Mental Imagery in Developing
Stroke Patterns

John Yandell

Mental imagery: a revolutionary foundation for building technical stroke patterns.

In his two part series on mental imagery Archie Dan Smith explored how visualization can be a driving methodology in developing and improving every aspect of the game. (Click Here for Part 1. Click Here for Part 2.) The use of imagery underlies much of everything on Tennisplayer and also the teaching system I have developed over the last 40 years—wow it's been a long time.

But in this article I want to detail more specifically how I think visual and kinesthetic imagery can work in the most fundamental aspect of the game--developing or improving how you hit the tennis ball. I think this underlies the way great players develop their games as well.


Many tennis players have had this experience—spontaneously playing better tennis after watching great tennis. This is the osmosis effect.

It happened to me for the first time at age 12 after watching Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall on black and white television. I played afterward with my brother on our neighborhood courts and still remember, at the age of 12, the elation of hitting with more consistency and confidence than ever before.

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John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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