What is “Inner Game”?

Inner Game is a game that takes place in your head and your heart. It’s all the internal obstacles that take place within the person, and your trust in your own potential.

So, it’s overcoming fear, doubt, lapses in concentration, and accessing your potential to perform in any given arena.

Tim Gallwey in “What is the Inner Game?” |YouTube https://youtu.be/HXwPLh7TDtg

In Tim Gallwey’s Inner Game, a key concept is interference. This refers particularly to inner interference or self-interference: the “fear, doubt, lapses in concentration”, etc.

“Every outer game is different: tennis is different than football, it’s different than making a million dollars in a bank. But what’s the same is our patterns of interference. We take them with us wherever we go. So if you can find techniques and methods for finding the interference, and heightening the focus of attention, then you’ve got something you can use in any outer game you want.”

Tim Gallwey in “The Inner Game of Tennis ‘Bounce hit'” https://youtu.be/PlI8pAmuGxo

An important element in the Inner Game approach, therefore, is to identify simple, interesting and relevant activities that can distract, even if just a little bit, that inner critic and allow our natural ability to learn to come out and play.

In the previous video, Tim introduces the activity of “bounce-hit” to do that: it focuses the attention of the player/learner while at the same time allowing her eyes and ears to notice a good player in action. It’s a non-stressful activity because there is no trying to get it right involved: it’s just an exercise in awareness.

In this video, he introduces another one he calls “trajectory”. As you’re watching, perhaps you could ask yourself what equivalent activity or activities could you usefully use to help you improve your teaching, or to help your students improve their learning, or whatever your outer game happens to be?