Why did I pick this book?
I have always been fascinated watching this game. From the days of Borg/Mcnroe to Federer/Nadal, this is one sport that continues to inspire me even if I have not managed to hold a tennis racket all my life. I have always wondered if I can watch this game with so much focus, what focus the players who are playing this should be having. Is it Science or Magic?
What do I like about the book?
Though the book is about tennis, the ideas and principles elucidated can be extended to excel in any sport or any other skill.
What is one interesting idea that I learned?
Thou shall not judge Thou
How long would it take?
3 -4 hours
Paras or Quotes that I liked
“Focus in tennis is fundamentally no different from the focus needed to perform any task or even to enjoy a symphony; learning to let go of the habit of judging yourself on the basis of your backhand is no different from forgetting the habit of judging your child or boss; and learning to welcome obstacles in competition automatically increases one’s ability to find advantage in all the difficulties one meets in the course of one’s life. Hence, every inner gain applies immediately and automatically to the full range of one’s activities. This is why it is worthwhile to pay some attention to the inner game.
The heart of this book and at the heart of the art of doing anything well. Focus means not dwelling on the past, either on mistakes or glories; it means not being so caught up in the future, either its fears or its dreams, that my full attention is taken from the present. The ability to focus the mind is the ability to not let it run away with you. It does not mean not to think—but to be the one who directs your own thinking. Focusing can be practiced on a tennis court, chopping carrots, in a pressure packed board meeting or while driving in traffic. It can be practiced when alone or in conversation. It takes as much trust to fully focus attention when listening to another person without carrying on a side conversation in your own head as it does to watch a tennis ball in all its detail
Abandon is a good word to describe what happens to a tennis player who feels he has nothing to lose. He stops caring about the outcome and plays all out.
Not assuming you already know is a powerful principle of focus.
When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”
Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)