4at!h 2?2 ave dire!tion and depth to the %all" and then in the ne$t instant I would %e at net-well %efore the server5 The server" seein me standin at the servi!e line to re!eive his serve" would have to deal mentally with what he mi ht ta(e to %e an insult to his serve. he would often dou%le-fault more than on!e in an effort to tea!h me a lesson# /is ne$t pro%lem would %e hittin a volley passin shot from somewhere within no man-s land# The reader mi ht quite naturally thin( that this ta!ti! would %e impossi%le a ainst a really first-rate serve# 4ot true# *fter only a few months of e$perimentin with this return of serve" I found it possi%le to use it to reat advanta e in tournament play# The more I used it" the qui!(er and more a!!urate my rea!tions %e!ame# Con!entration seemed to slow time down" ivin me the ne!essary awareness to see and pla!e the %all# The fa!t that I met the %all on the rise !ut off all the an le that a server usually ets

on his serve after it %oun!es# *nd the fa!t that I !ould rea!h the net %efore the server ave me !ontrol of the !ommandin position on the !ourt# I %elieve that if some top-fli ht amateur or pro pra!ti!ed enou h to perfe!t this te!hnique he !ould start a minor revolution in the ame of tennis. he !ould reverse the lon standin advanta e of the server# &ost of the ways for developin !on!entration mentioned earlier are %est employed durin pra!ti!e# In a mat!h it is usually %est to pi!( one o%'e!t of !on!entration-whatever wor(s %est for youand sti!( with it# Bor e$ample" if the seams of the %all tend to (eep you !entered in the here and now" there is no need to fo!us on sound or feel# 6ften the fa!t that you are playin a mat!h will help you to !on!entrate# 9urin the !ourse of apoint" you often find yourself in a state of relatively deep !on!entration in whi!h you are only aware of what is happenin at that instant# The !riti!al time is %etween points5 *fter the last shot of a rally" the mind leaves its fo!us on the %all and is free to wander# It is at this moment that thou hts a%out the s!ore" yourerrati! %a!(hand" %usiness" the !hildren" dinner and so forth tend to siphon your ener y away from the here and now# Then it is diffi!ult to re ain the same level of !on!entration %efore the ne$t point %e ins# /ow to stay !on!entrated in the here and now %etween points+ &y own devi!e" and one that has %een effe!tive for many of my students" is to fo!us attention on %reathin # Some o%'e!tor a!tivity whi!h is always present is needed# What is more here and now than one-s %reathin + :uttin attention on %reathin simply means o%servin my %reath oin in" oin out" oin in" oin out in its natural rhythm# It does not mean intentionally !ontrollin my %reath# I Breathin is a remar(a%le phenomenon# Whether we intend to or not" we %reathe# *wa(e or asleep" it is always happenin # Even if we try to stop" some for!e will soon overpower our efforts and we will ta(e a %reath# Thus" when we fo!us attention on %reathin we are puttin our !ons!ious ener y on somethin !losely !onne!ted to the life ener y of the %ody# *lso" %reathin is a very %asi! rhythm# It is said that in %reathin man re!apitulates the rhythm of the universe# When the mind is fastened to the rhythm of %reathin " it tends to %e!ome a%sor%ed and !alm# Whether on or off the !ourt" I (now of no %etter way to %e in to deal with an$iety than to pla!e the mind on one-s %reathin pro!ess# *n$iety is fear a%out what may happen in the future" and it o!!urs only when the mind is ima inin what the future may %rin # But when your attention is on the here and now" the a!tions whi!h need to %e done in the present have their %est !han!e of %ein su!!essfully a!!omplished" and as a result the future will %e!ome the %est possi%le present# So after a point has ended and I-m returnin to position or oin to pi!( up a %all" I pla!e my mind on my %reathin # The se!ond my mind starts wonderin a%out whether I-m oin to win or lose the

mat!h" I %rin it ently %a!( to my %reath and rela$ in its natural and %asi! motion# In this way" %y the time the ne$t point is ready to start" I am a%le to %e even more !on!entrated than I was in the midst of the previous one# This te!hnique is not only useful for me in stoppin the mind from frettin a%out %ad shots" %ut (eeps me from %ein self-!ons!ious a%out unusually ood shots# If you have never done so" you mi ht e$periment with this e$er!ise ri ht now# Simply fo!us on your %reath" a%sor%in more and more !ons!ious ener y into the awareness of the e$perien!e of %reathin # It may help to allow your hands to open as you inhale and to !lose as y'tm e$hale# Then as( your hands to open and !lose sli htly less# 9on-t for!e your fin ers to do this. simply as( them and let them respond# If your mind %e ins to wander" %rin it %a!( ently to your %reathin # *s your mind stills and settles into a !alm state" let yourself %e alert to every split se!ond of %reathin and e$perien!e as fully as you !an this state of relative quiet# When this same !alm alertness is maintained on the tennis !ourt" you are ready to perform nearerthelimitof youra%ility# When I am waitin near the servi!e line" a%outtore!eivea powerful serve" I a%sor% my mind as deeply as it will o into my %reath. in this way I have found I !an rea!h my pea( of alertness while remainin !alm# 2?> Breath and Stro(es Lapses in Con!entration 6!!ur Just as the %reath has a twofold rhythm whi!h e!hoes the e%% and flow of the tides" the risin and settin of the sun" the up and the down" the in and out" the potential and the a!tual" the mas!uline and the feminine" so too do most of the stro(es in tennis repeat this rhythm# Ground stro(es have a %a!( and a forth" a feminine and a mas!uline !omponent# Without a %a!(swin there is no followthrou h# Without a follow-throu h" the %a!(swin is of no use# There is a pra!ti!al appli!ation of this notion# 6ne way to a!hieve a natural rhythm in your round stro(es is to allow your swin to !oin!ide with your %reathin # Inhale with your %a!(swin and e$hale with your follow-throu h# &at!h your stro(e with your %reathin " not your %reathin with your stro(es# 7ou will find that in a short period any 'er(iness and irre ularity of rhythm will %e in to fall away# I don-t re!ommend this pra!ti!e durin a mat!h" for the o%vious reason that it is diffi!ult to re ulate your %reath to the irre ularities of the point" %ut if you pra!ti!e mat!hin stro(e with %reath in pra!ti!e" the %asi! rhythm will %e!ome a part of your ame# The same idea is effe!tive with your serve# Inhale as you toss the %all up and ta(e your ra!(et %a!(. this tends to !ause you to rise and meet the %all at the top of your swin # Then e$hale or hold your %reath at the moment you swin to meet the %all# It is perple$in to wonder why we ever leave the here and now# /ere

and now are the only pla!e and time when one ever en'oys himself or a!!omplishes anythin # &ost of our sufferin ta(es pla!e when we allow our minds to ima ine the future or mull over the past# 4onetheless" few people are ever satisfied with what is %efore them at the moment# 6ur desire that thin s %e different from what they are pulls our minds into an unreal world" and in !onsequen!e we are less a%le to appre!iate what the present has to offer# 6ur minds have the reality of the present only when we prefer the unreality of the past or future# To %e in to understand my own lapses of !on!entration I had to (now what I was really desirin " and it soon %e!ame !lear to me that there were more desires operatin in me on the !ourt than simply to play tennis# In other words" tennis was not the only ame I was playin on the !ourt# :art of the pro!ess of attainin a !on!entrated state of mind is to (now and resolve these !onfli!tin desires. the followin !hapter attempts to shed li ht on this pro!ess# I 2?3 2?8 That somethin else %esides tennis is %ein played on the !ourts is o%vious to the most !asual o%server# ;e ardless of whether he is wat!hin the ame at a !ountry !lu%" a pu%li! par( or a private !ourt" he will see players sufferin everythin from minor frustration to ma'or e$asperation# /e will see the stompin of feet" sha(in of fists" war dan!es" rituals" pleas" oaths and prayers. ra!(ets are thrown a ainst fen!es in an er" into the ah1 for 'oy" or pounded a ainst the !on!rete in dis ust# Balls that are in will %e !alled out" and vi!e versa# Linesmen are threatened" %all %oys s!olded and the inte rity of friends questioned# 6n the fa!es of players you may o%serve" in qui!( su!!ession" shame" pride" e!stasy and despair# Smu !ompla!en!y ives way to hi h an$iety" !o!(iness to han do disappointment# *n er and a ression of varyin intensity are e$pressed %oth openly and in dis uised forms# If an o%server was wat!hin the ame for the first time" it would %e hard for him to %elieve that all this drama !ould %e !ontained on a mere tennis !ourt" %etween love-all and ame" set and mat!h# There is no end to the variety of attitudes toward the ame# 4ot only !an the full spe!trum of emotional response %e o%served on the !ourt" %ut also a wide ran e in the motivations of its players# Some !are only a%out winnin # Some are ama0in ly tena!ious a%out wardin off defeat" %ut !an-t win a mat!h point if it-s offered to them# &any don-t !are how they play" 'ust as lon as they loo( ood" and some simply don-t !are at all# Some !heat their opponents. others !heat themselves# Some are always %ra in a%out how ood they are. others !onstantly tell you how poorly they are playin # There are even a small handful who are out on the !ourt simply for fun and e$er!ise#

