I'm so impressed with the book, "The Inner Game of Tennis" by Tim Galwey (sp.). For sometime now I've been so consumed with trying so hard to win that I've simply stressed myself out so much that I couldn't win to save my life. Well, I made a post here (maybe not in this exact forum) that asked if a lot of tennis players experience this horrible slumpy feeling. It's the feeling of being defeated before the match even starts. It's also the feeling of just sheer stress because you want to do good for your team, but you just can't...no matter how hard you try. It's not that my strokes are bad...in fact, they're pretty good. I hit the ball well, got a good serve, and am in relatively good shape. But, I fell into a world of bad tennis. I would talk to myself constantly in matches...always throwing caution right before I'd hit a ball...(for example...I'd think to myself..."watch this ball...watch...make sure your non-dominant arm is in the correct position...don't grip the racket too tight...where's your feet...now hit it...'doh...another shot in the bottom of the net!!!...you're such an idiot...how could you blow that sitter...I hate tennis". That was my mindset! Well, I have news for those of you that may be in my situation. There is a cure! It's called, "The Inner Game of Tennis." This book has taught me so much! The quieting of the mind is vital and so important...and it has changed my game (and my life!). I just read this book and have determined this book was written for me. Before, I would curse at myself for hitting a ball out, but now...I simply acknowledge that I hit it out and then free my mind immediately by focusing on something like bouncing the ball with the racket as I go back up to the service line. Or, if I'm in a rally, I watch the rotation of the ball (and actually try to make out the pattern the lines of the ball are making)...and then just let my physical ability hit the ball the way it knows how to hit the ball. No interference with my mind, no instructions, no hatred, nothing. I don't compliment myself, and I certainly don't hate myself for missing. I simply acknowledge both the positive and negative and immediately free myself from thinking about it. For the first time, I feel loose on the court. I'm not nervous when I start playing and I'm not thinking about losing. In fact, I'm not thinking at all. I'm simply hitting the ball with a relaxed, non-thinking mind. And, the result is: I won a match the other night against a guy who played D1 #6 singles 6-3, 7-5. He had an incredible serve (has won a fast serve contest with it before) and good ground strokes. I approached the match as a new person (mind you, I've played a few matches before this particular match with the new tennis attitude (or non-attitude if you will). But, this particular match was a big win for me. A win that was badly needed. It was such a fun match. He hit big hard serves, and I simply swang the racket at them in a non-judgemental way that was smooth and non-forced. They were going in. I felt a little weird out there. My movement was great, but I wasn't thinking about it. My strokes felt so comfortable. My serves were excellent. I just felt outside myself. When I'd win a point...I simply put it under my belt and went on for the next point. Never succumbing to my instruction-giving mind (except for one instant when he broke me when I was serving for the match). This guy (kid...now 22) had the full package (he's a bit of an overhitter), but I never thought about losing. Heck, I never really thought about anything except when I was up 5-2 in the second set and had match point on his serve. My mind crept in and I tightened up and dumped one in the net which allowed him to eventually hold serve. Then, in the next game, I tightened up on my serve and was broken. Then, I calmed my mind and began playing as I was before. I'm now excited about playing. I want to play tennis now more than I've ever wanted to play. I just wanted everyone to know that I've read the book. It's exactly what I needed and it's beginning to show. Thanks to all who recommended this to me!!!