Sunday, November 6, 2011

But tennis is mentally very demanding for beginners. It starts from the minute they come to the court. Almost no one is relaxed and ready to go. Most know that they don't know anything and a couple of minutes into the lesson they realize that tennis is something "special", especially for beginners.

So the tennis beginner starts his lessons and his brain is working 100% and yet there are still many mistakes. Depending on his perception of mistakes, the player may get more or less nervous. In my personal experience players have no idea how many repetitions it takes to groove the stroke and actually feel the mastery of it.

Tennis looks very simple when you watch a good player. But the road to mastery is long and it doesn't matter which area you're working on.
In order to ease the tennis for beginners there are some important tips which will help them get more realistic, improve their learning rate and groove their strokes with a calm mindset.

Remember – the brain stores EVERYTHING, not just stroke mechanics. It stores emotions, thoughts and consequently beliefs TOGETHER with the mechanics!

Why so many balls?
Beginners are not actually aware of the number of balls in the basket when they enter the court. If they would start their volleyball, soccer or basketball practice, they would see 10-20 balls. But here they might see from 40 to 200 balls or even more in one basket.
The reason is simple – the coach knows that repetition is the mother of skill and a tennis beginner will have to make many repetitions before he'll be able to master the stroke. And one more thing – the stroke is not only the arm movement, but consists of the movement to the ball, stopping, balancing and hitting the ball. It's a complex action which takes time to become our second nature.
So to answer the question – there are many balls because motor learning (learning how to hit and move) takes many repetitions and the coach is ready for that. He also knows that you will probably miss many times before you get the right feel. It's not a life or death question, it's just learning to move in a new way. Are you ready to start with tennis for beginners and do you have realistic expectations?

Tennis For Beginners & Mistakes
Mistakes are a part of the learning process. A tennis beginner is not actually aware of how many and how BIG his mistakes will be. There are two types of mistakes when learning to play tennis:
a) Mistakes where you can influence the outcome
When a coach reminds you to play gently and you forget to or decide that it's boring to play gently, then you will very likely overhit. You can correct that mistake by hitting more gently. It is in your control. Unless of course you're late on the shot and you're hurrying the stroke which produces an overhit.
b) Mistakes which are out of your control (for now)
You cannot have a perfect technique after 45 repetitions. It's not possible to do the correct and fluid motion with so little repetitions. Your brain needs many more to store and coordinate your body fluidly. You also cannot have a good feel for the racquet face level or swing speed after 20 minutes of practice.
You will make mistakes and you cannot speed up the process. It takes time. So this is out of your control.