In his widely read %oo(" Games :eople :lay" Eri! Berne des!ri%ed the su%liminal ames that lie %eneath the surfa!e of human intera!tion# /e made it remar(a%ly !lear that what appears to %e happenin %etween people is only a small part of the story# The same seems to %e true on the tennis !ourt" and sin!e" to play any ame well" one must (now as mu!h as possi%le a%out it" I in!lude here a %rief uide to the ames people play on the tennis !ourt" followed %y a %rief a!!ount of my own sear!h for a ame worth playin # I su est that this uide %e read not as an e$er!ise in self-analysis" %ut as a(ey to dis!overin how to have more fun while playin tennis# It-s diffi!ult to have fun or to a!hieve !on!entration when your e o is en a ed in a life-and-death stru le# Self > will never %e allowed toe$press spontaneity and e$!ellen!e when Self 2 isplayin some heavy ulterior ame involvin its self-ima e# 7et as one re!o ni0es the ames of Self 2" a de ree of li%eration !an %e a!hieved# When it is" you !an dis!riminate o%'e!tively and dis!over for yourself the ame you thin( is really worth playin # Game I) Good-o General *im. To *!hieve E$!ellen!e General &otive) To :rove 6neself 1Good1 * %rief e$planation of the meanin of 1 ame#1 Eri! Berne uses the word to mean an intera!tion %etween people involvin an ulterior motive# In an inspirin %oo( !alled The &aster Game" ;o%ert S# 9e ;opp writes that a ame is 1essentially a trial of stren th or a trial of wits played within a matri$ whi!h is defined %y rules#1 Every ame involves at least one player" a oal" some o%sta!le %etween the player and his oal" a field Cphysi!al or mentalD on whi!h the ame is played" and a motive for playin # In the uide %elow I have named three !ate ories of ames with their aims and motives for playin # I !all these ames Good-o# Briends-oand /ealth-o-Bun-o" and they are played %oth on and off the !ourts# Lnder ea!h of these ma'or !ate ories are su% ames" whi!h have su%aims and su%motivations" and even ea!h su% ame has numerous variations# &oreover" most people play hy%rid forms of two or three ames at a time# Su% ame *) :erfe!t-o Thesis) /ow ood !an I et+ In :erfe!t-o" 1 ood1 is measured a ainst a standard of performan!e# In olf" it is measured a ainst par. in tennis" a ainst self-!on!eived e$pe!tations or those of parents" !oa!h or friends" *im) :erfe!tion. to rea!h the hi hest standard possi%le# &otive) The desire to prove oneself !ompetent and worthy of the respe!t of self and others# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) The never-!losin ap %etween one-s idea of perfe!tion and one-s apparent a%ilities# Internal) Self-!riti!ism for not %ein as !lose to perfe!tion as

one would li(e" leadin to dis!oura ement" !ompulsively tryin too hard and a sense of inferiority. fear of not measurin up# Su% ame B) Compefe-o Thesis) I-m %etter than you# /ere" 1 ood1 is measured a ainst the performan!e of other players rather than a ainst a set standard# &a$im) It-s not how well I play" %ut whether I win or lose that !ounts# *im) To %e the %est. to win. to defeat all !omers# &otive) 9esire to %e at the top of the heap# Stems from need for admiration and !ontrol# &ain Game 2) Brtends-o General *im) To &a(e or Aeep Briends General &otive) 9esire for Briendship 6%sta!les) E$ternal) There is always someone around who !an %eat you. the risin a%ility of the youn # Internal) The mind-s preo!!upation with !omparin oneself with others" thus preventin spontaneous a!tion. thou hts of inferiority alternatin with superiority" dependin on the !ompetition. fear of defeat# Su% ame C) Ima e-o Thesis) Loo( at me5 1Good1 is measured %y appearan!e# 4either winnin nor true !ompeten!e is as important as style# *im) To loo( ood" flashy" stron " %rilliant" smooth" ra!eful# &otive) 9esire for attention" praise# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) 6ne !an never loo( ood enou h# What loo(s ood to one person does not loo( so ood to another# Internal) Confusion a%out who one really is# Bear of not pleasin everyone and of ima ined loneliness# Su% ame *) Status-o Thesis) We play at the !ountry !lu%# It-s not so important how ood you are as where you play and who plays with you" *im) To maintain or improve so!ial status# &otive) 9esire for the friendship of the prominent# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) The !ost of (eepin up with the Joneses# Internal) Bear of losin one-s so!ial position# Su% ame B) To etherness-o Thesis) *ll my ood friends play tennis# 7ou play to %e with your friends# To play too well would %e a mista(e# *im) To meet or (eep friends# &otive) 9esire for a!!eptan!e and friendship# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) Bindin the time" the pla!e and the friends# Internal) Bear of ostra!ism#

Su% ame C) /us%and-o or Wife-o Thesis) &y hus%and Cor wifeD is always playin " so ### Enou h said+ *im) To see your spouse# &otive) Loneliness# 2?< &ain Game 2) /ealth-o-Bun-o General *im) &ental or :hysi!al /ealth or :leasure General &otive) /ealth and@or Bun I 6%sta!les) E$ternal) Be!omin ood enou h for spouse to play with you# Internal) 9ou%ts that loneliness !an %e over!ome on the tennis !ourt# CSee also internal o%sta!les of :erfe!t-o#D Su% ame *) /ealth-o Thesis) :layed on do!tor-s advi!e" or as part of self-initiated physi!al improvement or %eautifi!ation pro ram# *im) E$er!ise" wor( up a sweat" rela$ the mind# &otive) /ealth" vitality" desire for prolon ation of youth# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) Bindin someone of li(e motive to play with# Internal) 9ou%ts that tennis is really helpin # The temptation to %e drawn into :erfe!t-o or Good-o# Su% ame B) Bun-o Thesis) :layed neither for winnin nor to %e!ome 1 ood"1 %ut for fun alone# C* ame rarely played in its pure form#D *im) To have as mu!h fun as possi%le# &otive) 9esire for en'oyment# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) Bindin someone of li(e motive to play with# Internal) Learnin to appre!iate fully the su%tleties of the ame# The temptation to %e drawn into Good-o or Briends-o# Su% ame C) /i h-o Thesis) :layed to raise one-s awareness# ,ery rarely played in pure form# *im) /i her !ons!iousness# &otive) 9esire to trans!end ordinary !ons!iousness# 6%sta!les) E$ternal) 4one" Internal) The atta!hments and flu!tuations of the e o-mind# 22? The Competitive Ethi! ami the

;ise of Good-o &ost tennis players in our so!iety" re ardless of the reasons whi!h they may thin( motivated them to ta(e up the sport in the first pla!e" end up playin one or another version of Good-o# &any start tennis as a wee(end sport in the hope of ettin e$er!ise and a needed relief from the pressures of daily life" %ut they end %y settin impossi%le standards of e$!ellen!e for themselves and often %e!ome more frustrated and tense on the !ourt than off it# /ow !an the quality of one-s tennis assume su!h importan!e that it !auses an$iety" an er" depression and self-dou%t+ The answer seems to %e deeply rooted in a %asi! pattern of our !ulture# In the 4ew World" e$!ellen!e is valued in all thin s# We live in an a!hievement-oriented so!iety where a man is measured %y his !ompeten!e in various endeavors# Even %efore we re!eived praise or %lame for our first report !ard" we were loved or i nored for how well we performed our very first a!tions# Brom this pattern" one %asi! messa e !ame a!ross loud" !lear and often) you are a ood person and worthy of respe!t only if you do thin s su!!essfully# 6f !ourse" the (ind of thin s needed to %e done well to deserve love varies from family to family" %ut the underlyin equation %etween self-worth and performan!e has %een nearly universal# 4ow" that-s a pretty heavy equation" for it means that to some e$tent every a!hievement-oriented a!tion %e!omes a !riterion for definin one-s self-worth# If someone plays %ad olf" it !omes somehow to mean that he isnot quite asworthy of respe!t" hisownor of others" as he would %e if he played well# If he is the !lu% !hampion" he is !onsidered a winner" and thus a more valua%le person in our so!iety# It then follows that the intelli ent" %eautiful and !ompetent tend to reard themselves as %etter people# When love and respe!t depend on winnin or doin well in a !ompetitive so!iety" it is inevita%le Csin!e every winner requires a loser and every top performan!e many inferior onesD that there will %e many people who feel a la!( of love and respe!t# 6f !ourse" these people will try hard to win the respe!t they la!(" and the winners will try equally hard not to lose the respe!t they have won# In this li ht" it is not diffi!ult to see why playin well has !ome to mean so mu!h to us# But who said that I am to %e measured %y how well I do thin s+ In fa!t" who said that I should %e measured at all+ Who indeed+ What is required to disen a e oneself from this trap is a !lear (nowled e that the value of a human %ein !annot %e measured %y performan!e-or %y any other ar%itrary measurement# Li(e Jonathan L# Sea ull" are we not an immeasura%le ener y in the pro!ess of manifestin " %y de rees" an unlimited potential+ Is this &yy Sear!h for a Game Worth :layin

