Found in 6 comments on Hacker News
toss1 · 2021-02-07 · Original thread
>>What else could it be?

At that level, it's generally known to be the mental preparation for the given day (along with a bit of luck, as you mentioned).

Indeed, everyone at that level has already been filtered and selected for similar top levels of skill, knowledge, conditioning, equipment, diet, coaches, etc., etc., etc. It comes down to the mental game both internally and between competitors on that particular day.

A classic book to understand some of this is The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey [0]

Source: I formerly competed at international levels for several years in alpine ski racing (mostly DH/Super-G), and studied neuroscience in college as a result of the many fascinating mental phenomena I found in training and competing.

One very interesting fact I came across in neuroscience is that perceptual thresholds for relevant senses, e.g., touch sensitivity for a musician, are about 10X finer than normal people (i.e., they can detect physical differences only 10% the size of that detectable by normal population), and that this is trainable. So yes, this is definitely on the skill/ training side, agreeing with the author.

OTOH, I know some top level musicians who quickly point out that the people with insane levels of desire, motivation, and hard work who will never get to the level to pass a professional audition. But I haven't further data to see what is the issue (does it come to talent, or some genetic shortcoming in their sensory-motor systems, or have they self-sabotaged, or what 20 other factors?)


ignoramous · 2020-12-18 · Original thread
> Federer's tennis is an unkind learning environment; the rules aren't as clear, the feedback isn't as quick, and the skills are more murky. A lot of tennis is the mind-game aspect and in elite tennis, you don't get the same person very often.

The Inner Game of Tennis [0] for folks interested in learning more about this.


PS Novak's probably more clutch than Rog.

jimkri · 2019-10-03 · Original thread
I second this comment.

"A guide to a good life" was the first book on stoicism I read, that link was posted before and led me to it, and it really helped me a lot. I would also recommend the "Tao of Seneca" 3 PDFs that Tim Ferriss put together, the audiobooks are great because you can easily listen to a letter a day which helps me to build the habit of following stoicism.

Another book that really helped me was "The Inner Game of Tennis"

rickdale · 2015-11-24 · Original thread
Theres a great mental toughness book/concept called Mindset[1], and the concepts are definitely all over the sports world. The book is considered by some to be the Inner Game Of Tennis[2] of today. But one of the concepts in Mindset that they say even the top guys can mess up is that if you are in a negative state of mind, you must give yourself a trigger word, or some sort of positivity before restarting your concentration. In other words, if you are telling yourself, "I am playing like crap. Wah Wah.. Ok, now concentrate!" You are likely to fail. However, if you are able to stop yourself, or correct yourself and say, "run run run." Then start concentrating, you are more likely to succeed. In relation to the article, quiet eyes are only as good as the mindset behind them. (I hope that made some sort of sense). But it basically means you need to have the right mindset before you start concentrating.

The run run run is from an example in the book. I noticed when the Detroit Red Wings were on a losing skid this year players had "skate skate skate" written on the tape of their stick. Also, Roberta Vinci quoted Mindset after taking down Serena Williams at the US Open. And Roger Federer has talked about using a lot of tactics in Mindset.



zaidf · 2013-10-30 · Original thread
His advice to me: Don't be in so much of a rush. Be easier on yourself.

If you connect with this idea, you may want to check out the book The Inner Game of Tennis:

orangebox · 2013-09-18 · Original thread
I'm surprised by this article since I have not found the "Fake It Until You Make It" strategy to be very effective, especially with regards to faking courage. If it works for the author, great, but I wouldn't recommend this and here's why: False confidence might make you seem brave in the short-term, but long-term it's not going to fool most people and will make you look like even more of a weakling.

"Exaggerating Courage" usually works much better than faking it, at least for me, because it's based on a kernel of truth instead of a lie. For example I've never had a tennis lesson but I used to be good at basketball and other sports. So when I'm on the tennis court, even though my technique is poor, I remind myself that I have good hand-eye coordination and agility. So I focus on the fact that "I'm quick!" instead of "My backhand is lame!"

Focus on your strengths, not your perceived weaknesses. Of course when I'm really "in the zone" I'm in a state of Relaxed Confidence where I'm not talking to myself, either positive or negative, and I'm merely reacting to what's required at the moment. It's the ideal mind-body-state to be in when you're trying to return a serve, sink a free throw, hit a fast ball, or in many other non-sports situations. For more on this, check out...

The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance by Timothy Gallwey.

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