One Thing at a Time
What happens at home when you do too many things at once? If you’re like us, dinner gets burned, clothes get wrinkled and the phone goes unanswered. Now, let’s take that lesson to the pool;
Ladies, a female swimmer can make huge strides in power, speed, efficiency and endurance by working on improving only one training variable at a time. Called Parametric Training, it’s an important part of a number of many swim training programs. Once one particular variable has been mastered, (for example breathing) the next variable (for example stroke length) can be introduced.
Drink Like a Fish
As Mr Brinkley, your High School Science teacher told you, its scientific name is H-2-O. Commonly known as Water. Look into it, girls;
Fluid intake is essential on dry land. But it’s especially important during swim training and competition. Even though swimmers work in water and may not appear to sweat, there’s still considerable fluid loss in an average session. Have a bottle of fluid with you on poolside and
The serve is one of the most important strokes in tennis, the other being the service return.
Keep your Serving hand relaxed
Hold the ball like you would an egg and make sure you don’t hold it too tightly.
Relax your whole arm before you start your motion.
Use a stiff arm toss
That means that, your tossing forearm shouldn’t move for at least 3 seconds after you release the ball.
This is the most important point to keep in mind.
You want a steady toss and you want to place the ball in the same spot on every toss.
Because it helps you to focus only on your release point.
Start off slow
Your toss should start off slow and you need to flow into your motion.
Never do a quick toss during your motion, because this will only disrupt your timing on your serve.
Think slow, slow, and then whip through the ball with your service motion.
I don’t want to get too technical here on you
Firstly, getting the right direction to the smash. This comes down to court awareness and the position of your body and leading arm. Get any of these wrong and you won’t hit the part of the court you were aiming for.
Secondly to get more power, you need the strength and power in the muscles that contract in order to play the shot, so the shoulders and forearm muscles need to be worked. To help keep balance and direction strong core muscles are also vital for stability.
Thirdly you need to hit the shuttlecock at the right point. To do this you should always be behind the shuttle, so that you make contact with it directly in front of you, ideally hit at the highest point forwards of your racket shoulder.
Your wrist should be ‘cocked’ or bent backwards before the shot and then snapped forwards at the point of impact to hit the shuttle with maximum power. This should resemble a whipping action.
Finally in order to get in to the right position, you
Swimming is part and parcel of our lives, from the time we are young, to the time we are in school. It is a completely social activity with immense physical benefits and to not have it in the arsenal of talents is like going through life slightly handicapped. But what we are talking about today is the area of phobias and fears. During a child’s initial mental development, the normal faculties of cognitive thought, rationale thinking and the critical thought process are not available to him or her. They operate their learning based on emotion and the subconscious mind, which is much more exposed and aware at this early stage.
When we reach adulthood, we are fully into a mode of thinking that does not allow such emotional ‘learning’ as easily as it would be if we were children. This is because our internal defence mechanisms have been developed to their full extent. We can think rationally, we can dissect situations and apply thought and memory to them and come out with explanations. As children, these do not happen. They thing and react based on a subconscious level of mental absorption, which often involved processes like association.
Then you have to keep asking yourself that same question for your whole coaching career.
If you are a competitive tennis player, then you need to asking yourself this,
“How can I master playing the mental game”.
I think it’s time to change the names of the tours to,
(The ATP Mental Tennis Tour or The WTA Mental Tennis Tour).
Just joking guys.
No, but seriously.
The fact is that the top ranked players in the world, I mean the world class players here, have LEARNED how to focus their energy on court.
The reason for this is, they practice it everyday.
While the lower ranked players never work on their mental games in practice.
“All top tennis players can block out defeats, setbacks and outside forces and stay focused on their tennis goals.”
While the other players tend to struggle and keep struggling in their playing careers.
Which brings me to my mental tip that I have for you today.
Get in harmony and align with your mental game and nothing can stop you.
“Everything is energy and the best tennis players focus
You want to start and play the point on your terms.
End of point.
Never start a big point, actually, any point for that matter, until you are mentally ready to play it.
This will allow you to play yourself into a good rhythm in your matches and who knows, you may find yourself in the (Tennis ZONE) before the match is over!!
Make your opponent earn the point and don’t give away easy points.
Your first objective is to get the serve in or get the return in, whatever you do, don’t miss it!
Because the top players aren’t going give you any cheap points.
They play every point hard and smart!!
- See it, before you play it.
“This is the mental tip that you need to practice on everyday. “
At first, you may not be able to do it on court, but keep on doing it in practice.
Visualizing a point before you play it is going to help you learn how to play them better and then this is going to also help
Since all tennis rackets recommend different tensions (they are generally somewhere in the 50 or 60 pound range), there is not one tension that can be recommended. You can only use the following guidelines. Lower tension increase power and higher tensions increase control. With a lower tension, the racket acts almost like a trampoline. The ball hits the racket, the strings quickly form a small pocket (relative to the tennis string tension) and your swing and strings shoot the ball out of the pocket. Obviously, this is a little over exaggerated, but it is a metaphor to how the strings respond with a lower tension. This all results in a little less control.
