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Mental Imagery in Building Strokes

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  • Mental Imagery in Building Strokes

    Would love to discuss my article, "Mental Imagery in Building Strokes"

  • #2
    I have your book “Visual Tennis” and always found it great. Verbal analysis is fine for those wanting to understand the mechanics of tennis, but not for the student. I remember a journalist years ago asking Ivanisevic how he hit his serve. He replied “I toss the ball up and hit it”. As you write in your article, watch a good player playing, just concentrating on his movement, then afterwards going on court, you play better. I never heard a champion verbally analyze his strokes.
    Regards, Phil

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    • #3
      Thanks Phil! If every working teaching pro in the country had your wisdom tennis would be a lot easier.

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      • #4
        Hello John,
        I purchased the Winning Edge back in the 1980's and watched it so often I wore out two videocassette players. That video enabled me to attain national and sectional rankings in the Men's 35 and 40 divisions. I cannot thank you enough as to how much that video enhanced my enjoyment of this wonderful game.

        Sincerely,

        Norman Ashbrooke

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        • #5
          Norman,
          Love to hear that! The music videos are up on the site if you haven't had enough yet.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gzhpcu View Post
            I have your book “Visual Tennis” and always found it great. Verbal analysis is fine for those wanting to understand the mechanics of tennis, but not for the student. I remember a journalist years ago asking Ivanisevic how he hit his serve. He replied “I toss the ball up and hit it”. As you write in your article, watch a good player playing, just concentrating on his movement, then afterwards going on court, you play better. I never heard a champion verbally analyze his strokes.
            I also bought visual tennis off of Amazon because it was out of print. It took a long time to get the words out of my game. My youngest daughter is the biggest product of this approach. She often tells me to be quiet and let her figure it out.

            Lately, I have been trying to figure out a way to have her practice really hitting a serve without fear of missing the box. Sometimes the box is like a limit on the full stroke. It's easy to hold back because of the fear that it will go out. I tried with words and then had an insight. What would a visual/kinesthetic approach advocate?

            I would feed her lobs at the baseline and have her hit an overhead. Then I would have her serve. I alternated this for a few minutes so that she could loosen up her serve. On the lobs she was free to hit as deep and as loose as she wanted. The serves initially got worse. But then she switched to just serves and they would get better.

            The funny thing is that the ability to feel and see something is lost in adults. We get used to just talking. Tennis allows us to go back in time to our earlier kid like selves that did and felt a lot more.

            Thanks John!

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            • #7
              I've been doing some very deliberate training with a few students, two green ball 10-11 year olds, two high school JV players, and two adult beginners where they stand facing me and we do a shadow swing together slowly (I swing left handed) and then I hand feed them a ball, if they do not hit the target we emphasize the correction in the next shadow swing. Results have been good. Usually I do 2 or 3 10 ball sets, so 10 shadow swings and 10 hand feeds. I do it with high performance kids if making a specific big change.

              Adults are a little hesitant to do the shadow swings, and H.S. kids hate it, but the ankle biters love it.

              J

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              • #8
                I think it’s really important to have your own mental imagery and feeling for everything, because even if you have a dictionary of medical terms for what’s going on in a stroke, there’s going to be a disconnect between the high speed Federer video that’s playing in your head and what your body is actually doing. I think that’s the most beneficial aspect of video analysis: you can watch yourself hit in 5-10 min bursts and then make minor corrections throughout the hitting session.

                also, you don’t have the luxury of seeing yourself from a Birdseye view in real time, most of the stroke is happening outside of your vision. This video of Federer using google glass is a great example. He’s not seeing any of the backswing or his iconic wrist and arm position, it’s all imagery and feel. Any visualization is of the racquet coming through contact.

                *sorry for the poor grammar, in the airport on mobile!
                 
                Last edited by rthodges; 12-09-2019, 06:22 PM. Reason: S/P

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                • #9
                  rt,

                  Agreed. It's not the Roger Federer forehand. It's yours and so are the mental pictures.

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                  • #10
                    Visual tennis today has the advantage of being able to look at the high speed archive and observe complex motions like the serve, which once was not possible.
                    Regards, Phil

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                    • #11
                      Great article! Kudos to you for being so far ahead of the curve!

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