I started reading The Inner Game of Tennis again last night. I was immediately reminded of how much I love this book and how much influence it has had over my thinking as a coach. It is such an excellent example of the adage that if you truly have something to say, say it simple and plain and short. While I was reading, my daughter Opal who is in kindergarten was working a floor puzzle. She took a break to check out my book.
"What are you reading, Daddy?"
"The Inner Game of Tennis, sweets," I replied.
"What's the story?" she returned.
Here I paused. "Well," I puzzled trying to think what the story was, "it's a book about how you have two brains. A Word Brain," and I touched her forehead with three fingers "and a Doing Brain." I cupped the back of her head up under her hair.
"When the teammates are playing frisbee, do you think they are using their Word Brain or their Doing Brain?" I asked her again indicating her fore-brain and brain-stem.
"I don't know."
"Well, when they are playing frisbee are they using words or are they running and jumping and doing things?"
"They're running and jumping and doing things."
"So which Brain are they using?"
"The Doing Brain."
"Right," I finish. "This book tells the story of how to get the Word Brain to be quiet so the Doing Brain can do."
"Oh." And back to the puzzle.