Coaching the mind as a form of improving performance came to prominence when tennis coach, Tim Gallwey, noticed that results were better when he helped his tennis players focus on how to learn and manage their thinking, rather than specific technical instruction of how to hit the ball.  He realised that there was a critical self which provided an ongoing commentary (now more popularly known as a “inner critic”) of what the other self was doing and silencing this negative chatter was key to creating peak performance.  He described performance = potential – interference.


The Inner Game of Tennis was published in 1974 and following his book’s success, Gallwey wrote versions for other sports and crucially, applied his methodology in the workplace.