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webbeing
01-19-2012, 09:33 AM
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/337209/title/Brainy_Ballplayers

So all I need to do is watch youtube video of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic :).

"Scientists think brain cells known as mirror neurons may help.

The value of reflection

When a person watches someone else performing an action, the same neurons that would fire if the observer were replicating that action become active — even if that observer is standing completely still. This neural activity is the brain’s way of simulating the motion being witnessed, and can help an athlete reproduce those movements. Mirror neurons thus provide “a system for matching what you do with what you see others doing,” says Salvatore Aglioti of Sapienza University of Rome.
"

LeeD
01-19-2012, 11:04 AM
While some amount of braincell usage is necessary to get really good at tennis, just having lots of smart doesn't equate to great play. MarionBartoli is very smart. She doesn't have the athleticism to make the top 7.
And at lower levels, like where we play, being "jungle jim" will win over the local librarian.

5263
01-19-2012, 11:29 AM
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/337209/title/Brainy_Ballplayers

So all I need to do is watch youtube video of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic :).

"Scientists think brain cells known as mirror neurons may help.

The value of reflection

When a person watches someone else performing an action, the same neurons that would fire if the observer were replicating that action become active — even if that observer is standing completely still. This neural activity is the brain’s way of simulating the motion being witnessed, and can help an athlete reproduce those movements. Mirror neurons thus provide “a system for matching what you do with what you see others doing,” says Salvatore Aglioti of Sapienza University of Rome.
"

This seems to be inline with what John Yandell has been promoting for years, right?

Fedexpress94
01-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Quite interesting. I thought watching tennis would improve my strategy but I didn't think it could also improve my technique,

LeeD
01-19-2012, 05:03 PM
I would think, having watched Fed serve for 8 years, that you cannot keep a frying pan EFH serve while facing the opponent.

rkelley
01-19-2012, 06:21 PM
I've experienced this. Watch some tennis on TV, go out and hit and it's like you're channeling whoever you were watching. It's cool, but unfortunately my native lack of talent eventually always regains control.

Visualization is probably similar. I try to do this a bunch in matches. I think it does help.

mntlblok
01-19-2012, 09:28 PM
There's definitely something to it. Lots to be learnt yet as to how the brain works (and doesn't work). I remember the old Al Geiberger Sybervision tapes of his smooth golf swing. Yer supposed to just sit and watch it and then go out and play better. Used to imagine Freddie Couples's smooth swing before hitting a shot and it would sometimes help. Imagining yer Roger Federer when the choke monster starts to bite can sometimes help.

Does any of this involve the mirror neurons? Don't know, but sounds reasonable. I know that some parts of the brain (which I'd really *love* to have access to) can become unavailable during stress. :mrgreen: Not sure it has anything to do with "smarts", though.

Kevin

Funbun
01-19-2012, 09:29 PM
Watching a match only really helps strategy.

If you want technique, watch like slow motion and regular motion groundstroke practices from pros. I've taught myself whip the racquet over my head on some groundstrokes. In fact, I've taught myself to hit a really hard, spinny forehand from pro videos.

j00dypoo
01-19-2012, 09:44 PM
I find that watching others play screws up my technique unless I'm watching someone with similar technique and strokes. I guess it works opposite for me.

mxmx
01-20-2012, 02:41 AM
watching tennis has helped me with at least one area technique wise...and thats the swing path of a return of serve...it has also helped my footwork

I don't get to watch a lot of tennis though cause it costs extra :(

dominikk1985
01-20-2012, 03:27 AM
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/337209/title/Brainy_Ballplayers

So all I need to do is watch youtube video of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic :).

"Scientists think brain cells known as mirror neurons may help.

The value of reflection

When a person watches someone else performing an action, the same neurons that would fire if the observer were replicating that action become active — even if that observer is standing completely still. This neural activity is the brain’s way of simulating the motion being witnessed, and can help an athlete reproduce those movements. Mirror neurons thus provide “a system for matching what you do with what you see others doing,” says Salvatore Aglioti of Sapienza University of Rome.
"

does that mean watching porn makes me a better lover?

mxmx
01-20-2012, 03:46 AM
funny you should joke like that...but porn can have a influence on society and its general actions and outlook in life...Ones mind and mouth has power to direct ones actions...it is all too often that you find a school killer or suicide bomber, having overly exposed themselves to negative material before commiting those negative actions. In retrospect, having been influence by positive people, can inspire one to have positive actions.

5263
01-20-2012, 04:38 AM
I find that watching others play screws up my technique unless I'm watching someone with similar technique and strokes. I guess it works opposite for me.

Or maybe it messes with the poor aspects of your technique. Sometimes you have to take steps back to move forward.
yes it makes sense that if you watch players more how you intend to play it should help you move in that direction.

j00dypoo
01-20-2012, 01:41 PM
Or maybe it messes with the poor aspects of your technique. Sometimes you have to take steps back to move forward.
yes it makes sense that if you watch players more how you intend to play it should help you move in that direction.

Yeah, the reverse is also true. This is definitely not a black and white kind of thing. It will vary with people b/c we're not all made the same... just similar.

