Let's Talk about Transitioning ..or
What happens when you want to change your game? Let's say you are one who enjoys watching Tennis but have never really played or had any measurable success in playing Tennis partly because you had no lessons and/or the people you play with either don't know how or they don't provide any clues as to what you can do to be better.
Well watching Tennis looks easy enough until you hit a few balls and discover how truly easy it is to hit a ball over the fence or find how hard it is to control where you want the ball to go.
When I first began playing Tennis, I served with the face (strings) of my Racquet facing the court, which produced a Flat Serve. Granted I hit it extremely hard and few people could return it the few times it went in the service box. But i had absolutely no control over my serve until one day a guy tried to show me what we regarded as the correct way of serving.
The Transition is devastating because at that time, I had been serving my way for over a year. I was determined to figure out the method he was showing me, I found myself for a few days in the middle of where I was and where wanted to be, which produced some of the worse serves I've ever hit.
There are two types of Instructors (teachers) in the World.
One has been demonstrating a method for years and has long been convinced due to levels of success that their method is sound enough not to mess with, therefore will not entertain any new concepts that threaten their philosophy on how to teach.
The other is of course the Teacher who again has had great success but is constantly looking for new ideas and/or open to new ideas that could or would provide positive results.
The last thing in the World teacher #1 wants to hear is one of their Students coming up to them saying their friend takes lessons from some other guy who does things differently and his buddy seems to be learning faster.
That type of conversation between Coach & Student strike deep to one's credibility as an effective Instructor.
Whereas Teacher #2 having the same exchange, would most likely say, "Really, I wonder what method it is? Maybe it's something we can try here and if so, We'll make sure you can still beat your buddy, how about that?"
This Teacher, is eager to grasp all the new concepts coming of age and wants to be on the cutting edge of whatever makes his/her job more effective. This too ensures their credibility but the difference is, the 2nd teacher instinctively knows, if there's possibly another way of teacher that gets better results, they had better learn it quick or watch Students going away one by one.
I recently had a great conversation between another Moderator here, who is passionate about a method of teaching Tennis that I have never provided my Students because of basically not knowing about it, however this Mod was talking to a guy that firmly falls in category #2. I've always been the type that wants to know as much information as possible within this short time we have on the Planet. I've never been nor ever will be stuck in a rut about any thing new & exciting. So my Mod friend is pushing me to take a look at methods being discussed in the MTM section of this Forum. Ok, I'll give it a peek and see what's up.
This is what I promised and that is what I did. But to make certain, I went out night before last and hit with a friend who is a solid 4.0 Player. We didn't play a match but rather just got in some hitting practice and I concentrated on using this method to strike the ball instead of what I've been doing all my Tennis life so far. Here's what I found ...
Although I have to go out a few more times to re-educate my Mind & Body, we sustained our rallies much longer at an increased pace than what I would have been able to do at the same pace the conventional way of hitting, which is pivoting my body, leaning into forward while shifting my weight so that the power is coming from my legs instead of my arms. I found an online video of two guys talking about this method and I would say, this particular video would not sell anyone one giving it a try however I wanted to tell you that if you are having trouble grasping the concepts of the methods discussed in the MTM section of this Forum, try finding video that are made from the original creator of this method who I'm certain can explain this style much better.
When beginning any new method of playing tennis that you hope will improve your game, don't start off with the whole concept but work in smaller aspects of the game until you can put them all together.
Start with what is being said about the forehand and concentrate on that solely. Then move to the backhand only after you've solidified the forehand movements, etc. Point is simple, it's better to break it down one phase at a time instead of overwhelming yourself with a total concept that could frustrate you particularly if you've been playing for a few years. For those who are just beginning, should have a much easier time because you have no ingrained traditions that you find hard to shake.