Is It About Feel or Mechanics When Developing Your Strokes?

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
Okay so...

I know a lot of you aren't going to get what I am about to say here and that's okay, because this post isn't for YOU.

But.

For you other tennis students with an open mind and want to reach your full potential, you can use this concept to start developing your strokes in weeks.

I call it, "Mastering strokes through feel and repetition."

And it means that.

You develop your strokes through repetition and feel, not mechanics.

That goes against what is being taught by other coaches and this is the major problem with coaching at the moment.

They are not teaching that.

The mechanics come after, the player develops a FEEL for the shot and they come naturally to the player.

Which is why, we have different mechanics being used on both the forehand and backhand side by players!!

By the way.

Did you get what I just said?

(Many of you won't and this is why you should read and meditate on it many times, until you do.)

"Just keep in mind that... all pros have developed a feel for the stroke FIRST, that they were working on and the mechanics just came after, this fact".

Now, let me break this down for you guys even more, so you can gain some better insight to what I am trying to say here.

"Through imprinting a stroke, by watching video and then getting in the reps and adjusting after each one, you will start to develop a better feel for that stroke and the mechanics for that stroke, will developing naturally, own it's OWN."

You won't even have to try to do this.

Why do I know this?

Because I have already tested it out on 1000s of students here in Kansai and seen for myself that it's works.

And you know why it isn't being taught by coaches?


Well, most of them don't have any damn coaching philosophy to begin with, which is why the coaching industry as a whole, is at an all time low in my book!!!

Need an example?

Just read and listen to some of the comments on this site... these people have no idea of how tennis should be taught!!

Anyway, not to get away from the topic.

Focus on feel when develping your strokes through repetitions and adjustments and allow the mechanics to come along for the ride my friend!!

Good luck with using this information on the court!!!

PS

I won't be responding to any of the stupid comments!!!

This post is for serious tennis students ONLY.
 
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a12345

Professional
I think the opposite is true.

You want a coach to teach you the mechanics first. And with enough repetition you develop the feel.

If you develop the feel for a shot without the mechanics you can end up repeating and ingraining a poor technique thats hard to undo. If you hit a certain shot 2000 times it can become ingrained, especially with muscle memory and then makes it harder to retrain.
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
I think the opposite is true.

You want a coach to teach you the mechanics first. And with enough repetition you develop the feel.

If you develop the feel for a shot without the mechanics you can end up repeating and ingraining a poor technique thats hard to undo. If you hit a certain shot 2000 times it can become ingrained, especially with muscle memory and then makes it harder to retrain.
That's why I said imprint the stroke first...If you keep making the adjustments when doing the reps, the stroke will actually develop on it's own, this is the modern way to learn the game, and your comment is another example of the bad coaching that is going on now...
 

a12345

Professional
That's why I said imprint the stroke first...If you keep making the adjustments when doing the reps, the stroke will actually develop on it's own, this is the modern way to learn the game, and your comment is another example of the bad coaching that is going on now...
Imprinting the stroke and making adjustments is mechanics.

If you imprint the stroke first then get them to repeat it to refine it, youre starting with mechanics first and then getting them to get the feel and get used to it over time.
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
Imprinting the stroke and making adjustments is mechanics.

If you imprint the stroke first then get them to repeat it to refine it, youre starting with mechanics first and then getting them to get the feel and get used to it over time.
From my research, I have found that the feel must come first and the mechanics naturally after, here is an example, I had students with perfect mechanics, but couldn't keep the ball in play!!!

But after they found their feel for the shot, their mechanics got even better, with their control as well.. if you guys would just develop a coaching philosophy based on testing these coaching myth out for yourself, you could all upgrade your coaching abilities my friend...
 

a12345

Professional
From my research, I have found that the feel must come first and the mechanics naturally after, here is an example, I had students with perfect mechanics, but couldn't keep the ball in play!!!

