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The body seeks out the right form if the mind doesn't get in the way, Gallwey said. No teen-ager could do the monkey, or whatever teen-age dance is going on now, if he had to do it from a set of instructions, but by observing he can learn a dance in one night.
You could find some support for this visual learning theory on any inner-city playground—or any playground, for that matter. You can see nine-year-olds who have never had any basketball instruction, who have the head fakes and body motions, in appropriate size, of Walt Frazier and Willis Reed, all learned from that great teacher, instant replay.
"You have to talk to the body in its native language," Gallwey said. "Its native language is not English, it is sight and feel, mostly sight. The stream of instructions most students get are verbal and have to be translated by the body before they are understood. If you are taking a tennis lesson, let the pro show you, don't let him tell you. If you want the ball to go to a cross-court corner, get an image of where you want the ball to go and let the body take it over. Say: "Body, cross-court corner, please.' "
Baba Rick took over from Tim Gallwey and gave us his four rules for successful tennis. Somehow, they seemed to echo Satchel Paige's rules for right living. They were:
"Ki?" asked one of our audience. Coaches and physical education people made up most of the group. I had the feeling they were open-minded coaches who might send football players to modern dance if that would improve their rhythm and timing.
"Ki, energy," said Baba Rick. "Ki is the link to the Universal."
"When somebody serves with real power at you, is that ki? What do you do?"
"That could be just muscle power," Baba Rick said. "Block it and send it back."
"Your opponent is not your enemy but your friend, who brings resources out of you by challenge," Gallwey said. "Your enemy is the distracted mind, which is into fear and expectation and doesn't live in the present."