TENNISBYMIND Methods Steps and Means- part2
This stage is covered in the second and third lesson.
At the beginning of the stage, the mental exercise must be repeated with the trainee’s eyes shut or open (based on the feeling of the trainee), with an intervention by calling STOP.
The body position must be corrected for the part that is moving incorrectly by touching and exerting slight force during the intervention – a trainee who sometimes makes mistakes has a tendency to resist instinctively a change in the movement pattern. In order to avoid a trainee's mistake, the trainer should not refrain from exerting force.
For example, when demonstrating the “locking” of the wrist, the coach must strongly grip the joint, exerting pressure until there is a slight redness over the joint.
To demonstrate the shifting of weight to the leaning leg, the coach must climb onto the top of the shoe and exert his weight, asking the trainee to feel as though his foot were really “drilling” a hole into the court. All of this must be performed in good spirit and humor, if possible, and involving the observing trainee with verbal intervention on the matter at hand.
After this stage, leaning on the ball must be demonstrated by bringing the trainee to the stage of serving while stationary, to make sure that all of his weight is on the leaning foot, letting him lean his entire body weight onto the ball that his held against the racket by the coach. Performing this action “works miracles” in the understanding of the concept by the trainee, and also furthers his understanding about the quality of his grip on the racket handle and the quality of “wrist locking” during the stroke.
In addition, the term of impact area must be explained, the intent being to associate the rules of serving with the motility that will be required at a later stage in the trainee’s consciousness.
Following this practice, a brief explanation is given on the need to “listen” to the body, the aim being to bring the trainee to the recognition that any sensation of strain in any joint (wrist, elbow, shoulder, lower spine, knee or ankle) indicates an error in stance during the stroke.
The connection between the error type and the sensation itself must be explained. The need of awareness of spinal position during the stroke must also be explained, to prevent an arching type of flexion towards the ball, awareness of the position of the scapulae and the need to avoid drawing back the shoulders during the stroke.
At a later stage, the trainee develops an ability to scrutinize himself, relating to biomechanical errors during serving, comprehending the matter and improving the next stroke as a result.
At the end of each lesson, balls must be served for the last 15 minutes to “balance out” the theoretical side of the lesson.
All of the stages described above must be performed in a forehand and backhand stroke separately from beginning to end.
At the end of the explanation, an arching ball must be served from close range (3-4 meters) to the racket, which will allow for proper preparation of all components of movement until the stroke.
A gradual record of the severest biomechanical errors of each trainee must be kept.