But after they found their feel for the shot, their mechanics got even better, with their control as well.. if you guys would just develop a coaching philosophy based on testing these coaching myth out for yourself, you could all upgrade your coaching abilities my friend...
That doesnt make sense because youre saying they had perfect mechanics first and then got better control after developing their feel. Thats having the mechanics first and developing the feel 2nd.

Someone with good mechanics but executes poorly is what you want. They just need more practice.

But someone who executes a decent shot but with poor mechanics, thats a problem that you need to undo and start from scratch.
 
thomas daniels

u may have some good ideas (or not) however the tone w which u present them is going 2 turn people off from listening

rn it reads like u r some immortal sensei who has deigned 2 speak 2 us mere mud people
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
That doesnt make sense because youre saying they had perfect mechanics first and then got better control after developing their feel. Thats having the mechanics first and developing the feel 2nd.

Someone with good mechanics but executes poorly is what you want. They just need more practice.

But someone who executes a decent shot but with poor mechanics, thats a problem that you need to undo and start from scratch.
When you start thinking, it will make sense to YOU...
 

thomas daniels

Semi-Pro
thomas daniels

u may have some good ideas (or not) however the tone w which u present them is going 2 turn people off from listening

rn it reads like u r some immortal sensei who has deigned 2 speak 2 us mere mud people
If you don't like my swag, you don't have to read it or comment on it, do you?
 

a12345

Professional
A good stroke executed badly is better than a bad stroke executed well. Because all you need then is time and practice.

The most visual example of that is often the serve. You can often see people frying pan or smashing a serve, and with enough repetition they can get a semi-decent serve.

Starting with good serve mechanics will lead to fails and inconsistencies, but you know theyre on the right track and will improve over time with the ability to reach a higher ceiling.
 
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HuusHould

Hall of Fame
I think the opposite is true.

You want a coach to teach you the mechanics first. And with enough repetition you develop the feel.

If you develop the feel for a shot without the mechanics you can end up repeating and ingraining a poor technique thats hard to undo. If you hit a certain shot 2000 times it can become ingrained, especially with muscle memory and then makes it harder to retrain.

The first post after the OP said exactly what I was thinking as I read it! What you suggest is my experience, that you develop a basic technique and elaborate/adapt it subsequently through the feel gained from many repetitions/experimentations. When adding to your arsenal you often have to deal with negative interference, so an inability of the subconscious brain to differentiate between two similar shots, but that dissipates over time. I think a feel for the shot is important throughout the learning process though.
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
Okay so...

I know a lot of you aren't going to get what I am about to say here and that's okay, because this post isn't for YOU.

But.

For you other tennis students with an open mind and want to reach your full potential, you can use this concept to start developing your strokes in weeks.

I call it, "Mastering strokes through feel and repetition."

And it mens that.

You develop your strokes through repetition and feel, not mechanics.

That goes against what is being taught by other coaches and this is the major problem with coaching at the moment.

They are not teaching that.

The mechanics come after, the player develops a FEEL for the shot and they come naturally to the player.

Which is why, we have different mechanics being used on both the forehand and backhand side by players!!

By the way.

Did you get what I just said?

(Many of you won't and this is why you should read and meditate on it many times, until you do.)

"Just keep in mind that... all pros have developed a feel for the stroke FIRST, that they were working on and the mechanics just came after, this fact".

Now, let me break this down for you guys even more, so you can gain some better insight to what I am trying to say here.

"Through imprinting a stroke, by watching video and then getting in the reps and adjusting after each one, you will start to develop a better feel for that stroke and the mechanics for that stroke, will developing naturally, own it's OWN."

You won't even have to try to do this.

Why do I know this?

Because I have already tested it out on 1000s of students here in Kansai and seen for myself that it's works.

And you know why it isn't being taught by coaches?


Well, most of them don't have any damn coaching philosophy to begin with, which is why the coaching industry as a whole, is at an all time low in my book!!!

Need an example?

Just read and listen to some of the comments on this site... these people have no idea of how tennis should be taught!!

