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Fred Robinson | Tennis Tips

3 Ways to Clear the Chatter in Your Mind

Posted on June 24, 2019 by Fred Robinson

In my last post on mental endurance, Three Ways to Improve Your Mental Endurance, we discussed:

  • Discovering your "Why"
  • Setting realistic expectations
  • Recognizing that mental strength will always come through challenges

Today, I want to elaborate on the last point of mental strength and overcoming the challenges. 

220px-Nikolaus_KopernikusAs a brilliant scientist in the 16th Century, Nicholas Copernicus had a mathematical dilemma.  There was a complete breakdown in humanity’s perception at that time.  Religious leaders, and most of the brightest minds, all agreed that the Earth was the center of the universe. However, according to Copernicus’ calculations, it simply didn’t add up. 

Can you imagine sitting at your desk, working on equations and thinking “Hmmm… something is really, REALLY wrong here.  I don’t think the earth is at the center of the universe after all.”  Once he figured it out, though, he had to send out his message into the world: “Hey everyone, I hate to break it to humanity’s ego, but we are not it! We aren’t the center of it all!”  Imagine the looks, the stares, and the thoughts of a bonfire with Copernicus being tied to a stake in the center of it.


Did you know that monkeys come in groups called a troop, barrel, carload, cartload, or a tribe?  Did you know that a large group of baboons is called a “congress?" Not really -  but it’s a fantastic urban meme.  😂(And quite an appropriate one, I might add).  In all seriousness, though, we all have monkey chatter going on.  It’s that constant chatter that’s going on in our heads.  Sometimes, when we are pouring our heart out to the person next to us, they even have a “congress” talking in their heads and can’t hear a word we are saying.

The voice, the choir, or the constant monkey chatter going on in our head is simply that -  it’s chatter.  It’s not an authority speaking to us. 

We could ask ourselves these questions about the chattering voices: “Who put you in charge? What are your qualifications?” Then, we could simply observe that this is not our real potential.  Like Copernicus told the world that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe, we too could tell ourselves that this voice is not the center of our universe. This voice will not lead us down a path to being our very best. 

My recommendation to you is this: Fire the baboon and get started with programming in order to become a “Copernicus.”  This is your human right.

bigmagic-coverTo help you get rid of the monkey chatter, I want to share with you an excerpt from one of my all time favorite fun books Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Her description of inviting fear (aka “monkey chatter”) to ride along with you, but not enabling it to take complete control is exactly what we need to do to develop the mental strength and endurance that we are all seeking:


“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do.  I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting- and may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still- your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps, you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude- you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.” 

So, are you shaking the monkeys out of those trees yet?  Stay tuned because I have plenty more to say on how you can make it happen.  Be sure to subscribe and share this with your friends so they can come along on the journey with us.  

Move Through It. . . 


Fred Robinson

Fred Robinson

Fred Robinson

Fred Robinson, Chairman of Body Helix, is a 70-time World and U.S. medalist tennis champion. Robinson also is a U.S. National Grand Slam Title holder in singles and doubles and is an eight-time Atlanta Senior Invitational Pro Tournament Singles Champion. He has been ranked No.1 in the United States in senior tennis in both singles and doubles multiple times during his career. In addition, he was recognized as Player of the Year in the Men’s Open in North Carolina and Florida, and is an eight-time undefeated champion in the ITF World Team Competition. During his 30-year career, Robinson has also received many distinctions such as the Slew Hester Player of the Year Award, the National Gil Roberts Sportsmanship Award and the Best Senior Tournament of the Year Award. Robinson founded Body Helix in 2008 when he observed that compression gear designed for muscle and joint pain/injuries had minimal effect, was uncomfortable, and was decades behind the advances of fabric science. This motivated Robinson to search for a material that would do three things better than any other material in the world of compression: stretch, rebound, and stay in place. His passion for creating high-quality, eco-friendly compression products is demonstrated through his continuous efforts in product research, development and design.

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