22> not so of every human and perhaps every life form+ If so" it doesn-t really ma(e sense to measure ourselves in !omparison with other immeasura%le %ein s# In fa!t" we are what we are. we are not how well we happen to perform at a iven moment# The rade on a report !ard may measure an a%ility in arithmeti!" %ut it doesn-t measure the person-s value# Similarly" the s!ore of a tennis mat!h may %e an indi!ation of how well I performed or how hard I tried" %ut it does not define my identity" nor ive me !ause to !onsider myself as somethin more or less than I was %efore the mat!h# *t a%out the a e I was tall enou h to see over the net" my father started me on tennis# I played the ame more or less !asually with my !ousins and older sister until I was eleven" when I re!eived my first tennis lesson from a new pro named John Gardiner at :e%%le Bea!h" California# That same year" I played in my first tournament in the 1under 221 division of the 4ational /ard!ourt Championships# The ni ht %efore the mat!h" I dreamed of the lory of %ein adar(-horse winner# &y first mat!h was a nervous %ut easy vi!tory# &y se!ond" a ainst the se!ond-seeded player" ended in a E-K" E-K defeat and with me so%%in %itterly# I had no idea why winnin meant so mu!h to me# The ne$t few summers I played tennis every day# I would wa(e myself at +*#&" ma(e and eat my own %rea(fast in five minutes" then run miles to the :e%%le Bea!h !ourts# I usually arrived a ood hour %efore anyone else and would spend the time hittin forehands and %a!(hands tirelessly a ainst a %a!(%oard# 9urin the day" I would play ten or fifteen sets" drill and ta(e lessons" not stoppin until there was no lon er enou h li ht to see the %all# Why+ I really didn-t (now# If someone had as(ed" I would have said that it was %e!ause I li(ed tennis# Thou h this was partially true" it was primarily %e!ause 2 was deeply involved in the ame of :erfe!t-o# There was somethin I seemed to want %adly to prove to myself# Winnin was important to me in tournaments" %ut playin well was important day %y day. I wanted to et %etter and %etter# &y style was to thin( I would never win" and then to try to surprise myself and others# I was hard to %eat" %ut I had an equally diffi!ult time winnin !lose mat!hes# Thou h I hated losin " I didn-t really en'oy %eatin someone else. I found it sli htly em%arrassin # I was a tirelessly hard wor(er and never stopped tryin to improve my stro(es# By the time I was fifteen I had won the 4ational /ard!ourt Championship in the %oys2 division" and felt the rush of e$!itement at winnin a ma'or tournament# Earlier the same summer I went to the 4ational Championships at Aalama0oo and lost in the 223 quarter finals to the seventh-seeded player" E-3" ?-E" 2?-H# In the last set" Ihad %een ahead =-3"K?-23 on my serve# I was nervous %ut optimisti!# In the first mat!h point" I dou%le-faulted in an attempt to serve an a!e on my se!ond serve# In the se!ond" I missed the

easiest put-away volley possi%le in front of a pa!(ed randstand# Bor many years thereafter" 2 replayed that mat!h point in !ountless dreams" and it is as vivid in my memory now as it was on that day twenty years a o# Why+ What differen!e did it really ma(e+ It didn-t o!!ur to me to as(# By the time I entered !olle e" I had iven up the idea of provin my worth throu h the vehi!le of !hampionship tennis" and was happy tosettle for %ein 1a ood amateur#1 I put most of my ener y into intelle!tual endeavors" sometimes rade- ru%%in " sometimes a sin!ere sear!h for Truth# Brom my sophomore year onward 2 played varsity tennis" and found that on days when I did poorly in my a!ademi! wor(" I would usually perform %adly also on the tennis !ourt" I would try hard to prove on the !ourt what I had diffi!ulty provin s!holasti!ally" %ut wrould usually find that la!( of !onfiden!e in the one area tended to infe!t the other# Bortunately" the reverse was also true# 9urin four years of !olle iate play" I was almost always nervous when I wal(ed onto a !ourt to play a mat!h# By the time I was a senior and had %een ele!ted !aptain of the team" 2 was of the opinion that !ompetition really didn-t prove anythin # I (new intelle!tually that %ein ood at tennis wasn-t a valid test of manhood-or of anythin else of importan!e-%ut I was still ti ht %efore a mat!h# *fter raduation I ave up !ompetitive tennis for ten years and em%ar(ed on a!areer in edu!ation# I %e!ame interested in learnin theory" and in 2<8? while tea!hin tennis durin the summer" %e an to ain some insi hts into the learnin pro!ess# 9e!idin to !ontinue tea!hin tennis" I developed what !ame to %e !alled yo a tennis" the pre!ursor to the Inner Game wray of learnin # It applied to tennis some of the prin!iples I-d learned in yo a" and seemed to in!rease tremendously the learnin rate of students# It also had a %enefi!ial effe!t on my ame# Learnin a little a%out the art of !on!entration helped my ame revive qui!(ly" and soon I was !onsistently playin %etter than ever# *fter I %e!ame the !lu% pro at the &eadow%roo( Clu% in Seaside" California" I found that even thou h I didn-t have mu!h time to wor( on my own stro(es" %y applyin the prin!iples I was tea!hin I !ould maintain a ame whi!h was seldom defeated %y anyone in the lo!ai area# *s an instru!tor of yo a tennis" I didn-t !on!ern myself with winnin . I simply attempted to a!hieve and e$press a hi h de ree of e$!ellen!e# But one day" after playin parti!ularly well a ainst 22K a very ood player" I %e an wonderin how I mi ht fare in tournament !ompetition# I felt !onfident of my ame. still" I hadn-t played a ainst ran(ed players# So I entered a tournament at the Ber(eley Tennis Clu% in whi!h Laver" ;osewall and other topran(in players were !ompetin # 6n the appointed wee(end" I drove to Ber(eley with !onfiden!e" %ut %y the time I arrived I had started to question my own a%ility# Everyone there seemed to %e si$ foot five and to %e !arryin five or si$ ra!(ets" I re!o ni0ed many

of the players from tennis ma a0ines" %ut none of them seemed to re!o ni0e me# The atmosphere was very different from that of &eadow%roo(" my little pond where I was !hief fro # Suddenly I found my previousoptimismturnin to pessimism# I was dou%tin my ame# Why+ /ad anythin happened to it from the time I left my !lu% three hours %efore+ &y first mat!h was a ainst a player who literally was si$ foot five# Even thou h he !arried only three ra!(ets" as we ea!h wal(ed to a %a!(!ourt my (nees felt a %it wo%%ly and my wrist didn-t seem as stron as usual# I tested it several times" ti htenin my hand on the handle of my ra!(et# I wondered what would happen out on the !ourt# But when we %e an to warm up" I soon saw that my opponent wasn-t nearly as ood as I had ima ined# /ad I %een ivin him a lesson" I (new e$a!tly what I would tell him" and I qui!(ly !ateori0ed him as a 1%etter-than-avera e !lu% player1 and felt %etter# /owever" an hour later" with the s!ore K-2 in his favor in the se!ond set" and havin lost the first set E-3"2 %e an to reali0e that I was a%out to %e %eaten %y a 1%etter-than-avera e !lu% player#1 *ll durin the mat!h I had %een on ed e" missin easy shots and playin in!onsistently# It seemed my !on!entration was off 'ust enou h so that I missed lines %y in!hes and hit the top of the net with every other volley# *s it wor(ed out" my opponent" on the ver e of a !lear vi!tory" faltered# I don-t (now what was happenin inside his head" %ut he !ouldn-t finish me off# /e lost the se!ond set 8-= and the ne$t E-2" %ut as I wal(ed off the !ourt" I had no sense that I had won the mat!h -rather" that he had lost it# I %e an thin(in immediately of my ne$t mat!h a ainst a hi hly ran(ed player in northern California# I (new that he was a more e$perien!ed tournament player than I and pro%a%ly more s(illed# I !ertainly didn-t want to play the way I had durin the first round. it would %e a rout# But my (nees were still sha(y" my mind didn-t seem a%le to fo!us !learly" and I was nervous# Binally" I sat down in se!lusion to see if I !ould !ome to rips with myself# I %e an %y as(in myself" 1What-s the worst that !an happen+1 The answer was easy) 1I !ould lose E-?"E-KD#1 22= 1Well" what if you did+ What then+1 1Well# # # I-d %e out of the tournament and o %a!( to &eadow%roo(# :eople would as( me how I did" and I would say that I lost in the se!ond round to So-and-So#1 They-d say sympatheti!ally" 16h" he-s pretty tou h# What was the s!ore+1 Then I would have to !onfess. love and love# 1What would happen ne$t+1 I as(ed myself# 1Well" word would qui!(ly et around that I had %een troun!ed up at Ber(eley" %ut soon I-d start playin well a ain and %efore lon life would %e %a!( to normal#1 I had tried to %e as honest as I !ould a%out the worst possi%le results# They weren-t ood" %ut neither were they un%eara%le-

!ertainly not %ad enou h to et upset a%out# Then I as(ed myself" 1What-s the %est that !ould happen+1 * ain the answer was !lear) I !ould win E-?"E-?# 1Then what+1 1I-d have to play another mat!h" and then another until I was %eaten" whi!h in a tournament li(e this was soon inevita%le# Then I would return to my own !lu%" report how 2 did" re!eive a few pats on the %a!(" and soon all would a ain return to normal#1 Stayin in the tournament another round or two didn-t seem overwhelmin ly attra!tive" so I as(ed myself a final question) 1Then what do you really want+1 The answer was quite une$pe!ted# What I really wanted" I reali0ed" was to over!ome the nervousness that was preventin me from playin my %est# I wanted to over!ome the inner o%sta!le that had pla ued me for so mu!h of my life# I wanted to win the inner ame# /avin !ome to this reali0ation" (nowin what I really wanted" I wal(ed toward my mat!h with a new sense of enthusiasm# In the first ame" I dou%le-faulted three times and lost my serve" %ut from then on I felt a new !ertainty# It was as if a hu e pressure had %een relieved" and I was out there playin with all the ener ies at my !ommand# *s it wor(ed out" I was never a%le to %rea( my opponent-s spinnin " left-handed serve" %ut I didn-t lose my own serve a ain until the last ame in the se!ond set# I had lost E-K" E-K" %ut I wal(ed off the !ourts feelin that I had won# I had lost the e$ternal ame" %ut had won the ame I had wanted to" my own ame" and I felt very happy# Indeed" when a friend !ame up to me after the mat!h and as(ed how I-d done" I was tempted to say" 1I won51 Bor the first time I re!o ni0ed the e$isten!e of the Inner Game" and its importan!e to me# I didn-t (now what the rules of the ame were" nor e$a!tly what its aim was" %ut I did sense that it involved somethin more than winnin a trophy# 22< In !ontemporary Western !ulture there is a reat deal of !ontroversy a%out !ompetition# 6ne se ment values it hi hly" %elievin that it is responsi%le for Western pro ress and prosperity# *nother se ment says that !ompetition is %ad. that it pits one person a ainst another and is therefore divisive. that it leads to enmity %etween people and therefore to a la!( of !ooperation and eventual ineffe!tualness# Those who value !ompetition %elieve in sports su!h as foot%all" %ase%all" tennis and olf# Those who see !ompetition as a form of le ali0ed hostility tend to favor su!h non!ompetitive forms of re!reation as surfin " fris%ee or 'o in # If they do play tennis or olf" they insist on doin it 1non!ompetitively#1 Their ma$im is that !o-operation is %etter than !ompetition# Those who ar ue a ainst the value of !ompetition have plenty of ammunition# *s pointed out in the last !hapter" there is a wealth

