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Roy125
10-14-2009, 08:39 PM
One of my constant problems is that I over think a lot of my strokes. This results in hitting the ball late (and putting some kind of weird slice on it that goes to the left when I hit my 2 handed backhand). The problem is most obvious when I'm doing an overhead smash. When I over think an overhead, I hit it late, early, slice it, or miss it entirely.:oops: It's really getting to be an annoyance in my tennis so how do I stop the habit?

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-14-2009, 10:53 PM
One of my constant problems is that I over think a lot of my strokes. This results in hitting the ball late (and putting some kind of weird slice on it that goes to the left when I hit my 2 handed backhand). The problem is most obvious when I'm doing an overhead smash. When I over think an overhead, I hit it late, early, slice it, or miss it entirely.:oops: It's really getting to be an annoyance in my tennis so how do I stop the habit?

Get a coach, and have him drill you shots from all parts of the court. This is the best thing to do since it will make hitting from all parts of the court feel natural.

I don't have a problem over-thinking. I have a simple goal in mind on each point, and I just focus on hitting every shot in a way such that my goal will be achieved. I decide my overall focus of the point beforehand then execute shots I feel will get me towards that goal.

moroni
10-14-2009, 11:38 PM
practise hit hunderds of srtokes from all parts of the court until it feels natural and your body reacts naturally to the shot

spacediver
10-15-2009, 12:09 AM
a lot of the skill involved in an overhead shot is adapting your visuomotor system to the shot's usual demands.

Normally, when receiving a shot, our gaze is directed along a plane that is more or less parallel to the ground upon which we move. When your head rotates upwards, the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive world changes rather dramatically.

Because the ball is travelling up across your line of sight rather than towards it, the image on the retina undergoes changes at a faster rate than normal, and in order to keep the ball centered in your visual field, you need to make balanced and finely calibrated movements while your head is looking up to the sky. This is not a demand that we are naturally evolved to deal with very effectively. Nor is it an activity we have much experience with, unless we're experienced in fielding outfield balls in baseball or some other similar activity.

Add to that the inherent complexity of the problem - that is, assessing the trajectories of two objects (ball and racquet), and adjusting one object's trajectory (racquet) so that it intersects with the ball, and you have a case where conscious problem solving is simply not gonna cut it.

As with many complex motor tasks that need to occur within a short amount of time, your best bet is to drill under a variety of conditions until your brain figures out solutions to a wide variety of inputs.

Use feedback wisely, as this will serve to lean out the learning process. This means, for example, paying close attention to the successfull executions when you are practicing. Pay attention to the kinesthetic feedback in your body (the sensory feedback you get from your muscles) - don't analyze them too much, but just pay attention to them, in the same way you pay attention to a pleasant sensation during a massage. Let the mind wander over your environment by using soft vigilance - that is, don't focus too hard on one particular aspect all the time - try to let your mind shift to different but relevant aspects of the experience, always looking for relationships between the sensations and your successes.

As has been alluded to in this thread, save the thinking for the higher level decisions, such as : I want to hit an overhead smash and I want to hit it in that direction.

Don't be afraid to let go and see how your body performs naturally. At this point, you can take a more analytic approach in deciding how to debug your reactions, and then go back for a more refined drilling session.

Rinse and repeat.

spacediver
10-15-2009, 12:10 AM
sorry first line should read "unusual demands"

LeeD
10-15-2009, 09:55 AM
Wow, I guess I'm lucky.
After a particularly dumb shot, I'd think...."what was I thinking"...
Naturally, NOTHING. Just going thru the motions relying on instinct and previous training.
Maybe think of the overall GOAL of the point, instead of the individual shot.
And match play + tons of practice will turn your brain off for most of your shots.... a good thing mostly.

LuckyR
10-15-2009, 10:26 AM
One of my constant problems is that I over think a lot of my strokes. This results in hitting the ball late (and putting some kind of weird slice on it that goes to the left when I hit my 2 handed backhand). The problem is most obvious when I'm doing an overhead smash. When I over think an overhead, I hit it late, early, slice it, or miss it entirely.:oops: It's really getting to be an annoyance in my tennis so how do I stop the habit?


You should decide on your overall strategy before you ever hit the first ball (knowing full well that as the match progresses that you will change it up to keep the other guy honest). That way you don't need to think about where to place shots: in situation A hit the ball to point B, automatic.

fuzz nation
10-15-2009, 12:22 PM
You might get some different results if you take the focus off your strokes and maybe think about your feet. If you fixate on your quick first move to the ball, setting up before the ball arrives at the hitting zone, and deliberately transferring your weight as you hit, it might get your head out of the way for better shots. I think that this is sort of good for my hitting because it makes me focus more on the ball (effectively keeping my eye on it longer) without trying to think through the mechanics of my swing.

If you've ever heard of that technique where you say "bounce" and "hit" as the ball lands on the court and then contacts your racquet, I think that this is another way of clearing your head. Fixating on your timing with the ball helps you pay close attention to it without actively thinking through a swinging motion.