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  1. #1

    How long does it take to change a natural thing?

    How long does it approximately take to change a natural thing (that you have been doing for a few years), to another thing that you want to feel natural. Lets say you have this weak forehand with bad technique but it feels quite good cause you have been doing it for so long, and i change it to something that looks good, good technique and everything. How long does it take for the new forehand to become a natural thing?

    - Erik

  2. #2
    I am guessing it would depend on the person, their age, and the psychological way they went about it.
    For me with things like serve it is very easy to change - maybe because you have time to think what you are going to do before you serve.
    But I know one thing for certain: you can change your ground strokes to using another technique and it will work perfect in a practicing session but as soon as you play a match every ball you hit will either go out or in the net. Then you try to go back to your original techinque for the rest of the match and that doesn't work either. I have been there.

  3. #3
    Well, how did you work it out? I guess it take a while to change a groundstroke, specially forehand. But how did you do?

  4. #4
    What works best for me is to make gradual changes. I have seen too many coaches demoralise players by telling them to change too much too soon. You have someone hitting consistantly and they go for a lesson and the coach says "Oh no, it's all wrong. Hit further in front, hit further away from the body, follow through more, step into the ball" etc. Then the poor student tries to think of too many things at once and can't hit a ball and ends up feeling useless or confused - or both.
    I changed from semi-western to eastern forehand (and I don't know if that is easier than going from eastern to SW) and it only took me a couple of weeks.
    What I have done to change aspects of my groundstrokes is to use youtube a lot and look at several players techniques in slow motion and look at one thing at a time. I took it down to small things like what they did with the left leg when hitting the ball, what they did with the right leg, where the racket passed the face on the backswing, exactly what time did they start the split step beforehand, how high did they jump. That kind of thing. Then I added one minor detail each practice session and incorporated it into my own style. The main thing is that you might not be able do it exactly the same as them due to physical limitations and that isn't a problem. Each of the pros have their own style and so does each individual. But there are enough similarities to see things like they all follow through and they all swing their body into the shot.
    There are some pros that have strokes or parts of the stroke that I can identify with, and take bits from different ones. I could never do a forehand like Monfils, for example but my follow through is similar, I can't do a leaping overhead smash like Sampras but my forehand has similar attributes and grip - but my backhand is a bit like Del Potro's (not as powerful though).
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by mal-j; 03-28-2010 at 11:11 AM.

  5. #5
    Cool Cool dude thanks for the tips. Fuzzyyellowballs site is really good, they are on youtube too. Anyways, i just recorded my own technique because i wanted to see what it looked like but now i just need to speed things down, do you know any program that i can do the videos in slowmotion?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Cool Cool dude thanks for the tips. Fuzzyyellowballs site is really good, they are on youtube too. Anyways, i just recorded my own technique because i wanted to see what it looked like but now i just need to speed things down, do you know any program that i can do the videos in slowmotion?
    The only system I know of is dartfish. As for your question, we change strokes all the time at the academy if there are serious issues with the technique. Take yourself out of competition and hit tons of fed balls until you have gotten the feel of the new stroke and you have confidence that you can hit it under pressure situations. Then, find a hitting partner and hit rally balls over and over on your forehand side. It may take a bit, but it will come.....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Cool Cool dude thanks for the tips. Fuzzyyellowballs site is really good, they are on youtube too. Anyways, i just recorded my own technique because i wanted to see what it looked like but now i just need to speed things down, do you know any program that i can do the videos in slowmotion?
    Put the video you want to slow down in windows movie maker then add the effect slow down half to the beginning of it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    How long does it approximately take to change a natural thing (that you have been doing for a few years), to another thing that you want to feel natural. Lets say you have this weak forehand with bad technique but it feels quite good cause you have been doing it for so long, and i change it to something that looks good, good technique and everything. How long does it take for the new forehand to become a natural thing?

    - Erik
    Well it all depends the younger the better I would say. First thing to do you want to completely forget the bad habit by doing almost beginners drills then you will have to start pretty much over to build your new skill. Once you understand what to do it will become easier and easier and then it will become natural.
    I would say that with hard work you can change something in a couple months.