of eviden!e showin how fren0ied people tend to %e!ome in !ompetitive situations# It is true that !ompetition for many is merely an arena for ventin a ression. it is ta(en as a provin round for esta%lishin who is the stron er" tou heror smarter# Ea!h ima ines that %y %eatin the other he has in some way esta%lished his superiority over him" not 'ust in a ame" %ut as a man# What is seldom re!o ni0ed is that the need to prove that you are %etter than someone else is %ased on inse!urity and self-dou%t# 6nly to the e$tent that one is unsure a%out who and what he is does he need to prove himself to himself or to others# It is when !ompetition is thus used as a means of !reatin a selfima e relative to others that the worst in a person !omes out. then the ordinary fears and frustrations %e!ome reatly e$a erated# If I am se!retly afraid that playin %adly or losin the mat!h may %e ta(en to mean that I am less of a man" naturally I am oin to %e upset with myself for missin shots# *nd" of !ourse" this very upti htness will ma(e it more diffi!ult for me to perform at my hi hest levels# There would %e no pro%lem with !ompetition if one-s self-ima e were not at sta(e# I have tau ht many !hildren and teena ers who were !au ht up in the %elief that their self-worth depended on how well they performed at tennis and other s(ills# Bor them" playin well and winnin are often life-and-death issues# They are !onstantly measurin themselves in !omparison with their friends %y usin their s(ill at tennis as one of the measurin rods# It is as if some %elieve that only %y %ein the %est" only %y %ein a winner" will they %e eli i%le for the love and respe!t they see(# In the pro!ess of measurin themselves and others a!!ordin to their a%ilities" the true and measureless value of ea!h is frequently overloo(ed# Children who have %een tau ht to measure themselves in this way often %e!ome adults driven %y a !ompulsion to su!!eed whi!h overshadows all else# The tra edy of this %elief is not that they will fail to find the su!!ess they see(" %ut that they will not dis!over the love or even the self-respe!t they were led to %elieve will !ome with it# Burthermore" in their sin le-minded pursuit of measura%le su!!ess" the development of many other human potentialities is sadly ne le!ted# Some never find the time or in!lination to appre!iate the %eauties of nature" to e$press their deepest feelin s and thou hts to a loved one" or to wonder a%out the ultimate purpose of their e$isten!e# But whereas some seem to et trapped in the !ompulsion to su!!eed" others ta(e a re%ellious stan!e# :ointin to the %latant !ruelties and limitations involved in a !ultural pattern whi!h tends to value only the winner and i nore even the positive qualities of the medio!re" they vehemently !riti!i0e !ompetition# *mon the most vo!al are youth who have suffered under !ompetitive pressures imposed on them %y parents or so!iety# Tea!hin these youn people# I often o%serve in them a desire to fail#

They seem to see( failure %y ma(in no effort to win or a!hieve su!!ess# They o on stri(e" as it were# By not tryin " they always have an ali%i) 1I may have lost" %ut it doesn-t !ount %e!ause I really didn-t try#1 What is not usually admitted is the %elief that if they had really tried and lost" then yes" that would !ount# Su!h a loss would %e a measure of their worth# Clearly this %elief is the same as that of the !ompetitor tryin to prove himself# Both are e o-trips. %oth are %ased on the mista(en assumption that one-s sense of self-respe!t rides on how well he performs in relation to others# Both are afraid of not- measurin up# 6nly as this fundamental and often na in fear %e ins to dissolve !an we dis!over a new meanin in !ompetition# &y own attitude toward !ompetition went throu h quite an evolution %efore I arrived at my present point of view# *s des!ri%ed in the last !hapter I was raised to %elieve in !ompetition" and %oth playin well and winnin meant a reat deal to me# But as I %e an applyin the prin!iples of yo a to the tea!hin and playin of tennis" I %e!ame non!ompetitive# Instead of tryin to win" I de!ided to attempt only to play %eautifully and e$!ellently. in other words" I %e an to play a rather pure form of :erfe!t-o# &y theory was that I would %e li(e a yo i" un!on!erned with how well I was doin in relation to my opponent and a%sor%ed solely in a!hievin e$!ellen!e for its own sa(e# ,ery %eautiful. I would walt0 around the !ourt %ein very fluid" a!!urate" and 1wise#1 2>? 2>2 But somethin was missin # I didn-t e$perien!e a desire to win" and as a result I often la!(ed the ne!essary determination# 2 had thou ht that it was in the desire to win that one-s e o entered the pi!ture" %ut at one point I %e an to as( myself if there wasn-t su!h a motivation as an e o-less desire to win# Was there a determination to win that wasn-t an e o-trip and didn-t involve ail the fears and frustrations that a!!ompany e o-trips+ 9oes the will to win always have to mean 1See I-m %etter than you1+ 6ne day I had an interestin e$perien!e whi!h !onvin!ed me in an une$pe!ted way that playin for the sa(e of %eauty and e$!ellen!e was not all there was to tennis# Bor several wee(s 2 had %een tryin to et a date with a parti!ular irl# She had turned me down twi!e" %ut ea!h time with what appeared to %e a ood reason# Binally a dinner date was set" and on that day as I finished my last lesson one of the other pros as(ed me to play a !ouple of sets# 1I-d really li(e to" Bred"1 I replied" 1%ut I !an-t ma(e it this evenin #1 *t that moment I was informed there was a telephone !all for me# 1/old on" Bred"1 I said# 1If that !all is what I-m afraid it is" you may have yourself a mat!h# If so" wat!h out51 The !all was what I-d feared# The e$!use was a valid one" and the irl was so ni!e a%out it that I !ouldn-t et an ry at her" %ut as I hun up I reali0ed I was furious# I ra%%ed my ra!(et" ran down to the !ourt and %e an hittin %alls harder than 2 ever had %efore# *ma0in ly" most

of them went in# I didn-t let up when the mat!h %e an" nor did I relent my all-out atta!( until it was over# Even on !ru!ial points I would o for winners and ma(e them# I was playin with an un!hara!teristi! determination even when ahead. in fa!t I was playin out of my mind# Somehow the an er had ta(en me %eyond my own pre!on!eived limitations. it too( me %eyond !aution# *fter the mat!h Bred shoo( my hand without loo(in in the least de'e!ted# /e-d run into a hurri!ane on that day whi!h he !ouldn-t handle" %ut he-d had fun tryin # In fa!t" I-d played so well that he seemed lad to have %een there to witness it" or as if he deserved some !redit for my rea!hin that level-whi!h of !ourse he did# But an er !ouldn-t %e the se!ret to e o-less tennis" or !ould it+ I hadn-t %een an ry at my opponent or at myself# I was simply furious in su!h a way that it too( me out of my mind# It ena%led me to play with a%andon" un!on!erned a%out winnin or playin well# I 'ust hit the damn %all" and I en'oyed the hell out of it5 It was one of the most fulfillin times I-d ever had on the !ourt# The (ey seemed to %e that somethin too( me %eyond myself" %eyond the sense of e o-tryin # The (ind of tryin that Self 2 does to feed its self-ima e was one" %ut in its pla!e was a stron " unwaverin determination to win# :arado$i!ally" winnin at that point mattered less to me# %ut I found myself ma(in my reatest effort# The &eanin of Winnin 2>> The riddle of the meanin of !ompetition didn-t !ome !lear to me until later" when I %e an to dis!over somethin a%out the nature of the will to win# The (ey insi ht into the meanin of winnin o!!urred one day in the !ourse of dis!ussion with my father" who" as mentioned earlier" had introdu!ed me to !ompetition and had !onsidered himself an avid !ompetitor in the worlds of %oth sport and %usiness# &any times previously we had ar ued a%out !ompetition" with my ta(in the side that it was unhealthy and only %rou ht out the worst in people# But this parti!ular !onversation trans!ended ar ument# I %e an %y pointin to surfin as an e$ample of a form of re!reation whi!h didn-t involve one in !ompetitiveness# ;efle!tin on this remar(" 9ad as(ed" 1But don-t surfers in fa!t !ompete a ainst the waves they ride+ 9on-t they avoid the stren th of the wave and e$ploit its wea(ness+1 17es" %ut they-re not !ompetin a ainst any person. they-re not tryin to %eat anyone"1 I replied# 14o" %ut they are tryin to ma(e it to the %ea!h" aren-t they+1 17es" %ut the real point for the surfer is to %e %eautiful" to et into the flow of the wave and perhaps to a!hieve oneness with it#1 But then it hit me# 9ad was ri ht. the surfer does want to ride the wave to the %ea!h" yet he waits in the o!ean for the %i est wave to !ome alon that he thin(s he !an handle# If he 'ust wanted to %e %eautiful" he !ould do that on a medium-si0e wave# Why does the

