‘It’s about believing in yourself’: Tennis star Bianca Andreescu writes children’s book
Years before Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu won her first Grand Slam title, she was busy dreaming about it.
Using a meditative form of visualization, a practice suggested by his mother, Andreescu visualized himself holding the winner’s check.
“When I was 16 I started visualizing the check for the US Open and for some reason I visualized the date of 2019 on the check,” she told CTVNews. ca during a video interview in April. “And I legitimately won the tournament in 2019.”
It was a moment that would cement the career of the then 19-year-old athlete, making her the highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. But on a personal level, it brought out the power of meditation and mindfulness, a skill she still uses today.
Now, Andreescu has published a children’s book teaching young athletes — and their parents — the importance of mental perseverance and the important role meditation can play in mental health.
Entitled “Bibi’s Got Game”, the book is about a young athlete who learns to get through life’s toughest times through inner strength and meditation.
“I felt like I could really use my personal story and create something universal for more people to relate to,” Andreescu said. “I give a lot of guidance and advice on how to get through tough times, how to use meditation and visualization as a tool for that.”
The book is truly inspired by Andreescu’s life and learnings. Like Andreescu, the book’s main character, Bibi, sees the unwavering support of her mother who encourages her to take up meditation to calm her nerves after sustaining an injury. The book even features Coco, Andreescu’s dog who stole the show during his showdown at the 2019 US Open.
Andreescu says she hopes the book will encourage readers of all ages to find their own hidden power to pursue dreams big and small.
“I hope that not only the children will get something out of it, but also the adults who read it. How any age you can accomplish anything you want. I know I achieved something I dreamed of at 19, but I’ve seen players win a Grand Slam at 33,” she said.
“At the end of the day, it’s about believing in yourself, trusting yourself and trying not to think about what other people think of you.”
Beyond meditation, the book also touches on mental health – a topic Andreescu is increasingly open about as his career progresses.
Since winning the US Open in 2019 and placing No. 4 on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour, Andreescu has struggled with various injuries and extended breaks that prevented from playing on the field during several major tournaments.
At the end of 2021, Andreescu announced that she would miss the start of the 2022 season, including the highly anticipated Australian Open, to focus on her mental health.
“A lot of days I didn’t feel like myself,” she wrote in a moving statement posted on social media at the time. “Especially while I was training and/or playing games. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I couldn’t tear myself away from anything that was happening off the pitch; felt the sadness and collective unrest around me and it took a toll on me.
The Canadian tennis star told CTVNews.ca that during her hiatus, she attended a spiritual yoga retreat and returned to her daily meditation practice — habits she says have given her more discipline to her back to the tournament circuit.
“I mean it’s normal not to be well. I had many times where I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to practice or do anything because I was so depressed. Those days are okay, it’s part of being human,” she said.
“I think the main thing is how to cope and how can we reduce these days. I mention it in the book – how to bounce back and feel better. And I really hope he can reach a lot of readers with it because everyone goes through it.
“Bibi’s Got Game” is set to go on sale June 7.
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