Anyway, not to get away from the topic.

Focus on feel when develping your strokes through repetitions and adjustments and allow the mechanics to come along for the ride my friend!!

Good luck with using this information on the court!!!

PS

I won't be responding to any of the stupid comments!!!

This post is for serious tennis students ONLY.
Keep posting Thomas. Ignore the trolls. Most champions arise from outlier non-conventional approaches. The rest have trouble breaking from the pack because they are doing the same thing as everyone else.
 

eah123

Professional
There is a very successful YouTube channel called … Feel Tennis. So there is something to the methodology. The problem comes when a player has wrong mechanics but for whatever reason, it feels right to them.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Keep posting Thomas. Ignore the trolls. Most champions arise from outlier non-conventional approaches. The rest have trouble breaking from the pack because they are doing the same thing as everyone else.
Having a different perspective is not trolling. Nor is suggesting, to the OP, that he might appeal to a wider audience with a different approach.

@thomas daniels does provide some interesting, sometimes insightful, information. But the tone / swag & infomercial-style presentation can be off-putting to many. FYI, quite a few of the approaches presented in this forum, by me and many others, in the past 2 decades have been non-conventional. Some of those have eventually become mainstream in recent years
 
S

Slicehand

Guest
Maybe its about developing feel with the right mechanics? Maybe i can develop feel playing to a certain ball ( speed, spin, height) but if you change that ball youre gonna discover the fail in the mechanics therefore the feel wont be there no more, i get what you are trying to say but it seems you are putting it in a way so it seems something nobody said before when its a very basic thing youre saying, in fact, and i dont mean any offense, i really dont, but everything you say seems like the most used and basic tennis tips you keep hearing since a very long time, but expressed in a way so it looks so intelligent and mind changing, i guess youve come up with this style of writting so your books can seem interesting but, and again, i mean no offense, you have to be so very dumb to read that and believe its fresh, it looks almost philosophycal but its not, its hollow and shallow, i dont mean no offense
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Maybe its about developing feel with the right mechanics? Maybe i can develop feel playing to a certain ball ( speed, spin, height) but if you change that ball youre gonna discover the fail in the mechanics therefore the feel wont be there no more, i get what you are trying to say but it seems you are putting it in a way so it seems something nobody said before when its a very basic thing youre saying, in fact, and i dont mean any offense, i really dont, but everything you say seems like the most used and basic tennis tips you keep hearing since a very long time, but expressed in a way so it looks so intelligent and mind changing, i guess youve come up with this style of writting so your books can seem interesting but, and again, i mean no offense, you have to be so very dumb to read that and believe its fresh, it looks almost philosophycal but its not, its hollow and shallow, i dont mean no offense
I get the impression that the OP is channeling a Japanese game show presentation style
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Good advice TD but nothing novel. There is a popular yt channel literally called FeelTennis. I like his tips as it is geared more for the average rec adult.

Technique has its place however I agree that feel is important too. Your post would be better served if you had given or can give some specific drills or cues to improve feel on the major strokes.
 
S

Slicehand

Guest
Good advice TD but nothing novel. There is a popular yt channel literally called FeelTennis. I like his tips as it is geared more for the average rec adult.

Technique has its place however I agree that feel is important too. Your post would be better served if you had given or can give some specific drills or cues to improve feel on the major strokes.
one thing i always advice is talking to the ball, make friends with the ball, develop a relationship, when the ball comes at you, its like the opponent has thrown, your friend at you, you can tell him, come on buddy dont get too far from my body, or, here you come little pal, bounce properly this time ok? boooom! and you slap it like a good old pal, and when things dont go your way, dont get mad at the ball, youre friends, its not a big deal, you have to remember the good things hes given you
 

mrmarble

Rookie
one thing i always advice is talking to the ball, make friends with the ball, develop a relationship, when the ball comes at you, its like the opponent has thrown, your friend at you, you can tell him, come on buddy dont get too far from my body, or, here you come little pal, bounce properly this time ok? boooom! and you slap it like a good old pal, and when things dont go your way, dont get mad at the ball, youre friends, its not a big deal, you have to remember the good things hes given you
:-D:-D
love unique tips like this
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
Talking about feel, is it fair to say that most of the feel is experienced in the wrist? To me, this really appears to be the case.
 