surfer wait for the %i wave+ The answer was simple" and it unraveled the !onfusion whi!h surrounds the true nature of !ompetition# The surfer waits for the %i wave %e!ause he values the !hallen e it presents# /e values the o%sta!les the wave puts %etween him and his oal of ridin the wave to the %ea!h# Why+ Be!ause it is those very o%sta!les" the si0e and !hurnin power of the wave" whi!h draw from the surfer his reatest effort# It is only a ainst the %i waves that he is required to use all his s(ill" all his !oura e and !on!entration to over!ome. only then !an he reali0e the true limits of his !apa!ities# *t that point he often slips into a super!ons!ious state and attains his pea(# In other words" the more !hallen in the o%sta!le he fa!es" the reater the opportunity for the surfer to dis!over and e$tend his true potential# The potential may have always %een within him" %ut until it is manifested in a!tion" it remains a se!ret hidden from himself# The o%sta!les are a very ne!essary in redient to this pro!ess of self-dis!overy# 4ote that the surfer in this e$ample is not out to prove himself. he is not out to show himself or the world how reat he is" %ut is simply involved in the e$ploration of his latent !apa!ities# /e dire!tly and intimately e$perien!es his own resour!es and there%y in!reases his self-(nowled e# Brom this e$ample the %asi! meanin of winnin %e!ame !lear to me# Winnin is over!omin o%sta!les to rea!h a oal" %ut the value in winnin is only as reat as the value of the oal rea!hed# ;ea!hin the oal itself may not %e as valua%le as the e$perien!e that !an !ome in ma(in a supreme effort to over!ome the o%sta!les involved# The pro!ess !an %e more rewardin than the vi!tory itself# 6n!e one re!o ni0es the value of havin diffi!ult o%sta!les to over!ome" it is a simple matter to see the true %enefit that !an %e ained from !ompetitive sports# In tennis who is it that provides a person with the o%sta!les he needs in order to e$perien!e his hi hest limits+ /is opponent" of !ourse5 Then is your opponent a friend or an enemy+ /e is a friend to the e$tent that he does his %est to ma(e thin s diffi!ult for you# 6nly %y playin the role of your enemy does he %e!ome your true friend# 6nly %y !ompetin with you does he in fa!t !ooperate5 4o one wants to stand around on the !ourt waitin for the %i wave# In this use of !ompetition it is the duty of your opponent to !reate the reatest possi%le diffi!ulties for you" 'ust as it is yours to try to !reate o%sta!les for him# 6nly %y doin this do you ive ea!h other the opportunity to find out to what hei hts ea!h !an rise# So we arrive at the startlin !on!lusion that true !ompetition is identi!al with true !ooperation# Ea!h player tries his hardest to defeat the other" %ut in this use of !ompetition it isn-t the other person we are defeatin . it is simply a matter of over!omin the o%sta!les he presents# In true !ompetition no person is defeated# Both players %enefit %y their efforts to over!ome the o%sta!les presented %y the other# Li(e two %ulls %uttin their heads a ainst

one another" %oth row stron er and ea!h parti!ipates in the development of the other# This attitude !an ma(e a lot of !han es in the way you approa!h atennis mat!h# In the first pla!e" instead of hopin your opponent is oin to dou%le-fault" you a!tually wish that he-ll et his first serve in# This desire for the %all to land inside the line helps you to a!hieve a %etter mental state for returnin it# 7ou tend to rea!t faster and move %etter" and %y doin so" you ma(e it more !hallen in for your opponent# 7ou tend to %uild !onfiden!e in your opponent as well as in yourself and this reatly aids your sense of anti!ipation# Then at the end you sha(e hands with your opponent" and re ardless of who won you than( him for the fi ht he put up" and you mean it# 2>3 I used to thin( that if I was playin a friendly mat!h a ainst a player with a wea( %a!(hand" it was a %it dirty to always play his wea(ness# In the li ht of the fore oin " nothin !ould %e further from the truth5 If you play his %a!(hand as mu!h as you !an" it !an only et %etter as a result# If you are a ni!e uy and play his forehand" his %a!(hand will remain wea(. in this !ase the real ni!e uy is the !ompetitor# This same insi ht into the nature of true !ompetition led to yet another reversal in my thin(in whi!h reatly %enefited my playin # 6n!e when I was fifteen I upset an ei hteen-year-old in a lo!al tournament# *fter the mat!h my father !ame down from the stands and heartily !on ratulated me for my vi!tory" %ut my mothers rea!tion was" 16h" that poor %oy. how %adly he must feel to have %een %eaten %y someone so mu!h youn er#1 It was a !lear e$ample of the psy!he pulled a ainst itself# I felt pride and uilt simultaneously# Lntil I reali0ed the purpose of !ompetition" I never felt really happy a%out defeatin someone" and mentally I had my hardest time playin well when 2 was near vi!tory# 2 have found this to %e true with many players" espe!ially when on the ver e of an upset# 6ne !ause of the upti htness e$perien!ed at these times is %ased on the false notion a%out !ompetition# If I assume that I am ma(in myself more worthy of respe!t %y winnin " then I must %elieve" !ons!iously or un!ons!iously" that %y defeatin someone" I am ma(in him less worthy of respe!t# I !an-t o up without pushin someone else down# This %elief involves us in a needless sense of uilt# 7ou don-t have to %e!ome a (iller to %e a winner. you merely have to reali0e that (illin is not the name of the ame# Today I play every point to win# It-s simple and it-s ood# I don-t worry a%out winnin or losin the mat!h" %ut whether or not I am ma(in the ma$imum effort durin every point %e!ause I reali0e that that is where the true value lies# &a$imum effort does not mean the super-e$ertion of Self 2# It means !on!entration" determination and trustin your %ody to 1let it happen@- It means ma$imum physi!al and mental effort# *t the point that one is oin all out" he is most apt to slip 1out of

his mind-- into the unmat!ha%le %eauty of 1un!ons!ious play#1 There he possesses a hi h awareness of the oneness of the players and the play# * ain !ompetition and !ooperation %e!ome one# The differen!e %etween %ein !on!erned a%out winnin and %ein !on!erned a%out ma(in the effort to win may seem su%tle" %ut in the effe!t there is a reat differen!e# When I-m !on!erned 2>K only a%out winnin " I-m !arin a%out somethin that I !an-t wholly !ontrol# Whether I win or lose the e$ternal ame is a result of my opponent-s s(ill and effort as well as my own# When one is emotionally atta!hed to results that he !an-t !ontrol" he tends to %e!ome an$ious and then try too hard# But one !an !ontrol the effort he puts into winnin # 6ne !an always do the %est he !an at any iven moment# Sin!e it is impossi%le to feel an$iety a%out an event that one !an !ontrol" the mere awareness that you are usin ma$imum effort to win ea!h point will !arry you past the pro%lem of an$iety# *s a result" the ener y whi!h would otherwise have one into the an$iety and its !onsequen!es !an then %e utili0ed in one-s effort to win the point# In this way one-s !han!es of winnin the outer ame are ma$imi0ed# Thus" for the player of the Inner Game" it is the moment-%ymoment effort to let o and to stay !entered in the here-and-now a!tion whi!h offers the real winnin and losin " and this ame never ends# The Inner Game frees the player from !on!ern a%out the fruits of vi!tory. he %e!omes devoted only to the oal of self(nowled e" to the e$ploration of his true nature at it reveals itself on level after level# 2>= Lp to this point we have %een e$plorin the Inner Game as it applies to tennis# We %e an with the o%servation that many of our diffi!ulties in tennis are mental in ori in# *s tennis players we tend to thin( too mu!h %efore and durin our shots. we try too hard to !ontrol our movements. and we are too !on!erned a%out the results of our a!tions and how they mi ht refle!t on our selfima e# In short" we worry too mu!h and don-t !on!entrate very well# To ain !larity on the mental pro%lems in tennis we introdu!ed the !on!ept of Self 2 and Self ># Self 2 was the name iven to the !ons!ious e o-mind whi!h li(es to tell Self >" the %ody and un!ons!ious !omputerli(e mind" how to hit the tennis %all# The (ey to spontaneous" hi h-level tennis is in resolvin the la!( of harmony whi!h usually e$ists %etween these two selves# This requires the learnin of several inner s(ills" !hiefly the art of lettin oof self-'ud ments" lettin Self >do the hittin " re!o ni0in and trustin the natural learnin pro!ess" and a%ove all ainin some pra!ti!al e$perien!e in the art of !on!entration# *t this point the !on!ept of the Inner Game emer es# 4ot only !an these inner s(ills have a remar(a%le effe!t on one-s forehand" %a!(hand" serve and volley Cthe outer ame of tennisD" %ut they

are valua%le in themselves and have %road appli!a%ility to other aspe!ts of life# When a player !omes to re!o ni0e" for instan!e" that learnin to !on!entrate may %e more valua%le to him than a %a!(hand" he shifts from %ein primarily a player of the outer ame to %ein a player of the Inner Game# Then" instead of learnin !on!entration to improve his tennis" he pra!ti!es tennis to improve his !on!entration# This represents a !ru!ial shift in values from the outer to the inner# 6nly when this shift o!!urs within a player does he free himself of the an$ieties and frustrations involved in %ein overly dependent on the results of the e$ternal ame# 6nly then does he have the !han!e to o %eyond the limitations inherent in the various e o-trips of Self 2 and to rea!h a new awareness of his true potential# Competition then %e!omes an interestin devi!e in whi!h ea!h player" %y ma(in his ma$imum effort to win" ives the other the opportunity he desires to rea!h new levels of self-awareness# 2>< Thus" there are two ames involved in tennis) one the outer ame played a ainst the o%sta!les presented %y an e$ternal opponent and played for one or more e$ternal pri0es. the other" the Inner Game" played a ainst internal mental and emotional o%sta!les for the reward of in!reasin self-reali0ation-that is" (nowled e of one-s true potential# It should %e re!o ni0ed that %oth the inner and outer ames o on simultaneously" so the !hoi!e is not whi!h one to play" %ut whi!h deserves priority# Clearly" almost every human a!tivity involves %oth the outer and inner ames# There are always e$ternal o%sta!les %etween us and our e$ternal oals" whether we are see(in wealth" edu!ation" reputation" friendship" pea!e on earth" or simply somethin to eat for dinner# *nd the inner o%sta!les are always there. the very mind we use in o%tainin oure$ternal oals iseasily distra!ted %y its tenden!y to worry" re ret or enerally muddle the situation" there%y !ausin needless diffi!ulties from within# It is helpful to reali0e that whereas our e$ternal oals are many and various and require the learnin of many s(ills to a!hieve them" the inner o%sta!les !ome from only one sour!e and the s(ills needed to over!ome them remain !onstant# Self 2 is the same wherever you are and whatever you are doin # Con!entration in tennis is fundamentally no different from the !on!entration needed to perform any tas( or even to en'oy a symphony. learnin to let o of the ha%it of 'ud in yourself on the %asis of your %a!(hand is no different from for ettin the ha%it of 'ud in your !hild or %oss. and learnin to wel!ome o%sta!les in !ompetition automati!ally in!reases one-s a%ility to find advanta e in all the diffi!ulties one meets in the !ourse of one-s life# /en!e" every inner ain applies immediately and automati!ally to the full ran e of one-s a!tivities# This is why it is worthwhile to pay some attention to the inner ame# 4ow it will %e useful to dis!uss more spe!ifi!ally the relation of

