TENNISBYMIND Methods Steps and Means- part 7.
Goals and measures to achieve them.
A. Chronology of the foregoing exercise emphasizes the first step on the correct use of body limbs, creates the sequence of steps that are required for a good strike. Integration of basic biomechanics with mobility appears at later stages of the methodology. It is directed so that when sweating and breathing starts the trainee has already some sensual/ intellectual background of what tennis is all about. It also meant to use the mind in order to shorten the time of movement sequences required in tennis.
B. Another goal is to increase the level of understanding and expertise of the trainees to a high degree from the beginning of the process. In fact this expertise obtains the physical performance. Theoretical expertise is an incentive to apply self-criticism not only during lesson, but also while playing for fun.
Extra benefit is achieved by learning how to watch tennis. The issue should be discussed on drinking intervals and while collecting the balls. There are two main ways to watch tennis. The first, deals with armature game. This type allows observation of basic errors committed by the player without coercion made by the opponent. Ability to analyze them adds a great deal to the viewer's game in the future. The second is watching the pros, especially in Grand slam tournament. Because of the speed of the motion it is necessary to concentrate on one player and each time focus on one aspect of the strike. For example - using the shoulders, racket preparation for the strike, racket pathway towards impact, using knees and feet of each leg, point of finishing the swing, impact area and subsequent movement to the next strike. All this must be done while ignoring the ball and concentrating on just one player and only one component at a time. More insights can be drawn during warm up when strikes are made without extensive effort and require movement in slow speed. In this situation it is also possible to watch the eye following of the ball as soon as it leaves the racket. Another element that contributes is watching replays of high speed cameras. In this case there is need to follow one component of the strike and ignore the overall player movement and ball flight as well.
C. The use of mutual criticism both instructor and trainees in "live", brings improved insights among the trainees themselves. In fact, it creates the habit of trainer interventions. All this leads to a better acceptance of constant vocal intervention in the last stages where there is widespread use of this technique.
D. The use of images is very useful.
For example-in order to describe the end of the swing path of a backhand with one hand, we use the image of the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
The use of spine and shoulders is being described in connection with the image of a ballerina that rotates without tilting her spine, when opposite hand (to the one holding the racket) is creating balance while turning.
Imagination of leaning leg, drilling a hole into the court.
Reaching at the end of the swing (forehand and back hand with two hands) to feel the impact of the racket frame between the shoulder blades - reminiscent of a mourning ceremony of Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Turning the opposite shoulder (of the striking hand) while imagining the edge of a blade on a rifle scope.
Description of "carpet" of light (like effects produced by laser light at rock concerts, etc.), below which there is to hit the ball.
Generally speaking, the amount of use of images also depends on the creativity of the instructor. It is recommended when a failure occur to let the trainee choose for himself any image he can relate to.
E. For those trainees who are especially weak, it is recommended to invest in one or two major weaknesses in order to create a relatively quick learning curve so they can sense progress at early stage as much as possible. For especially `anemic` strikers I recommend to hit few balls freely and go wild with this motion in order to get the basic notion of what hard striking means. During the process, after receiving strikes of increasing intensity we start to incorporate principles of tennis biomechanics. It turns out that with this type of strikers, feeling the power of the strike brings them more quickly to the use of classical striking rules. Pre-rigor (with these strikers) on movement rules without getting the sense of power, leads to a lack sense of progress. The trainee tends to judge his performance according to the ball flight.
F. A repetition without a ball is required, every time a significant error of movement is made. The trainee has to execute it once again without the ball. The instructor is leading the trainee to feel the unnecessary stress in his joints, using it as a sign for the part that has to be mended in his movement.
G. A video of each trainee has to be taken separately and give it to him at the end of the process.
H. This type of workshop can be passed during several weeks based on double hour daily meetings. It leads to the desire for tennis and consequently staying in the sport.
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