Reader Review: The Inner Game of Tennis

Book cover for The Inner Game of Tennis by W. GallweyThe Inner Game of Tennis” is definitely a worthwhile read for the athlete and non-athlete alike (but especially for the athlete). The book contains some amazing insights given that it preceded all of the empirical work within the field of psychology concerning the dual role of the conscious vs. unconscious mind in shaping behavior. The most difficult part is figuring out how to institute some of the suggestions in specific situations (especially in other sports). Most of the examples are of course heavily dependent on the tennis medium, but there is no reason they couldn’t be adapted for other sports. The focal point to always keep in mind is that the unconscious mind is especially well-suited for processing tremendous amounts of information at once, which is exactly what training muscles to coordinate into complex motions requires. Most of the techniques Gallwey describes are simply ways to get your conscious mind out of the way so you can let the correct motor learning system take over. Not a difficult book to understand, but nearly impossible for many athletes to actually enact. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled to experience the true joy that comes with playing sports.

Three words that describe this book: tennis, sports, psychology

You might want to pick this book up if: You like tennis, psychology, or you just want to improve your performance in nearly any sport.

-Ryan

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As part of the library's Adult Summer Reading program each year, we invite patrons - just like you! - to submit book reviews.
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