these inner s(ills learned in tennis to everyday life# 23? 13*NN :erhaps the most indispensa%le tool for man in modern times is the a%ility to remain !alm in the midst of rapid and unsettlin !han es# The person who will %est survive the present a e is the one Aiplin des!ri%ed as one who !an (eep his head while all a%out are losin theirs# 1Lnfrea(a%ility1 refers not to man-s propensity for %uryin his head in the sand at the si ht of dan er" %ut to the a%ility to see the true nature of what is happenin around him and to %e a%le to respond appropriately# This requires a mind whi!h is !lear %e!ause it is !alm# 1Brea(in out1 is a eneral term used for an upset mind# Bor e$ample" it des!ri%es what happens in the minds of many tennis players 'ust after they have hit a shallow lo%" or while preparin to serve on mat!h point with the memory of past dou%le faults rushin throu h their minds# Brea(in out is what some sto!(%ro(ers do when the mar(et %e ins to plun e. what some parents do when their !hild has not returned from a date on time. or what most of the human population would do if they heard that %ein s from outer spa!e had landed on Earth# The mind ets so upset that it does not see !learly enou h what is happenin to ta(e the appropriate a!tion# When a!tion is %orn in worry and self-dou%t" it is usually inappropriate and often too late to %e effe!tive# The !auses of 1frea(-outs1 !an %e rouped into three !ate ories) re ret a%out past events. fear or un!ertainty a%out the future. and disli(e of a present event or situation# In all !ases" the event and the mind-s rea!tion to it are two separate thin s# It ta(es %oth to produ!e the result" %ut the frea(-out is in and of the mind. it is not an attri%ute of the event itself# Let-s ta(e a !loser loo( at ea!h of these three (inds of frea(-outs# Birst" re ret a%out the past# This is the 1!ryin over spilled mil(1 syndrome# In this !ase the mind not only ne le!ts present a!tion" %ut-as demonstrated in earlier !hapters-usually %e!omes involved in harsh self-!riti!ism# The re ret at hittin the %all into the net starts with a 'ud ment of the event" su!h as 1What a %ad serve"1 %ut then" throu h a su%tle" li htnin -qui!( pro!ess of identifi!ation with the event" %e!omes the self-!riti!al 1I-m a %ad server#1 In another instant a %elief emer es in the player that he is un!oordinated and in!ompetent# Binally" sin!e !oordination is often ta(en as a si n of one-s manhood" the player may even arrive at the !on!lusion that he is not very mas!uline# :ro%a%ly the least dama in result of this !hain of thou ht is that the player has perfe!tly pro rammed himself to hit another %all into the net at the first opportunity# 232 Lnfrea(a%ility) The *rt of Fuietin the

&ind 23> In frea(-outs a%out the past we typi!ally worry a%out what we !an do little a%out at the time" then s!old ourselves needlessly and end up worryin a%out someone else-s worryin # This (ind of mental pro!ess is almost universal" and if it is allowed to o its way un!he!(ed it !auses unne!essary an$iety and wastes valua%le ener y# It also prevents us from seein thin s as they are# 4ow let us loo( at an$iety" or the feelin of un!ertainty a%out the future# This is the primary !ause of tension and nerves on the tennis !ourt# *t a !ru!ial point in a mat!h" my mind" !ontrolled %y apprehension" starts thin(in # If I lose this point" the s!ore will %e =-3" and if I don-t %rea( his serve" I-ll lose the set# Then I-ll have a really hard time winnin the mat!h# # # I wonder how it will sound when I tell Bar%ara that I lost to Geor e in strai ht sets ### I !an 'ust hear the uys at the offi!e tal(in a%out it### I wonder what the %oss is oin to thin( a%out the report I su%mitted ### I really should have put more wor( into it### &y position in the !ompany isn-t really that se!ure. I-d %etter %u!(le down ne$t wee( ### I wonder if there-s any other (ind of wor( I !ould do if I happened to lose this 'o%# # # # 4eedless to say" su!h a train of thou ht isn-t oin to help me swin smoothly and naturally on my ne$t shot. Self 2 has too mu!h ridin on it to 'ust let it happen# When su!h a mental pro!ess starts" try to stop it as soon as you re!o ni0e what is happenin # The mind must %e %rou ht %a!( to the here and now# If you have nothin %etter to fo!us your attention on" I have found it effe!tive to !on!entrate my mind on the pro!ess of %reathin " whi!h automati!ally (eeps me in the present# *nother way to deal with the un!ontrolled mind is to simply o%serve it# *ttempt to stay uninvolved with your mind-s trip and 'ust see where it oes# This !an %e a ood way to learn somethin a%out the ames that Self 2 plays# * ood off-the-!ourt e$ample of future frea(-out is what happened in my own mind as I set out to re write the first draft of this !hapter# &y editor at ;andom /ouse had !alled me lon distan!e to tell me that in order to meet our pu%lishin s!hedule" the !ompleted manus!ript must %e finished in four days# *lthou h this ave me a few more days that I-d e$pe!ted" it was still a deadline" and when the new te$t didn-t seem to flow" I %e an a mild frea(-out# The !loser the deadline approa!hed" the more pressure I would feel# The more pressure" the less flow. the less flow" the more pressure# I %e!ame unhappy a%out the results !omin out of my typewriter and felt 2 had to read them to someone else for !onfirmation# When my usually dotin mother fell asleep durin one of these test mar(etin s" I (new I had to start all over a ain# But how was I oin to meet the deadline now" with less time and 'ust as

mu!h wor( to do+ 7ou !an ima ine some of the trips my mind started to ta(e" all stemmin from worry over an ima ined future event-or" more e$a!tly" ima inin that a !ertain future event would not happen# /ad I not %een writin on the very su%'e!t" this mental pro!ess mi ht have seemed so normal that it would have passed %y unnoti!ed# But 2 awo(e the ne$t mornin reali0in that the e$ample I needed to e$plain frea(in out over the future was within my own immediate e$perien!e" and that the solution to the pressure I was feelin was the solution for the !hapter# 6n!e a ain" as in all !ases" the answer %e ins with seein that the pro%lem is more in the mind than in the e$ternal situation# It wasn-t the deadline that was !ausin the pro%lem" %ut the way my mind was rea!tin to it# *dmittedly" failin to meet the deadline would result in !ertain !onsequen!es" %ut the pressure was !omin mostly from my ima ined %eliefs a%out the harm su!h !onsequen!es !ould a!tually do me or others# The proper fun!tion of the deadline Cli(e death itselfD is to en!oura e effort to a!!omplish one-s purpose# But what fun!tion does worryin serve+ 6nly to show me more a%out the nature of Self 2 and how it li(es to wor( its way into !ontrollin my mind and a!tions# * ood e$ample of what happens when Self 2 is not allowed to interfere was iven %y John 4ew!om%e as he !ame from %ehind to win the first mat!h of the 2<83 9avis Cup finals a ainst Stan Smith# When as(ed after the mat!h what he had %een thin(in a%out when he was %ehind" two sets to one" and with all the pressure of representin his !ountry" 4ew!om%e said that he wasn-t thin(in at all# /e 'ust felt adrenaline flowin throu h him" and with it somethin a(in to an er and determination# 1I %e!ame very !on!entrated" and the shots 'ust seemed to flow out of me"1 he !on!luded# *s we learn to (eep our minds in the present and de!line to ta(e fear trips into the future" we find that there is an automati! pro!ess whi!h ives us the ne!essary resour!es to deal with the situation at hand# *s the mind learns to remain !alm in !riti!al moments" it %e!omes a%le to distin uish easily %etween real and ima ined dan er# It is noteworthy that the same mind whi!h !auses us to worry a%out its own pro'e!ted fantasies also frequently i nores real and present dan ers# *n entire population is !apa%le of i norin the si ns of a potentially !atastrophi! war while it frea(s out over events that are already past# To repeat" !almness does not mean la!( of !on!ern. it means the a%ility to separate the real from the unreal and there%y to ta(e sensi%le a!tion# 233 :erhaps this is an appropriate pla!e to remind the reader that 2 am not su estin 1positive thin(in 1 as the %est means of over!omin frea(-outs# To repla!e ne ative pro rammin with positive pro rammin %y repeatin su!h assertions as 1I have a reat %a!(hand . I am oin to win today"1 or 1There is no misery and sufferin

