"I've seen dozens of players with very few lessons excel. Why? Because they took on the role of "coach" themselves by studying the game as I've described above. They create their own "lessons" by watching, carefully observing, asking questions, and coming to correct conclusions."
This is pretty much me you're said however, I don't think I 'excel' yet (getting there through steady progess
). I didn't refer to this type of learning as self teaching before because I believe I'm still being taught by people other than my self. This type of learning is good because it gives you a more indepth understanding of the game;why you need to do things a certain way. Often I see coaches tell people vague instructions like 'hit longer' or 'punch the volley'. While the player may get it right at that moment, they go back to their old habit eventually. This is just my experience however and I am aware that there are good coaches out there. The point I'm making is that improvement should come also from your own desire to research and experiment, not just the things the coach tells you to do.