Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Learn Tennis the Effective Way

Excepted from: Tennis Mind Game

When you're learning a new technique, you obviously need to consciously think about it for a while.

Nevertheless, your goal must be to allow your subconscious to take over as soon as possible. Therefore you need focus on technique consciously for a while and then STOP.

Then start playing tennis by focusing on tactics – this can simply mean keeping the ball in play and looking to play the ball deep or in a certain direction or playing at a certain height or even playing a certain pattern.

While you're doing this, you need to get feedback from a coach on how that new technique looks and whether it's there already or whether you'll need to think about it again later. If there's no coach, you need to be able to observe yourself – but only here and there – and see and feel whether that new movement is already there or not.

If you observe yourself ALL THE TIME, you'll again be too conscious and you won't allow the subconscious to take over.

You need to play freely for a few minutes, just focusing on the ball flight and tactics and then observe yourself for a minute or so to see what's going on.

Then, you need to return to playing for a while, returning again later to observing and correcting yourself.

The periods of observing and correcting need to become shorter and shorter and you need to focus more and more just on playing.

This way, you'll allow a smooth and quick transition of that new technique (new movement) into your subconscious.

You must have the end goal clearly in mind – and that is to have no more thinking about technique!

You're trying to get from a place of thinking about technique to a place where you're not thinking about technique and you're simply playing tennis.

How are you going to stop thinking about technique if you keep focusing on it???

You need to let go and think less and less! Let your body and subconscious take over as soon as possible.

When you watch a professional tennis player (or even a very good club player) play tennis, they are NOT thinking about technique at any point during the match.

They are simply thinking WHERE AND HOW they want to play the ball. (And by "thinking" I mean actually visualizing the ball flight.)

When you drill, think on the technique... but when you are hitting or playing, think tactics. Where and how do I want to play the ball. You'll find your game improving in surprising ways! 

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