in the world"1 only adds to the mental %lur whi!h prevents us from seein thin s as they are# :ositive thin(in is the same (ind of mental a!tivity as ne ative thin(in . it is the other side of the same !oin and thus ine$tri!a%ly lin(ed to it# If you view some events as positive" it %e!omes psy!holo i!ally impossi%le not to see others as ne ative# The mind only adds positive and ne ative attri%utes to events when it is not satisfied to see thin s as they are# Su!h a mind distorts reality in an attempt to ain a pea!e whi!h it la!(s# * usty wind durin atennis mat!h" a %a%y s!reamin " or a shorta e of fuel are e$amples of the third !ate ory of frea(-out-disli(e of a present event# They are all annoyin distra!tions whi!h intrude on our !ons!iousness at varyin intervals for varyin durations# The first step Self 2 usually ta(es in su!h instan!es is to 'ud e the event as unpleasant-ne le!tin " of !ourse" the possi%ility that the 1unpleasantness1 may have its sour!e in the mind rather than in the event# Then" if the event re!urs or the situation !ontinues" the mind e$perien!es it as still more unpleasant# 4e$t" we may try to do somethin to !han e the situation" whether it is a %ad %a!(hand or a displeasin sound" and when this does not wor( we approa!h the hei ht of our e$asperation# * loud re!ord player in the apartment %elow seems annoyin when it %e ins. it seems more so when you de!ide you want to read a %oo(. %ut it %e!omes infuriatin after you have otten up" one downstairs and" usin all your diploma!y" e$tra!ted an a reement from your nei h%ors to (eep the musi! lower" only to hear the musi! turned up to full volume a ain fifteen minutes later as you-re ettin ready for %ed# This time ea!h measure of musi! !arries the added distur%an!e of dire!t insult to the e o# There are only two possi%le approa!hes to dealin with upsettin !ir!umstan!es in the present# 6ne is to !han e the !ir!umstan!e. the other is to !han e the mind whi!h is e$perien!in the upset# Sometimes findin the appropriate way to !han e the !ir!umstan!es is the most sensi%le" %ut the player of the Inner Game always has another option# /e !an reali0e that there is no need to ive any si ht or sound the power to upset him# /e !an !hoose to see the distur%an!e as stemmin from his mind and not from 23K Lettin It /appen the event# Then he !an find a solution# Bor e$ample" in the !ase 'ust mentioned the man may de!ide to listen to and en'oy the musi!" or to try to tune it out" ta(in this opportunity to ain some pra!ti!al e$perien!e in the art of !on!entration whi!h will stand him in ood stead in our noisy world# There are always oin to %e thou hts and events that try to pull our attention away from the here and now# Ea!h is an opportunity to pra!ti!e the all-important art of !on!entration# *s we

%e!ome a%le to turn annoyan!es and apparent o%sta!les to our advanta e in the inner ame" are we not %e!omin freer+ The !ause of all the frea(-outs dis!ussed a%ove !an %e summed up in the word atta!hment# Self 2 ets so dependent on thin s" situations" people and !on!epts within his e$perien!e that when !han e o!!urs or seems a%out to o!!ur" he frea(s out# Breedom from mental frea(-outs happens as one-s pea!e of mind %e!omes more and more a fun!tion of inner resour!es and less and less dependent upon e$ternals# Lettin o of atta!hments does not mean losin anythin Ca !hild does not ris( losin his thum% when he stops su!(in itD. it does mean releasin our rip on thin s and our desire to !ontrol them# E$ample) it is the rip on wealth whi!h ma(es a miser upti ht and unhappy" not the wealth itself# * Gen master on!e as(ed an audien!e of Westerners what they thou ht was the most important word in the En lish lan ua e# *fter ivin his listeners a !han!e to thin( a%out su!h favorite words as love" truth" faith" and so on" he said" 14o" it-s a threeletter word. it-s the word -let#- 1 Let it %e# Let it happen# Thou h sometimes employed to mean a (ind of passiveness" these phrases a!tually refer to a deep a!!eptan!e of the fundamental pro!ess inherent in life# In tennis it means trustin in the in!redi%ly !omple$ and !ompetent !omputerli(e me!hanism of the human %ody# In the more eneral sense it means faith in the fundamental order and oodness of life" %oth human and natural# Lettin o means allowin 'oy to !ome into your life instead of !ontrivin to have a ood time. learnin to appre!iate the love and %eauty already happenin around you rather than tryin to manufa!ture somethin whi!h you thin( isn-t there. lettin pro%lems %e solved in the un!ons!ious mind as well as %y strainin with !ons!ious effort# But perhaps where lettin o is most important is in the area of human rowth# &any people who read this %oo( may %e involved in one or more attempts at what may %e !alled self-improvement# 23= 23E It would %e natural if they thou ht# /ere is a %oo( that may help my tennis" and perhaps some other areas of my life whi!h need wor(in on# *dmittedly" mu!h of this %oo( may seem to read that way" %ut spea(in as a man who on!e was a !ompulsive selfimprover" I want to ma(e it !lear that the last thin I wish to do is to en!oura e any notion that you should %e any different from what you are ri ht now# I say this with reat !onvi!tion %e!ause I spent many not-so-happy years tryin to %e!ome 1%etter1 than I thou ht I was" tryin to !han e into some%ody I thou ht I should %e# In my ea erness to a!hieve that 1should1 I found it easy to lose tou!h with the sense of who and what I truly was-and of !ourse still am# &any people !arry around with them an ima e of the (ind of person they wish they were" mu!h as a tennis player ima ines the (ind of serve he wishes he !ould deliver# When our %ehavior does

not seem to measure up to our ideal" we row de'e!ted and then start tryin hard to !orre!t it C1:erhaps I should ta(e a series of lessons" or a !ourse on personality development" or read a %oo( a%out how to %e!ome less self-!riti!al" or under o therapy" or 'oin an en!ounter roup1D# Su!h steps are not ne!essarily foolish I have ta(en them all - %ut what is needed is not so mu!h the effort to improve ourselves" as the effort to %e!ome more aware of the %eauty of what we already are# *s we %e in to see and appre!iate our essential selves" we manifest automati!ally that %eauty and our true !apa!ities" simply %y lettin them happen# This approa!h may sound too simplisti! to %e pra!ti!al" and I don-t wish to ive the impression that dis!overin one-s essential self !an %e done simply %y a reein with !on!epts written in a %oo(# But I see tennis players every day tryin hard to !orre!t their 1faulty1 ames" and they learn at a mu!h slower rate than the player who pla!es his !onfiden!e in whatever potential is already within him and then lets it happen# Both have to pra!ti!e" %ut the first type is %eset with pro%lems of self-dou%t tryin to ma(e himself into somethin he-s afraid he isn-t" %earin all the !redit and %lame for the results# In !ontrast" I see these!ond player trust in the potential within himself and learnin to rely on the natural pro!ess %y whi!h that potential %e!omes a!tual# /e trusts Self > to learn to play the ame" and as a result ains a very pra!ti!al !onfiden!e in this pro!ess within him whi!h he didn-t !ons!iously produ!e# In this way he %e!omes !onfident" yet remains hum%le# *ny and all !redit oes to Self ># not Self 2# In respe!t to my own rowth" whether in tennis or any other aspe!t of development" I have found it helpful to loo( at myself as the seed of a tree" with my entire potential already within me# as opposed to a %uildin " whi!h must have stories added to it to a!hieve a reater hei ht# This ma(es it easier for me to see that 238 it doesn-t help me to try to %e what I-m not at any iven moment" or to form !on!epts of what I should %e" or to !ompare myself to the other trees around me# I !an understand that I need only use all the rain and sunshine that !ome my way" and !ooperate fully with the seed-s impulse to develop and manifest what it already uniquely is# Lettin o in this sense means lettin o of our atta!hment to the idea of !ontrollin our own development. the only other e$ample I will ive here !ould %e !alled lettin o of the final atta!hment# 6ne !old winter evenin " I drove from 4ew /ampshire to a small town in northern &aine# 6n my way %a!( at a%out midni ht" I s(idded on an i!y !urve and spun my ,ol(swa en ently %ut firmly off the road into a snow%an(# *s I sat in the !ar ettin !older %y the se!ond" the ravity of my situation stru!( me# It was a%out twenty de rees %elow 0ero outside" and I had nothin other than the sports 'a!(et I was wearin # There uas no hope of (eepin warn) in the ear while

it was stationary" and there was little hope of %ein pi!(ed up %y another !ar# It had %een twenty minutes sin!e I had passed throu h a town" and not a sin le automo%ile had passed me in that time# Therewere no farmhouses" no !ultivated land" not even telephone potes to remind me of !ivili0ation# 2 had no map and no idea how far ahead the ne$t town mi ht %e# I was fa!ed with an interestin e$istential !hoi!e# I would free0e if 2 remained in the !ar" so I had to de!ide whether to wal( forward into the un(nown in the hope that a town mi ht %e around the very ne$t !orner" or to wal( %a!( in the dire!tion from whi!h I had !ome" (nowin that there was !ertain help at least fifteen miles %a!(# *fter deli%eratin for a moment" I de!ided to ta(e my !han!es with the un(nown# *fter all" isn-t that what they do in the movies+ I wal(ed forward for a%out ten steps and then" without thin(in " pivoted de!isively and wal(ed %a!( the other way" *fter three minutes" my ears were free0in and felt as if they were a%out to !hip off" so I started to run# But the !old drained my ener y qui!(ly" and soon I had to slow a ain to a wal(# This time I wal(ed for only two minutes %efore %e!omin too !old# * ain I ran" %ut a ain rew fati ued qui!(ly# The periods of runnin %e an to row shorter" as did the periods of wal(in " and I soon reali0ed what the out!ome of these de!reasin !y!les would %e# I !ould see myself %y the side of the road !overed with snow" fro0en to death# *t that moment" what had first appeared to %e merely a diffi!ult situation %e an to loo( as if it was oin to %e my final situation# *wareness of the very real possi%ility of death slowed me to a stop# *fter a minute of refle!tion I found myself sayin aloud" 16(ay" if now is the time" so %e it# I-m ready#1 I really meant it# With that I stopped thin(in a%out it and %e an wal(in !almly down the road" suddenly aware of the %eauty of the ni ht# I %e!ame a%sor%ed in the silen!e of the stars and in the loveliness of the dimly lit forms around me. everythin was %eautiful# Then without thin(in " I started runnin # To my surprise I didn-t stop for a full forty minutes" and then only %e!ause I spotted a li ht %urnin in the window of a distant house# Where had this ener y !ome from whi!h allowed me to run so far without stoppin + I hadn-t felt fri htened. I simply didn-t et tired# *s I relate this story now" it seems that sayin 1I a!!epted death1 is am%i uous# 2 didn-t ive up in the sense of quittin # In one sense I ave up !arin . in another I seemed to !are more# *pparently" lettin o of my rip on life released an ener y whi!h parado$i!ally made it possi%le for me to run with utter a%andon toward life# 1*%andon1 is a ood word to des!ri%e what happens to a tennis player who feels he has nothin to lose# /e stops !arin a%out the out!ome and plays all out# This is the true meanin of deta!hment# It means lettin o of the !on!ern of Self 2 and lettin the natural !on!ern of a deeper self ta(e over# It is !arin " yet not !arin . it is

