Years ago I had a crisis in my tennis life.
I had grown up loving tennis, and had played it at a very high level eventually ranking 143 in the world in singles and 123 in doubles. But a few years after leaving the tour, I soured on the game. The joy, the fascination—the magic—that had been so much a part of tennis for me was almost gone, and I didn’t know how to get it back. Soon I began playing poorly, losing in local men’s open tournaments and considered leaving the game completely.
Tennis meant a lot to me and I didn’t want to give it up. What I needed was to play a different game than the one I had been playing. I read The Inner Game of Tennis and it opened up a whole new world for me. I came to realize that the game I had been playing was the game I thought I should be playing: gaining the respect of my peers, living up to the expectations of my parents, and winning to the exclusion of all else. For the first time, I began to wonder why I played tennis and what value could be gained from it other than trophies. I started to think about the type of game I myself wanted to play, the one that would give me the most joy and satisfaction, that would enrich my life the most.
The Inner Game made such a big impact on my tennis and my life that I decided to contact Gallwey. To my good fortune he offered to help me learn his innovative methods. In 1999, at the ICF Coaching Conference in Tampa, Florida, he introduced me as a “master certified Inner Game coach”. Since then I have worked with players and coaches in a wide variety of sports from ATP Tour professionals to the New York Yankees Player Development program.
In the thirty years since The Inner Game of Tennis was first published unfortunately little has changed in the way most people approach their sports. In their pursuit of mastery, most players still think too much about what they are doing, judge themselves when they make mistakes, constantly try to correct errors before they have actually taken place, and are more committed to looking good and not being embarrassed than they are to enjoying themselves. Their actions are shaped by Fear and Pride instead of the Freedom and Joy that is possible.
Today, I have created my own Extraordinary Tennis program which offers an elegant solution to the tennis player’s age-old problem. The answer is to change the way you play the game! Don’t approach it in the same old way! Try something different!
For instance, when my students free their minds from the clutter of all those verbal instructions and focus instead on what really matters—the trajectory of the ball, the feel of their racquet, the movement and positioning of their bodies, where they want to hit the ball—their learning, performance, and enjoyment greatly improves.
The purpose of Extraordinary Tennis workshops is to show you that the game of tennis you are playing is not the only possible one. It encourages taking a more imaginative approach to your tennis that goes beyond the tips, techniques and formulas that are so much a part of our current culture. Ultimately, you will learn how to play a game of your own choosing–one with extraordinary possibilities that you may yet have not imagined.
Level I: Building the Foundation
Why do we play so well one day and so poorly the next?
Why do we miss easy shots and choke under pressure?
Why is it so hard to break a bad habit and learn a better one?
There is a far easier and more natural way to learn and perform than most of us realize. But the way most players go about it—thinking too much about what they are doing, judging themselves when they make mistakes, and focusing on the wrong things—causes them to agonize over their consistency and results!
Sean Brawley will teach you how to get out of your own way and experience truly extraordinary tennis. Whether you are an intermediate or advanced player, be prepared to shift how you think about learning, performing and enjoying tennis.
The workshop is both practical and experiential with participants hitting lots of balls. On this fun and informative day you will learn:
- 5 Exercises That Will Immediately Improve Your Tennis
- How to stay focused and relaxed
- Overcome fear, doubt and the nagging inner critic
- The #1 strategy for winning more matches
- How to get more power on your serve…without trying hard