Wednesday 2012-03-21

The Inner Game of Tennis

We're all schizophrenic; you just need to put someone on a court and within half an hour that person will be talking to themselves: one personality talking to another less verbal one.

Gallwey's insight lies in accepting our schizophrenia and minimizing its damage; he has pages of heuristics, however we gain the most just by thinking about game performance and critical control of performance as a personality disorder.

the "I" and the "myself" are separate entities or there would be no conversation, so one could say that within each player there are two "selves". One, the "I", seems to give instructions; the other, "myself", seems to perform the action. Then "I" returns with an evaluation of the action. For clarity let's call the "teller" Self 1 and the "doer" Self 2.
-- The Discovery of the Two Selves
The first step is to see your strokes as they are. They must be perceived clearly. This can be done only when personal judgment is absent.
-- Quieting Self 1
If you think you are controlled by a bad habit, then you will feel you have to try to break it. A child doesn't have to break the habit of crawling, because he doesn't think he has a habit. He simply leaves it as he finds walking an easier way to get around.
-- Changing Habits
there was a distinctly different kind of satisfaction gained in the two methods of hitting the ball. When you try hard to hit the ball correctly, and it goes well, you get a a certain kind of ego satisfaction. You feel that you are in control, that you are master of the sitation. But when you simply allow the serve to serve itself, it doesn't seem as if you deserve the credit.
-- Changing Habits