effortless effort# It happens when one lets o of atta!hment to the results of one-s a!tions and allows the in!reased ener y to !ome to %ear on the a!tion itself# In the lan ua eof (arma yo a" this is!alled a!tion without atta!hment to the fruits of a!tion" and ironi!ally when the state is a!hieved the results are the %est possi%le# * woman wal(s into a dar( room and sees a sna(e !oiled ominously in themiddleof the floor# She pani!s and !allsforher son# When the son !omes he turnson the li ht in the room and the woman sees only a !oiled rope# In the fore oin se!tions on unf rea(a%ility and lettin it happen" the essential art to %e learned was shown to %e that of %e!omin in!reasin ly aware of thin s as they are# The hosts of the past and the monsters of the future disappear when all one-s !ons!ious ener y is employed in understandin the present# The li ht whi!h dispels the shadows of our mental pro'e!tions is the li ht of our own !ons!iousness# When we understand somethin " we may have !ause to %e wary of it" %ut there is no fear# Lnderstandin the present moment" the only time when any a!tion !an o!!ur" requires !on!entration of mind) the a%ility to (eep the mind fo!used in the here and now# 23H Con!entration and /i her Cons!iousness In Chapter 82 spo(e of !ons!iousness as the ener y of li ht whi!h ma(es an e$perien!e (nowa%le" 'ust as a li ht %ul% in the forest illuminates its surroundin s# The %ri hter the li ht" the more that is (nown or understood a%out one-s e$perien!e# When the li ht is dim %e!ause some of our ener y is lea(in into re rets over the past or fears of the future" or is in some way wasted in resistin the flow of life" then one-s e$perien!e is filled with shadows and distortions# But when most of our !ons!ious ener y is %rou ht to %ear on the present witha sin!ere desire to understand what is %efore us" then somethin !alled 1hi her !ons!iousness1 o!!urs# It is !alled 1hi her1 merely %e!ause more is seen and understood than %efore# It is somethin li(e wal(in up amountain and havin an in!reasin view of what is oin on in the valley %elow-e$!ept that in the !ase of in!reased !ons!iousness you are not only a%le to see more %e!ause of your point of view" %ut you !an also see the su%tler details with reater !larity# Thus the art of !on!entration is %asi!ally the art of e$perien!in ever more fully whatever is in the here and now for you# Con!entration is said to %e the master art %e!ause all other arts depend on it. pro ress in this" as in any art" is a!hieved only throu h pra!ti!e# I have found tennis an en'oya%le arena for pra!ti!in !on!entration" %ut there is in fa!t no life situation where one !annot pra!ti!e fo!usin one-s full attention on what is happenin at the moment# 4ormally" we tend to !on!entrate only when somethin we !onsider important is happenin " %ut the player of the Inner

Game re!o ni0es in!reasin ly that a@@moments are important ones and worth payin attention to" for ea!h moment !an in!rease his understandin of himself and life# Whatma(es itpossi%le to learn more from ordinary e$perien!e+ Two people witness the same sunset. one has a deep e$perien!e of %eauty" and the other" perhaps %e!ause his mind is preo!!upied" has a minimal e$perien!e# Two people read the same lines in a %oo(. one re!o ni0es a profound truth while the other finds nothin worth remem%erin # 6ne day we et out of %ed and the world loo(s full of %eauty and interest. the ne$t day everythin appears dra%# In ea!h !ase the differen!e lies in our own state of !ons!iousness# In the final analysis it is our state of !ons!iousness whi!h is the determinin fa!tor in our appre!iation of the %eautiful" the true" or the lovin # * man may own an e$quisite oil paintin " %ut if he !an-t appre!iate its %eauty" how valua%le really is that paintin to him+ *nother man may own nothin %eautiful" %ut if his !ons!iousness is attuned to %eauty" he is ri!h %e!ause he will always %e surrounded %y %eauty# 23< The Goal of the Inner Game) The 9is!overy of Self 2 2K? I was on!e as(ed) 1In a !onversation %etween a fool and a wise man" who learns the most+1 Bein a tea!her at the time" I was qui!( to thin( that sin!e the wise man had more to offer" the fool would %enefit the most" %ut then I saw that the opposite was in fa!t true# The fool is a fool %e!ause he doesn-t (now how to learn from his e$perien!e. the wise man is wise %e!ause he does# Therefore the wise man will learn more from the !onversation than the fool# Then it %e!ame !lear to me that if I wasn-t learnin as mu!h as my tennis students in the !ourse of a lesson" I pro%a%ly shouldn-t %e tea!hin them# This notion ave me an entirely new perspe!tive on tea!hin # I %e an payin attention not only to %a!(hands and forehands" %ut to the pro!ess of learnin itself# It was only %e!ause my students tau ht me somethin a%out the learnin pro!ess that this %oo( !ould %e written# Ea!h of the a%ove e$amples points to the value of the Inner Game# Every hei htenin of !ons!iousness ena%les one to appre!iate more fully the e$perien!es whi!h life offers ea!h player# Chan es in !ons!iousness alter our lives automati!ally %e!ause it is only throu h !ons!iousness that we e$perien!e life# 4ow we !ome to an interestin point-and the last one) out of all the human e$perien!es possi%le" whi!h does the player of the inner ame pursue+ Even in the here and now there are almost limitless !hoi!es a%out what to fo!us one-s attention upon# What do we really want to tune in to+ What do we really want to see and hear" and what do we really want to do+ These are the questions that the

player of the inner ame finally arrives at and !ontinues to as( himself until he has found his answer# Bound what+ That whi!h he !an loveandthat whi!h ives !omplete satisfa!tion# Boronly when man is payin attention to somethin he really loves !an he !on!entrate his mind and find true satisfa!tion# So the sear!h is on" the sear!h for the oal of the inner ame# :layers of the ame have iven many names to this oal# Some !all it self-(nowled e" some !all it soul" others reality# It has %een !alled :ea!e" Truth" Love" Joy" Beauty" Super-Cons!iousness" and God" as well as many other names in other !ultures# But the name is not important %e!ause no one has ever found satisfa!tion %y repeatin the name. nor have la%els helped people learn where to loo( or how to find that whi!h the names refer to# Those who have e$perien!ed the reality %ehind the la%el say that it is %eyond names whi!h !an %e spo(en and %eyond a %eauty whi!h !an %e des!ri%ed# It has %een found %y the learned and the untutored" the ri!h and the poor" the Easterner and the Westerner# *pparently the only qualifi!ations for thisdiseovery have %een that the see(er %e human and have the will and ood fortune to find the way# When one underta(es the quest for this pri!eless treasure" when one sear!hes for the se!ret whi!h is !apa%le of meetin the deepest lon in within his heart" then he has truly em%ar(ed on the Inner Game# *t that point" all the inner s(ills des!ri%ed in this %oo( will %eof help" %ut the player-s most valua%le assets wrill %e his sin!erity and determination# &y own e$perien!e is that the true oal of the Inner Game is to %e found within# 4othin outside of ourselves is ever permanent enou h or suffi!ient to satisfy !ompletely" %ut there is somethin within every human %ein that is not mentioned in psy!holo y %oo(s# It is not a !on!ept" a %elief" or somethin that !an %e written in words# It is somethin real and !han eless. its %eauty and its value have no limits# It is the very sour!e of all our potential. it is the seed from whi!h our lives row# It is the ori in of every e$perien!e we have ever had of love" truthor %eauty# Itspresen!e within !an %e intuited" dedu!ed and read a%out" and it !an %e e$perien!ed dire!tly# When one finds one-s way to the dire!t e$perien!e of it" when one !an a!tually meet fa!e to fa!e with the essen!e of his life" then he has a!hieved the first- %ut not the final- oal of the Inner Game# When the li hthouse of the home port is in si ht" the ship-s radar !an %e turned off and navi ation aids set aside# What remains is to (eep the li hthouse in si ht and simply sail towrard it# The %i est surprise in my sear!h for the inner self was findin that it !ould %e e$perien!ed %y any human %ein whenever his desire for it was suffi!iently sin!ere# This sin!ere desire alone will lead one to the dis!overy of a pra!ti!al method for un!overin what !ould %e !alled Self 3# Then the only instrument required is the human %ody itself in whi!h !ons!iousness is a%le to %e aware of itself# The sear!h is within" and the li hthouse !an %e seen no matter how near or far

from home port one a!tually appears to %e in terms of his own physi!al" emotional or spiritual development# ;eali0in this oal is within the !apa%ilities of all of us and not the spe!ial privile e of any elite# Wrhen the player of the Inner Game has sear!hed for and found his way to the dire!t e$perien!e of Self 3" he ains a!!ess to the !atalyst !apa%le of finally stillin his mind# Then his full potential as a human %ein is allowed to unfold without interferen!e from Self 2# /e plays the rest of the ame in the in!reasin 'oy of e$pressin with love hisunique humanness" and in a!!ordan!e with his own iven talents and !ir!umstan!es# /e is free# 2K2

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