The First Cut: Applying The Way of the Sword to Life and Tennis |

The Inner Game

And we talked about Tennis, since I was suffering from some neck pain related to my competitive tennis play.

And in a eureka moment, he said, “And there’s that guy who wrote that book about tennis.”

My eyes lit up. “Timothy Gallwey.””That might be it.””You mean The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallway?”

“That sounds right.”Holy Cow! He had hit me square in the heart. Not only had The Inner Game of Tennis formed a HUGE part of my youth, and my understanding of tennis as an exploration of self, but more recently I had gotten in touch with Timothy Gallwey, in order to support the publication of his new book, The Inner Game of Stress.

“YES!” I said. “The concepts of the Inner Game have been part of my life for a long time. I think they’ve guided me more often than I know. I mean, I learned them when I was about 14 or 15.””Well, there you go.””I was trying to learn about tennis, and this “self 1″ and “self 2″ concept was a bit over the top. BUT… It worked.””That';s what I’m saying. I think you have your training. And it’s something you’ve been working at passionately for years.””Yeah, since I was about 10.””And you still love it.”So we talked about tennis and Timothy Gallway for a bit and I said something about the tennis racquet being sort of like a sword. And the game being fairly analogous to a duel. And in telling him about my game, I was describing my serve as a powerful weapon.

“The first cut,” he said.In principle, the serve is a single motion and attack, when executed effectively puts the opponent on the defensive. In my game it is my single strongest weapon. Nothing gives me more confidence than to have my opponents complement my serve at the end of a match. At the completion of a doubles match, hearing “We just couldn’t get a handle on your serve tonight,” is truly the highest complement one can receive in tennis. In addition to the WIN, that is.

I’ll go fish out my Gallwey book. And both my friend and I made a point to go seek out the new book The Inner Game of Stress.

Now I think I’d better go hit some tennis balls before the weekend rain starts again.

via The First Cut: Applying The Way of the Sword to Life and Tennis |

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