The Inner Game of Tennis: It’s Not About the Racket

Amazon has more than 300 reviews of Lance Armstrong’s autobiography, It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. Reviewers consistently agree that this book is very inspiring and full of hope.

There are too many messages and lessons in the book to cover them all in this article. However, there are three key strategies that are of particular relevance to the inner game of tennis. In essence, they can be captured by the statement, It’s not about the racket..

The three key strategies are:

1. Don’t let others limit your goals or your dreams.

When Lance Armstrong was recovering from brain surgery and aggressive chemotherapy, there were plenty of people who said he would never ride again. Even one of his main sponsors abandoned Lance because he believed he could never recover from the devastation of cancer and related treatment.

Lance refused to let others define his abilities or limit his goals and dreams. He was determined not only to get back into riding, but also to win the grueling Tour de France for the first time. Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times!

Even when he was emaciated, exhausted, and exhausted, he stuck to his goals and his dream. So his first strategy is to maintain his goals and dreams even in the face of opposition from well-meaning people.

2. Dig into your internal resources

Lance argues that the key learning for him from his illness and survival is that we are better than we know. We totally underestimate our inner reserves and unrealized capacities because we don’t test the power of our minds. Often, it is only in a crisis that these internal capacities emerge.

A key strategy of the inner game of tennis is learning to tap into our inner resources and harness our unrealized potential. This requires willpower, determination and preparation to win against all odds. Lance survived his cancer even though the doctors estimated that he had a 3% chance of survival, not great odds!

Here is another relevant example. The press, globally and locally, decided at the start of the 2007 Australian Open Tennis Championships that Serena Williams had no chance of winning because she was overweight and out of shape. They did not take into account her basic underlying physical condition or her ability to tap into her incredible inner reserves. Her willpower was so strong that her opponents often withered away from her sheer determination, even when leading the party.

Therefore, the second key strategy is learning to tap into your inner reserves by challenging the limits you set for yourself.

3. Make every obstacle an opportunity

Lance Armstrong attributes this strategy to his mother who continually reminded him, even as a child, that with every obstacle there was an opportunity to improve himself. In an interview after his first Tour de France victory, Lance stated that his illness created the opportunity to improve on many fronts. He claimed that his battle with cancer allowed him to become tougher and more patient as a competitive cyclist and more thoughtful, compassionate and responsible as a person, father and life partner.

Therefore, a third key tennis inner game strategy is to improve your game and improve yourself through every obstacle you encounter.

The inner game of tennis is not about the racket. It’s about you. It’s about how you define your abilities and stick to your goals, how you access your inner resources, and how you use obstacles to improve yourself and your tennis game.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *