The Inner Game Approach to Changing Technique

Sean Brawley

A different approach to technical change.

This article is for all coaches and players who wish to better understand change and the change process in the hopes of learning a more effective way to change, whether that be improving your volley or serve or grandstrokes, or any other type of change that you feel might improve your tennis or your life.

In previous articles, I've written about the primary way go about change—the giving and receiving of critical technical instruction—and some of the inherent challenges that tennis teachers and players face when employing this method. Giving technical instructions is, of course, not wrong or bad. It's been used for over a hundred years as a way to impart knowledge and improve performance in every sport and beyond.


But giving technical instructions can interfere with the learning process. It can create self-doubt in the player since an instruction is inherently judgmental, it can cause the player to think too much about what they are doing, and it can cause them to focus on their form instead of more important things like reading the ball and where they intend to hit the ball, both of which help to shape technique.

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Sean Brawley has dedicated the past 25 years to helping people from all walks of life elevate their performance and unlock their potential. In the process he has become one of the world’s foremost experts on accelerated learning, innovative coaching, and sustainable high performance.

Sean was the primary mental coach for the USC football team for 9 years and helped Pete Carroll and the Trojans win 2 national championships. Sean is a former Top 150 world ranked tennis professional who competed at the highest level of the game including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

After the tennis tour, Sean met and began working closely with Tim Gallwey, the author of The Inner Game series of books including the classic, The Inner Game of Tennis. Sean is the first certified Inner Game coach in the world. He has facilitated numerous Inner Game of Tennis and Golf workshops in the past 20 years.

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