S

Slicehand

Guest
Talking about feel, is it fair to say that most of the feel is experienced in the wrist? To me, this really appears to be the case.
To feel fluidity in the wrist is a big thing for me, but the body must go behind the shot too, i sometimes relied too much on my wrist
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
Imprinting the stroke and making adjustments is mechanics.

If you imprint the stroke first then get them to repeat it to refine it, youre starting with mechanics first and then getting them to get the feel and get used to it over time.
i find in when teaching someone, i can give references to fundamentals of a stroke (eg. general grip, split, turn, drop, low2high, vert-ish face, follow through, etc..)
i can't be precise about exeactly where there contact should be (will depend on incoming shot, and what they are trying to do with it), and ultimately they have to find it for themselves.
i won't be precise about the amount of arm bend
i won't be precise about even the specifics (e/sw/w) of grip (as it may shift oover time based on the incoming ball, personal height/growth/etc...)
i won't be precise about the path their loop (or no loop) takes, or how far they take the racquet back (atp or wta)..
etc..
so while i can give them general fundamental check points, there's alot of stuff happening "in between" the check points that they develop on their own repetition based on what feels right to them, (and isnt' wrong), which ultimately becomes their "signature"
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Okay so...

I know a lot of you aren't going to get what I am about to say here and that's okay, because this post isn't for YOU.
......

PS

I won't be responding to any of the stupid comments!!!

This post is for serious tennis students ONLY.

There is a lot to the concept of developing feel beyond simple mechanics for sure, but those are interesting comments for someone who is supposed to be a coach.
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
Quite often his opening posts come off like a cheesy infomercial. I brought this up before but he doesn't seem to get the message -- or he just doesn't care.
lol, yeah, it's like a clickbait title (but longer!), the ultimately leads to "buy my course for the low price of 9.99"
Good advice TD but nothing novel. There is a popular yt channel literally called FeelTennis. I like his tips as it is geared more for the average rec adult.

Technique has its place however I agree that feel is important too. Your post would be better served if you had given or can give some specific drills or cues to improve feel on the major strokes.
agreed, while OP is dropping truth, it's not as practical for most, compared to something like the FeelTennis yt channel (in my top 5 of yt sites)
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
There is a lot to the concept of developing feel beyond simple mechanics for sure, but those are interesting comments for someone who is supposed to be a coach.
while i usually skim TD's posts, i do like this one...
it's kinda along the vein of "a coach doesn't teach you to do something, they can only help you find it for yourself."
kinda like a weight loss coach can ttell you what you should eat, how much, why, strategies & tactics that have helped others, etc... but in the middle of the night when the hunger demons are active, i have to figure out for myself how i'm going to conquer them.
 
S

Slicehand

Guest
while i usually skim TD's posts, i do like this one...
it's kinda along the vein of "a coach doesn't teach you to do something, they can only help you find it for yourself."
kinda like a weight loss coach can ttell you what you should eat, how much, why, strategies & tactics that have helped others, etc... but in the middle of the night when the hunger demons are active, i have to figure out for myself how i'm going to conquer them.
No one ever said you shouldnt develop feel with your strokes, its like saying the sky is blue, yeah i just dropped some truth there wow
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
No one ever said you shouldnt develop feel with your strokes, its like saying the sky is blue, yeah i just dropped some truth there wow
in this scenario i think i've had to say something similar... many times to different people (ie. i can show you the fundamentals, but ultimately you have to find it for yourself)... alot more people out there expect a "paint by the numbers" style of instruction, and blame the coach for not getting them there, or they don't get it right away (without putting in their own effort/self-discovery)

