Did you catch the Richard Farley interview with Emily Sonnet in which she notes the power and influence of the great book The Inner Game of Tennis on her recent resurgence as a player?

“I think, not just my rookie year but now, this past year, my mental side [was crucial],” Sonnett says, reflecting on her path over the last two years. “I’ve read a couple of books — Mark gave me a book, it’s called The Inner Game of Tennis. They use tennis as a medium to talk about how you talk to yourself, because that’s also really important. One day you’re not performing and then, oh no, you’re getting down on yourself. That’s not going to be good. Then you start believing what you’re saying.”

If you have a cerebral player on your team who is trying to make a jump to the next level, or an athlete who has a harsh inner voice, this is a tremendous resource.

As is an excellent coach.

She credits her coach Mark Parsons, who gave her the book, with being incredibly influential in learning the mental side to the pro game.

“When people ask me about the last year, the only thing that comes to mind is me not being in the national team and what I had to do to get back there,” she explains. “The Portland Thorns and the coaching staff, that was a big part of my development, addressing what needed to get better. This organization, this practice is what made me better in addressing those issues to get me back to where I am now.”

“[Parsons] really slowed it down, for me, and made me take it day-by-day to make me get those marginal gains to make me jump up to the next level.”

Read the whole interview here


I’ve written about the book before here


The Inner Game of Steve Kerr

Marcia McDermott

Marcia McDermott

Former college and national team athlete who made a career coaching college, pro and international level. Now I coach the coach and am committed to coaches and leaders building high performance teams.