Book Review on “The Inner Game of Tennis”

Book Review on “The Inner Game of Tennis”

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Whether you are a recreational or competitive tennis player, if you are in the midst of playing poorly due to a lack of confidence/mental obstacles or looking for ways to strengthen your mental toughness, then the following book is for you—“The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey.

I myself, play competitively, often succumbing to nervousness, tightness, and the negativity that comes with losses of points. Gallwey reveals how to master the Inner Game and grow as an athlete and person both on and off the court.

Famed football quarterback for the New England Patriots Tom Brady has himself read the “Inner Game of Tennis” to strengthen his mental toughness.

 “The Inner Game of Tennis” is a quick and easy read, yet it can provide you with the ability to allow yourself to improve and have fun.

The following are quotes from the novel, hoping to provide you with an idea of what to expect from “The Inner Game of Tennis.” 


“I was beginning to learn what all good pros and students of tennis must learn: that images are better than words, showing better than telling, too much instruction worse than none.”

“He is conscious, but not thinking, not over-trying. A player in this state knows where he wants the ball to go, but he doesn’t have to ‘try hard’ to send it there.”

“When we unlearn to be judgmental, it is possible to achieve spontaneous, focused play.”

“Ending judgment means you neither add nor subtract from the facts before your eyes. Things appear as they are—undistorted. In this way, the mind becomes more calm.”

“Trusting your body in tennis means letting your body hit the ball…Letting it happen is not making it happen.”

“Once you are competing it is too late to work on your strokes, but it is possible to hold in your mind the image of where you want the ball to go and then allow the body to do what it is necessary to hit it there.” 

“The player has only two requirements for success: hit each ball over the net and into the court.”

“But when your attention is on the here and now, the actions which need to be done in the present have their best chance of being successfully accomplished, and as a result the future will become the best possible present.”

“The score of a tennis match may be an indication of how well I performed or how hard I tried, but it does not define me, nor give me cause to consider myself as something more or less than I was before the match.”

Although the novel states tennis in it’s title, it can be applied to anyone, in any profession, leaving you with a quiet, still mind which results in mastering the Inner Game.