My mechanics are pretty sound. It's just my game that sucks lol.

rufusbgood
01-20-2012, 07:04 PM
Is it safe to watch Marion Bartoli serving or should I continue to avert my eyes?

Zachol82
01-20-2012, 08:02 PM
If you think about the OP's post in its simplest sense, then yes, watching does help.

For example, take two people with even level of athleticism and health, who's never played Tennis before in their lives. However, person #1 had never witnessed a Tennis match nor seen anything Tennis related at all while person #2 has been watching Tennis on TV and has seen live matches for many years.

Take the two aforementioned people and put them on the court. It is obvious that player #2 will have a HUGE advantage here.

Now, in a real world application, "learning by watching" doesn't really affect us as much as we would like, since I'm pretty sure every single one of us have seen pro matches in one form or another. Depending on the individual, a crowd of 100 people may have each person watching a completely different part of the same game and therefore will take with them what they have seen.

maxpotapov
01-21-2012, 12:54 AM
This article and the concept makes little practical sense simply because point of view of outside observer differs greatly from point of view of player performing the actions.

Therefore, those "mirror neurons" reflect very different picture from what observed player perceives, that's why brain has to guesstimate what muscles to engage to recreate what you saw on other player's video. In most cases this guesswork fails, as many things in tennis are very counter-intuitive. Doing side by side comparison of your vs other player's videos helps, but only through logical analysis that has nothing to do with "mirror neurons" described in the article.

j00dypoo
01-21-2012, 01:54 AM
This article and the concept makes little practical sense simply because point of view of outside observer differs greatly from point of view of player performing the actions.

Therefore, those "mirror neurons" reflect very different picture from what observed player perceives, that's why brain has to guesstimate what muscles to engage to recreate what you saw on other player's video. In most cases this guesswork fails, as many things in tennis are very counter-intuitive. Doing side by side comparison of your vs other player's videos helps, but only through logical analysis that has nothing to do with "mirror neurons" described in the article.

Yes, POV does matter and more so for some over others. Some people have great muscle memory and are able to see something and replicate it with little to no practice. This is basically how I learned to play this game. I watched pro matches growing up. I noticed that almost every time I hit the court after watching some matches that I had gained some sort of improvement in my game, whether it be in my mechanics or court sense. It's obviously a highly complex human function that scientists are just now beginning to understand.

I remember a while back some friends and I watched youtube vids of the dougie. Only a couple of us were able to do it afterward. The others were still very white and awkward.

Maui19
01-21-2012, 02:16 AM
Is it safe to watch Marion Bartoli serving or should I continue to avert my eyes?

Avert! Avert!

sureshs
01-21-2012, 01:18 PM
This is very true.

On Thursday night, I hit a forward-moving backhand slice approach with side-spin which I had never practiced or hit before. You know, the ones which pros hit with the left leg slightly up, bending slightly forward, and their racquet face inclined to the side while moving forward, making the ball go even further wide after bouncing.

After the shot, I wondered where it came from - it was from watching AO obviously.

sureshs
01-21-2012, 01:21 PM
This seems to be inline with what John Yandell has been promoting for years, right?

No, I don't think he has. I think he is about visualization. That is not what is being discussed here. This is more like subliminal learning by watching.

j00dypoo
01-21-2012, 02:59 PM
This is very true.

On Thursday night, I hit a forward-moving backhand slice approach with side-spin which I had never practiced or hit before. You know, the ones which pros hit with the left leg slightly up, bending slightly forward, and their racquet face inclined to the side while moving forward, making the ball go even further wide after bouncing.

After the shot, I wondered where it came from - it was from watching AO obviously.

Someone must have seen the tomic v. dolgo match

BMC9670
01-21-2012, 04:40 PM
While some amount of braincell usage is necessary to get really good at tennis, just having lots of smart doesn't equate to great play. MarionBartoli is very smart. She doesn't have the athleticism to make the top 7.
And at lower levels, like where we play, being "jungle jim" will win over the local librarian.

Yeah, because anyone can get to #8.:roll: I think it's safe to say Bartoli didn't learn her technique from watching others.

Frank Silbermann
01-21-2012, 08:26 PM
I suspect that most of the very talented players have very effective mirror neurons. These people tend NOT to make good teachers of mediocre players as they have no idea what they're doing -- they're simply able to watch and do and have nothing to say to those who cannot.

The most effective coaches of mediocre players are people who do NOT have particularly effective mirror neurons, and therefore need to consciously analyze their strokes. This makes it easier for them to figure out what someone else is doing wrong, and what those people need to do to correct it.

Similarly, mathematical geniuses generally do not make very good teachers of low-level math, and violin prodigies do not make very good middle school band instructors.

maxpotapov
01-22-2012, 07:16 AM
I suspect that most of the very talented players have very effective mirror neurons. These people tend NOT to make good teachers of mediocre players as they have no idea what they're doing -- they're simply able to watch and do and have nothing to say to those who cannot.

The most effective coaches of mediocre players are people who do NOT have particularly effective mirror neurons, and therefore need to consciously analyze their strokes. This makes it easier for them to figure out what someone else is doing wrong, and what those people need to do to correct it.

