The Inner Game of tennis

The Inner Game of Tennis – Part 2

Relax and let your subconscious (Self 2) take over.

Anyone who has been in charge of a group of people knows that micromanagement is the surest way to lose creditability and respect.

A more effective way is to be upfront about your expectations, belief in your team’s ability, help them succeed, and then back off.

In this year’s 2022 football World Cup Gareth Southgate, the England Manager, demonstrated this approach very ably.

He backed off and left the England captain, Harry Kane, to give the pre-match address to the team.

It is, therefore, not surprising that trying to micromanage another entity (Self 2) has the same effect. In support of Self 2, there is your own body that works well without any kind of conscious control, meaning you do not have to monitor and control your body’s every movement.

Even as your mind is reading this article, your body, which is part of your Self 2, is already hard at work  –  for example, keeping you upright, digesting your last meal and breathing.

So Self 2 is highly competent. It can handle everything from simple to complex activities such as riding a bicycle, singing and playing tennis.

Self 2 can work independently of the conscious mind and will actually perform better as a result.

The trick is to treat your Self 2 with care and trust and let events take their natural course instead of trying to force them. Not only is it counterproductive for your Self 1 to try to lecture your Self 2, but it is not necessary.

It is important to keep in mind that the intensity of your desire for something can even work against you.

For example, to strengthen your weak serve, consciously tensing the muscles in your serving arm while swinging your racket. If you concentrate so hard, you risk cramping your muscles and making them too stiff to move freely and effectively.

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