Brain Alignment: The Art of Focus in Tennis, by Charly Rasheed, (CreateSpace: 2010)(170 pages with Glossary)(Available on Amazon.com)
Mentioned in USA Today (August 23, 2013) by Bob Bryan
(of the Bryan Brothers) as a "pretty famous book in the tennis
world", this little book is a fascinating read.
It's authored by Charly Rasheed, Tennis Director Pro at Wild
Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, SC, near Charleston.
In it, Rasheed lays out his thesis that tennis is essentially
a mental, more than physical, exercise. It's played by humans who are
operating on two levels at once - that we are "two selves" on
the court. The first is a Logical (or mental) Self, and the
other is an Athletic (or physical) Self.
Rasheed goes on the detail how this works, and launches into
exercises and strategies to improve tennis performance with
this knowledge. He focuses on the doubles game in particular, with suggested patterns and illustrative
Rasheed goes on to explain his "Three Fs": feet,
focus and feel. He also suggests that players use "action
commands" to help improve play - these are verbal on-court
instructions directed from their thoughtful Logical Self to
help re-train their instinctive Athletic Self.
It's an intriguing and mind-challenging approach, worth
P.S.: Here's an excerpt from the book:
"Roger Federer's influence on the game of tennis stretches
further than the historical implications. His technical
approach to tennis is virtually flawless. Most notably,
Federer's visual control at contact point is profound and
something which, as a competitor and instructor, I became very
interested in. At some point, no matter what ball sport we
have ever participated in, we have been on the instructional
receiving end of "keep your eye on the ball". Not until
recently have I realized the significance of this
instructional point, thus opening up a system of thought, a
psychology of sport, that shows us why this game of tennis is
so mental . . . [In a recent match], I was profoundly
mortified that I [myself] couldn't execute the one fundamental
that that I had set out to enforce: "Eyes on contact". At
best, I was visually connected to contact point less than
thirty percent of the time. I [was] frustrated, devastated but
immensely intrigued. I began to realize that the fundamental
of "eyes on contact" was not a physical exercise but 100%
mental . . . I [was] to stumble on the greatest epiphany of my
life in relation to tennis and sport: WE ARE TWO SELVES."