Years before Canadian tennis star Bianca Andreescu won her first grand slam title, she was busy making dreams come true.
Using a meditative form of visualization, an exercise her mother suggested, Andreescu visualized herself with a winner’s check.
“When I was 16 I started visualizing the check for the US Open and for some reason I visualized the 2019 date 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 then 19-year-old athlete’s career, making her the highest-ranked Canadian in the history of the Women’s Tennis Association. But on a personal level, it drove home the power of meditation and mindfulness—a skill she uses to this day.
Now Andreescu has released a children’s book teaching young athletes — and their parents — the importance of mental perseverance and the important role meditation can play in one’s mental health.
The book, titled “Bibi’s Got Game,” is about a young athlete who learns how to get through life’s toughest moments through inner strength and meditation.
“I felt like I could really use my personal story and create something that was universal so that more people could understand it,” Andreescu said. “I give a lot of guidance and advice on how to get through difficult times, how to use meditation and visualization as a tool for that.”
The book is truly inspired by Andreescu’s life and teachings. Like Andreescu, Bibi, the book’s protagonist, sees the unwavering support of her mother, who encourages her to meditate as a way to calm her nerves after an injury. The book even features Coco, Andreescu’s dog who stole the show during her 2019 US Open showdown.
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 learn something from it, but also the adults who read it. How to achieve anything you want at any age. I know I’ve achieved something I dreamed of at the age of 19, but I’ve seen players win a grand slam at the age of 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.”
In addition to meditation, the book also addresses mental health – a topic Andreescu has become increasingly open about as her career progresses.
Since winning the US Open in 2019 and No. 4 on the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) tour, Andreescu has dealt with several injuries and long breaks that kept her off the field for several major tournaments.
In late 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.
“For many days I didn’t feel like myself,” she wrote in an emotional statement posted on social media at the time. “Especially during training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I couldn’t break free from everything that was going on outside the track; felt the collective sadness and unrest around me and it took its toll on me.”
The Canadian tennis star told CTVNews.ca that she attended a spiritual yoga retreat during her hiatus and returned to her daily meditation practice — habits that have given her more discipline as she returns to the tournament circuit.
“I just want to say it’s okay not to be okay. I’ve had many moments where I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to exercise or do anything because I was so down. Those days are okay to have, it’s part of being human,” she said.
“I think the most important thing is how we can deal with it and how we can reduce those days. I mention that in the book – how to recover and feel better. And I really hope it can reach a large number of readers with that, because everyone is experiencing it.”
‘Bibi’s Got Game’ will be on sale on June 7.