    But do not forget if something is working good even with a bad technique it is sometimes useful to work with that. There is not a simple technique for any shot.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    The only system I know of is dartfish. As for your question, we change strokes all the time at the academy if there are serious issues with the technique. Take yourself out of competition and hit tons of fed balls until you have gotten the feel of the new stroke and you have confidence that you can hit it under pressure situations. Then, find a hitting partner and hit rally balls over and over on your forehand side. It may take a bit, but it will come.....
    Hey Tk! I was thinking of that too, maybe i should stop with competition for a while if I'm changing something as it's alot of pressure on me when I'm playing tournaments (until i get the feeling for the hit). Oh and yeah, I'm downloading dartfish now!^^

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    Put the video you want to slow down in windows movie maker then add the effect slow down half to the beginning of it.
    I have windows 7 and for some reason they have removed the function to speed up and slow down clips :S.

  11. #11
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    you'll have to buy the rest of the program if you want all the functions to work.

    as for how long it takes to become natural: i would guess on average a dedicated trainee could learn a shot to second-nature in a week. dedicated means on the court all seven days, six hours a day with a coach reinforcing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Hey Tk! I was thinking of that too, maybe i should stop with competition for a while if I'm changing something as it's alot of pressure on me when I'm playing tournaments (until i get the feeling for the hit). Oh and yeah, I'm downloading dartfish now!^^
    Hey buddy. There is no time frame for someone to learn a stroke. Just go out and practice it and once you feel comfortable and confident, then that is the amount of time it will take you to learn it. There is no set rule. Stop the competition if you seriously want to change your stroke. Otherwise, you will lose all confidence and you will lose both strokes. Get me a video of your forehand and I will tell you what you need to do to improve it. Free of charge! (I normally charge $90 an hour for that!) Also, save your cash and come over here and train for a week with us! I just finished talking with a good friend of mine from Sweden (Rikard Bergh) who was top 10 on the ATP doubles tour and played 15 straight Wimbledons. I used to coach with him in Florida. He lives in the States now. Do you know of him?

  13. #13
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    I also suffer/suffered from this problem. My coach got me to start from the beginning, like practically from contact point, and we moved backward from there.
    Muscle memory is pretty hard to change, and I guess if you play in competition, you'll panic and use the same undesired stroke.
    Sometimes, even on the ball machines, and when I was trying to consiously change it, my body would just freak out and try to hit it the wrong way.

    I think the Russians wouldn't let their kids play competition until after 2 years because of the same reason.

    Good luck

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    Hey buddy. There is no time frame for someone to learn a stroke. Just go out and practice it and once you feel comfortable and confident, then that is the amount of time it will take you to learn it. There is no set rule. Stop the competition if you seriously want to change your stroke. Otherwise, you will lose all confidence and you will lose both strokes. Get me a video of your forehand and I will tell you what you need to do to improve it. Free of charge! (I normally charge $90 an hour for that!) Also, save your cash and come over here and train for a week with us! I just finished talking with a good friend of mine from Sweden (Rikard Bergh) who was top 10 on the ATP doubles tour and played 15 straight Wimbledons. I used to coach with him in Florida. He lives in the States now. Do you know of him?
    Ok wait a minute! why does Erik get this free session? jk. Seriously though, i should post a video of my forehand. it's a mess right now. i used to have a very good sem-closed to closed stance forehand. i switched to an open stance about six months ago and still have not found the same rhythm i once had. Erik, take TK up on his offer, so all of us can get some input from a former pro.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    Ok wait a minute! why does Erik get this free session? jk. Seriously though, i should post a video of my forehand. it's a mess right now. i used to have a very good sem-closed to closed stance forehand. i switched to an open stance about six months ago and still have not found the same rhythm i once had. Erik, take TK up on his offer, so all of us can get some input from a former pro.
    Send it to me. Glad to work it out for you. When I get paid for coaching and lessons, it is very hands on. I show you exactly what will make you better. I don't mind giving some verbage for free at all. You guys need to get over here and work out with me for a weekend.

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