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Inner Game of Tennis - The Two Selves

The goal of this series is to motivate and inspire you to take the mental aspect of your drumming to the next level.  Golf legend, Arnold Palmer, said “Golf is a game of Inches. The most important 6 inches are the ones between your ears.”  The same holds true for marching percussionists. The way to accomplish this is to be able to achieve prolonged periods of uninterrupted, relaxed concentration. The first 4 chapters of The Inner Game of Tennis lay the groundwork for this.  Before you can master the mental side of marching percussion you have to first be aware that it exists. The Discovery of Two Selves:  Have you ever noticed that you’ll often talk to yourself in your head while drumming?  “Ok! Make sure you push this roll!” or “You were early on that attack again!?!?” Who is doing the talking to who in these scenarios?  Many people will say that “I’m talking to myself” but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Who is the “I” and who is “myself”? These must be two separate entities or else a conversation wouldn’t be able to occur.  This is where the Inner Game of Tennis will point out that there must be “Two Selves” inside each of us.

“The “I,” seems to give instructions; the other, “myself,” seems to perform the action.  Then “I” returns with an evaluation of the action. For clarity let’s call the “teller” Self one and the “doer” Self Two.” - Timothy Galloway

The first major truth you’ll walk away with from this book is the kind of relationship that exists between your “teller” and your “doer”.  As you attend your next several rehearsals bring extra awareness to the mental dialog you have with yourself. What does this dialog sound like?  Is the teller doing most of the talking or is the “doer” taking action and executing? The more you can improve your relationship between “the teller”, Self One and “the doer” , Self Two, the more you’ll be able to tap into the natural, subconscious abilities of the doer. If you’d like to take a deeper dive you can read chapter 2 of the Inner Game of Tennis.  You can order a used copy here - - Inner Game of Tennis Stay tuned for the rest of our series on the Inner Game of Tennis!

Author: John McClean

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