Similarly, mathematical geniuses generally do not make very good teachers of low-level math, and violin prodigies do not make very good middle school band instructors.

Reading this quote I feel like I'm looking in the mirror :)

sureshs
01-22-2012, 07:35 AM
Similarly, mathematical geniuses generally do not make very good teachers of low-level math

That is heard frequently, but I wonder if it is true. And if such situations even arise.

Feynman seemed to have been an exception.

maxpotapov
01-22-2012, 08:11 AM
That is heard frequently, but I wonder if it is true. And if such situations even arise.

Feynman seemed to have been an exception.

Yes he probably was. Math was my major in poly-technical university (local version of MIT), out of umpteen distinguished scientists who taught various classes in those 5-6 years, I can only remember one or two really good teachers, the rest were really hard to follow/learn from.

5263
01-22-2012, 08:38 AM
No, I don't think he has. I think he is about visualization. That is not what is being discussed here. This is more like subliminal learning by watching.

I think you need to learn more about some of JY's work.
He did a video years ago, based on just this purpose,
and put to music I believe.
It showed excellent players, hitting excellent strokes if I remember correctly.

sureshs
01-22-2012, 08:42 AM
I think you need to learn more about some of JY's work.
He did a video years ago, based on just this purpose,
and put to music I believe.
It showed excellent players, hitting excellent strokes if I remember correctly.

OK not familiar with it. My knowledge is limited to the first Visual Tennis book.

sureshs
01-22-2012, 08:43 AM
poly-technical university (local version of MIT)

Would that be in France or Singapore?

maxpotapov
01-22-2012, 08:57 AM
Would that be in France or Singapore?
No no, Ukraine :)
One of the leading technical schools in former Soviet Union

JohnYandell
01-29-2012, 09:16 PM
There is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence from top players about learning by osmosis from studying others.

I've experienced it myself--playing especially well or adding some technical element based on observation. Bet most players here have as well.

This makes sense since an overwhelming percentage of players are visual and kinesthetic learners. In my opinion, the right picture leads to the right feeling in the body.

You can use the process systematically. It's been shown that visual practice off the court can actually produce improvement. But I have heard many top players describes how they are guided by images during play. For some it's spontaneous, others have ritualized it.

This is the main reason video analysis is so powerful. Words describing technique may be 100% accurate, but still don't impact the brain/body in the same way.

Typical lessons based on verbal tips require students to "translate" the info across this barrier from word to image to feeling to action. In my work I try to help player identify images of technique that apply to their strokes, then create visual images and kinetic feelings that correspond to the images.

You can't think in words during actual play. But the images and feelings can flow at the speed of the game. These positive images and feelings can also be used block pressure and counteract negative self-talk.

Playnice
01-29-2012, 11:16 PM
Beilock: "Sress prompts the prefrontal cortex to try to control information that should be left outside of conscious awareness, causing what she calls “paralysis by analysis.” The exact phrase used to describe this phenomenon by Oscar Wegner in one of his 40 ESPN tennis tips which appeared worldwide in the 1990's. http://www.tennisteacher.com/Vin03.mov This along with several other ideas expressed in this very interesting and informative article are classic Oscar Wegner.

maxpotapov
01-30-2012, 12:48 AM
You can't think in words during actual play. But the images and feelings can flow at the speed of the game.

Very true, but you have to make a conscious effort to switch your focus in certain sequence in order to perform actions in counter intuitive way. For example, I have to prepare/position my lower body first (make few steps, coil/turn my hips etc.) before I proceed with upper body/arm action, whereas intuitively all I want to do is just to react with my upper body/arms (lean towards the ball, stretch my arm to reach the ball etc.) and let lower body/legs just lag behind. And this is the kind of counter intuitive sequence/algorithm that can not be expressed or learned in images or feelings, you've got to put in words to execute it.

On the second thought, I do focus on feelings or visualize while playing, it's the sequence of what feeling or image I focus on while performing the action that has to be formulated/prioritized in my mind using some sort of "programming language".

sureshs
01-30-2012, 07:49 AM
No no, Ukraine :)
One of the leading technical schools in former Soviet Union

In my previous job, we outsourced lot of work to our design center in Ukraine. I was told that we were getting some of the best people (many had also worked in Western Europe) at very economical salaries.

sureshs
01-30-2012, 07:59 AM
"Paralysis by analysis" is a widely used term that predates Oscar and whoever else by a long, long time. It has been used in management (inability to take decisions and asking for more and more data), science (inability to formulate new theories because of getting stuck with small details), and in personal life (inability to make career or marriage choices due to over-thinking of the pros and cons), etc.

It is actually not very applicable to tennis, except maybe on the serve, because players seldom have the time (or inclination) to think so much during actual play. I have never come across any recreational player who could not hit the ball because he was thinking of all the things he is supposed to do. What he actually does is hits shots without thinking at all, or is too lazy to get to the ball. His problem is not paralysis by analysis, but lack of fitness and concentration.

Maybe the exception is the guy who shows up fresh from a "clinic," and overthinks the forehand for maybe 5 minutes, before resorting to his old habits.