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How A Book About Tennis Can Strengthen Your Drumming Mentality

This book was first introduced to me by a friend in drum corps.  They told me that Pat Fitzgibbon(00’,01’ and 02’ I&E Champ from The Madison Scouts - His famous 2002 solo can be seen here) had read the book.  Since then, the popularity of this book has exploded amongst marching percussionist.  Current members of the top drumlines in the world still read this book today.  Ez Lanser, the snare tech for the Santa Clara Vanguard recommends this book to all of his students.  Jay Reddicks, current RCC section leader has read the book and advocates for its methods.   The ability to have uninterrupted concentration for prolonged periods of time is one of the most important skills a drummer can possess.  Finding a state of relaxed concentration and mental clarity is what separates the good from the great.  Think about Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and Tom Brady.  Can other people in the world make 1 free throw? Sink a putt? Throw a touchdown pass?  Absolutely.  What differentiates the three mentioned above and makes them some of the greatest of all times is their uncanny consistency.  Their ability to perform a seemingly repetitive task is done with such a high probability, no one else in the world can replicate their results.  Not to mention they’re able to do this in the highest pressure moments the sports world can offer….How can they do this so consistently?  They’ve been able to eliminate lapses in concentration, nervousness, self-doubt and self condemnation.  They’ve been able to overcome all habits of the mind that inhibit excellence in performance.  In order to be in a top drumline you have to be able to reach the same state of relaxed concentration that world class athletes do. How you might ask? Train your mind.  Introducing  The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey.  This sports psychology book was written before sports psychology was even a  recognized field. The principles of this book still hold true today as they explore bringing awareness to your conscious and unconscious mind.   This book has helped its readers  gain a better understanding of how their mind works and introduces you to different techniques to enhance your mental game.  The beauty of this peak mental performance manual is that it just uses tennis as the medium.  All you do is replace the word “tennis” with the word “drumming” as you’re reading.  Just take a look at the name of the chapters and see if you think these might help elevate your mental game to the next level.  

  • Reflections on the Mental side of Tennis (Drumming)

  • The Discovery of the Two Selves (I’ll explain this more in future blogs)

  • Quieting Self 1

  • Trusting Self 2

  • Discovering Technique

  • Changing habits

  • Concentration: Learning to Focus

  • Games people play on the Court

  • The meaning of Competition

  • The Inner Game Off the Court

We’ll be breaking down these chapters in more detail over the next few weeks with a series of blogs.  For now, you can go buy a used copy on Amazon starting at $5.  It’s a very quick read and we can assure you this is well worth the investment.  If you want to do better at auditions, have less brain lapses and play more consistently, do yourself a favor and read this book. Take the time to develop your mental game now and you’ll thank yourself later.  Buy now on Amazon:  The Inner Game of Tennis: The classic guide to the mental side of Peak Performance If you’ve read this book comment below and let us know!  We’re also curious as to what your major takeaways were!

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