Psychology

Table Tennis Mental Preparation

Last updated 9 months ago

Filippo Rotunno

Filippo Rotunno Asked 9 months ago

Dear Alois

I do not remember in what circumstances but you once mentioned the book The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey as a very useful psychological aid to playing our sport too. 

I totally agree with you. There is a point in the book however on page 121 that has always puzzled me and for which I would now ask your opinion and help in understanding it. Having explained and convinced me that one must play without wanting to win to cut out the baggage of anxieties that makes winning more difficult, Mr Gallwey explains how in a particular occasion he was stood out by this girl and, feeling very angry, he took all his frustration out on his opponent by playing "out of his mind". This analogy was used to introduce the concept of determination. Well said but unfortunately he does not explain how you acquire this determination. Being stood out by your girl friend surely only happens once and how do you get into the same frame of mind all the time that you are playing a match? I am at the point where I do not care whether I win or lose but I find that, with that attitude I am more likely to lose as I do not give my utmost. The only advantage is that I do not get so upset as I used to. What do you think?

Kind regards.

Filippo


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 months ago

Hi Filippo,

Lovely to hear from you again.  One of our first ever members...

I must admit I haven't read the book for a while but it still has a lot of lessons stuck in my mind.

I think determination or motivation needs to come from within ultimately and it is difficult to manufacture situations such as this.

To your situation where you feel like you don't give your utmost I think we need to examine this a bit.  The winning or losing is not important however the focus on doing your best is important otherwise you are not really challenging yourself.  Letting go of the result as soon as it happens and just playing each ball and point as it comes then allows you to walk off the court the same way you are at the moment, calm...


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