When coaching (or being coached) don’t forget the ‘inner game’

Written by PLD Mentoring Tuesday 04 June 2024
As well as developing technical competence, you need to banish obstacles like lapses in concentration, nervousness and self-doubt
An illustration of a person surrounded by tennis balls

Coaching works on the premise that the individual has the answers to their own problems within them. The coach is not a subject expert, but rather is focused on helping the individual to unlock their own potential. The focus is on the individual and what is inside their head.

Often, when we think of coaching, we think of sport. So it is no surprise that a leading book on coaching was written by Timothy Gallwey, a successful tennis coach based in California. His first book, published in 1974, was The Inner Game of Tennis

Gallwey’s ground-breaking book identified that tennis is composed of two distinct games. There’s the outer game, which is the mechanical part, such as how you hold the racket. This is the part that most coaches and players focus on. Gallwey acknowledged the importance of the outer game, but what he was really interested in, and what he thought was missing from most people’s approach, was the inner game. 

“This is the game that takes place in the mind of the player,” he wrote.

Read more: are you working on your inner game?


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