Racquet string tension that is on the high side causes the racquet to act more like a board or “brick wall”. This tight racket string tension causes the ball to flatten out more, which allows the strings to have a better bite on the ball. This, in essence, provides more control. Many players prefer tighter strings but it does have a board like feel that you may not like. It is also important to keep in mind that racket string tension will feel different
Your success is tied to your attitude, so for those players that are struggling with their mental game now, take a hard look at the type of attitude you are taking to practice everyday.
Write Everything Down
Think on paper and write down your practice plan and also picture yourself doing them in your mind while you are doing this.
The best way to do this is to write it down after practice.
Then look at it again before your next practice, by recording things down, you will gain clarity and focus and this alone can help you become more efficient in practice.
This can also help you reduce the amount of stress you are feeling on the court and boast your energy level up.
Make The Adjustments
You have to make the needed adjustment before, in and after practice if you want to become more successful with them.
The one big mistake that many tennis players make, is that they don’t make the adjustments that they need to everyday.
They just keep doing the same things over and over again and they expect different results
Unfortunately, the basic breakdown for beginners starts before the ball even arrives. Club players can be notoriously slow for getting positioned to hitting the ball. Now, I realize that club players arrive at the scene with frailties of all descriptions. However; it is critical to get the body aligned with the racquet back and knees flexed with the ball arriving between knee and waist height over the front foot. At this point, you have just dramatically increased your probability for success. The grip will need some experimentation but generally speaking a continental grip (hand shaking) plus a 1/8th clockwise turn (right-hander) will work nicely. Yes, this is not the heavy grip rotation that you may be using on the forehand side. Most of the top players in the world now use the western grip on the forehand but good luck trying to go this far over on the backhand.
The next most common mistake among beginners is a tendency to drop the racquet head below the wrist upon initiating from the back swing. All chances for success are now lost because the wrist gets ahead of the head and the order of events has failed. It is
Pressurized vs. Pressureless Tennis Balls:
- There are two main types of tennis balls: pressurized and pressureless.
- Pressurized tennis balls have a hollow core, filled with air. Some tennis ball manufacturers use nitrogen in the center, because this air tends to last longer – pressurized balls will lose their pressure after about a month or so after opening the pressurized can that they come in. As they lose their pressure, they become “dead” and do not bounce so well.
- Pressureless balls have a solid core. These tennis balls are great for anyone who does not play tennis that often and/or to use and training tennis balls. These tennis balls do not lose their bounce. However, the felt will slowly wear off, and they will eventually need to be replaced.
Regular Duty, Extra Duty, or High Altitude Tennis Balls:
- When you buy tennis balls, the container that they come in should be clearly marked with what kind of balls it contains – regular duty, extra duty, or high altitude tennis balls.
- Regular duty tennis balls should be used on indoor and clay courts. Extra duty balls would get too fuzzy if used on clay
If you’re planning on beating the heat with a dip in the pool this summer, you should make sure to follow a few simple safety steps:
- When you go swimming, swim near a lifeguard if one is available. If you are swimming in an area that doesn’t have one, make sure you never go swimming alone.
- Seek out any warning signs that might be posted where you’re swimming, and make sure you obey them. While rules may seem irritating and even unnecessary at times, they are there for your own safety and the safety of those around you.
- If you have any children with you, make sure you keep a close eye on them. Don’t let them wander out of your sight. Even if there are lifeguards around, your child is ultimately first and foremost your responsibility.
- While it can be relaxing to kick back with a few beers, swimming while intoxicated is a terrible idea. You put yourself and everyone around you at risk. Drink responsibly, and wait a fair amount of time before going into the water.
- If you’re at a swimming pool, don’t run. You’ve been told this since you were three, but it’s still true. When smooth
Write down your tennis goals.
Twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night.
Carry them around with you and look at them during your downtime.
Visualize your goals.
Your picture may not be clear at first, but just keep doing it every day.
With practice, they will become clearer and clearer for you.
Visualization doesn’t work for most people because they don’t do it long enough.
It’s the law of practice.
The more you do something, the better you get at doing it.
This is where you have to be careful.
Don’t just take any action, take inspired action towards reaching your tennis goals.
This means you should be feeling good when taking this action or stop doing it!
Tennis is a FEEL game in the learning stage, but it’s all MENTAL in the competition phase.
Write that down and refer back to it.
Focus on being the best that you can be at every giving moment of your day and never lose sight of your goal (To reach your full potential).
This beautiful slow swimmer whose beauty and grace for many a morning we caught each others eye as she gently swam on. Soon we became familiar sights, me on the path, she swimming on by, for now she even stopped and waved, tempting me to join on in. As I stood speechless as she swam by I could tell she wanted me to join her, and the next morning I did. I will never forget that summer. That one summer where for four weeks every morn at half past ten we swam together, poetry in motion gliding through the gentle waves. Afterwards we’d rest on a nearby pier and a friendship was forged, but nothing more.
When summer was over we said our good-byes. I was hoping that next summer we could resume our friendship and our morning swim. All through that winter I was hoping for more. When the next summer finally came I’d run down to the lake and jumped on in for at half past ten, hoping to see my slow swimmer once again. I stood there waiting, the water still cool. I kept looking but she didn’t come. A sadness came over me