Hi. I am a former professional tennis player. I would like to know if you have any tennis CDs for kids.  I would like to help them attune their minds to have fun with tennis.  We all learn a system of technique – the footwork and strokes and so forth. But I would like to teach kids a system for playing from the heart, tranquil, happy, relaxed and joyful.

By the way, thank you for your CDs.  i just replaced my hip and the Successful Surgery was a big hit with me. Thank you for that. 

Please let me know about the kids.  Take care.  

Emilse Longo (Ed. Note:  We only use the writer’s actual name when specifically told that it’s okay to do so, as we were told by Emilse)

Dear Emilse,

Thank you for writing and asking this.  I think you’ve nailed a very important point about learning a sport or anything that requires discipline and practice in order to perform it well – how can we train without killing the joy of playing, whether that’s tennis or a violin?  

Can we learn the technical skills and moves, through practice and training, so that they’re so ingrained, they’re automatic, and then apply those moves with the smooth, joyful, relaxed, meditative focus that comes with playing for joy, from the heart?

Most research suggests that this is the ideal combination for peak performance – what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called FLOW in his groundbreaking book of the same name.

And yes, we do have several tennis CDs by sports coach Linda LeClaire that fill the bill.  Please check her out here.

For more general sports performance, I have a special attachment to David Illig’s Peak Performance Sports, an Ericksonian hypnosis audio program that definitely improved my oldest son’s baseball pitching and running.

For a more traditional approach, I like Emmett Miller’s hypnosis/guided imagery recording, Optimal Performance.
And the Self-Confidence & Peak Performance guided imagery that I recorded aims for the same kind of impact that you’re looking for.  

I hope these suggestions help.  Good luck with this!  It’s a wonderful mission, to teach kids to keep loving their sport and finding joy in it, sometimes in spite of all the discipline and training they’re subjected to.
All best,