From the blog Davids Inner Basketball Shooting, author David Ranney talks about the great influence that Tim Gallwey and The Inner Game had on his career and coaching style.
Let me get started by telling you my story and how I got into playing and teaching these peak performance concepts.
• I started playing in tennis tournaments when I was 10 years old.
• I was ranked #2 in Southern, CA in the 15 & under. I was ranked #2 in Southern, CA in the 18 & under.
• I was nationally ranked #6 in Singles as a Junior
• I was nationally ranked #3 in Doubles as a Junior
• I had the honor of representing the U.S. at Junior Wimbledon where I got to the Semi-finals.
• I played on the Junior Davis Cup team
• I played on the USC tennis team and the three years I lettered varsity we were National Champions.
As You Can See,
I Was A Pretty Good Tennis Player But Not A Great One.
But, I Had A Big Problem.
My Attitude Stunk And I Was Very Negative.
I Used To Yell And Scream On The Tennis Court
Because I Would Get So Incredibly Frustrated.
I thought that if I could only stroke the ball perfectly I would never miss. But of course, I couldn’t do that every time, and boy did I try hard. And, my attitude was horrible.
I Hated Myself For
Getting So Angry And Frustrated, But I Couldn’t Stop.
I had no idea why I played badly at times, and I didn’t have a clue as to how to turn my game around when I wasn’t playing well. I never beat players who were just a little better than I was. Remember I told you that I was ranked #2 in Southern California in the 15 and 18 and under. Well, a player named Jerry Cromwell was the one who was ranked #1 and I never ever beat him. I don’t think anyone tried harder than I did but I just could beat him.
After college, I began teaching tennis the traditional way until my conversion to teaching the Inner Game when I was in my 30s. What happened was that one day I was reading the LA Magazine about an instructor who was teaching the Inner Game of Tennis. His name was Tim Gallwey. I knew I had to have a lesson from this man, and I was determined to go to the ends of the earth to find him. As it turned out, he was right there in my hometown of Los Angeles.
To make a long story longer, I took two lessons from Tim, and he completely changed my life. In the first 10 minutes into the lesson, I felt that the weight of the world was taken off my back. I never got angry or yelled again – an amazing accomplishment since I had already spent all of my tennis life getting upset with my play. It was the best lesson I ever received and it changed my life forever.
To sum it all up,
I felt like a completely new person
when I was on the court.
I will be forever grateful to Tim Gallwey for showing me how to make this change. His book, The Inner Game of Tennis, has been my “Tennis Bible” and is truly one of the best books ever written on the mental aspects of playing sports. You can find his book in most bookstores.
In the 25 plus years since then, I have been studying the mental game so that I could achieve the state of mind that would allow my body to play at its very best. I wanted to know how to play “out of my mind” every time I played. The concepts I will present to you here will show you how to do this. These concepts, as you will see, are easy to talk about, but it takes practice to get there.
However, it is a process and you can use them for the rest of your baseball life just as I do in tennis. I am at an age where ones game is supposed to be going “over the hill” but I am still learning new things about myself and my tennis game is actually getting better. Maybe, I can’t run as well, but if I can get to the ball and hit it, I just don’t miss very often.
As to my basketball experience,
admittedly it isn’t very much.
I played first string on the Jr Varsity basketball team in high school when I was a junior, but I didn’t even try out for the varsity team when I was a senior because I needed to concentrate on my tennis. So, as far as actually playing that was about it.
I Taught Tennis To A Very Good Basketball Player
However, when I lived in Victoria, B.C., I play tennis with a fellow who was one of the best, if not the best, basketball player in Victoria. He was good friend and I wasn’t teaching tennis for money in those days but I did spend a lot of time working with him on his tennis. He then took what I taught him in tennis and used it when he played basketball. Needless to say, he found the concepts I teach very valuable.