i know for myself when i take a lesson, i don't always "get it" during the lesson... but gives me a blue print of things to try and experiment on my own... and often the "lesson" is learned well outside the lesson after a few hours of experimenting.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
while i usually skim TD's posts, i do like this one...
it's kinda along the vein of "a coach doesn't teach you to do something, they can only help you find it for yourself."
kinda like a weight loss coach can ttell you what you should eat, how much, why, strategies & tactics that have helped others, etc... but in the middle of the night when the hunger demons are active, i have to figure out for myself how i'm going to conquer them.

While true, I regularly work with faculty who say things like "I am not here to babysit" or "I am not here to enterain". Bascially what they are saying is, I am going to just give you informaiton the way I know it and I don't care if it makes sense, it engages their interest, or they learn.
 

nyta2

Hall of Fame
While true, I regularly work with faculty who say things like "I am not here to babysit" or "I am not here to enterain". Bascially what they are saying is, I am going to just give you informaiton the way I know it and I don't care if it makes sense, it engages their interest, or they learn.
yeah, that's fair and i've been guilty of saying those same exact things (eg. why i avoid teaching young kids - mainly because i don't have the skillset (being relateable, entertaining, etc... to young kids)!).
and for that reason, i think teachers that can bridge the gap of "giving knowledge" and "getting folks to actually learn" (eg. through engagement, entertainment, relating to students, etc...), should be paid way more (but how do you quantify that?)
 
S

Slicehand

Guest
in this scenario i think i've had to say something similar... many times to different people (ie. i can show you the fundamentals, but ultimately you have to find it for yourself)... alot more people out there expect a "paint by the numbers" style of instruction, and blame the coach for not getting them there, or they don't get it right away (without putting in their own effort/self-discovery)

i know for myself when i take a lesson, i don't always "get it" during the lesson... but gives me a blue print of things to try and experiment on my own... and often the "lesson" is learned well outside the lesson after a few hours of experimenting.
I agree, but i dont think that a player that has been playing for some time thinks that only by someone saying to him that he should drop his raquet a little more, or put you bodyweight into the shot, is gonna intantly make him have better technique, and the op always says that his advice is for very advanced competitive players
 

RyanRF

Professional
It depends on the student.
  • For some students you show/tell them explicitly what to change (mechanics) and then they just do it.
  • For other students this doesn't work. You instead tell them "it should feel like xx". In attempting to find that feeling, they inadvertently arrive at the correct mechanics.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Why can't it be both? Start with learning the mechanics, practice, then reflect on what your best shots _feel_ like, then look back at the mechanics and see which aspects of the mechanics contributed to that good outcome/feeling.
 

a12345

Professional
i find in when teaching someone, i can give references to fundamentals of a stroke (eg. general grip, split, turn, drop, low2high, vert-ish face, follow through, etc..)
i can't be precise about exeactly where there contact should be (will depend on incoming shot, and what they are trying to do with it), and ultimately they have to find it for themselves.
i won't be precise about the amount of arm bend
i won't be precise about even the specifics (e/sw/w) of grip (as it may shift oover time based on the incoming ball, personal height/growth/etc...)
i won't be precise about the path their loop (or no loop) takes, or how far they take the racquet back (atp or wta)..
etc..
so while i can give them general fundamental check points, there's alot of stuff happening "in between" the check points that they develop on their own repetition based on what feels right to them, (and isnt' wrong), which ultimately becomes their "signature"
Sure but what input can a coach give other than mechanics.
 

Fairhit

Hall of Fame
I used to play with a guy that had been playing for over 15 years before he started taking lessons, he had learned by himself and purely by feel, his strokes were non conventional and he had developed his style to win, he used to beat all of his friends whom he had learned with but I could easily beat him with just a year of experience, it might be an extreme example but I think it applies, good mechanics won't appear out of nowhere and this guy couldn't fix any of his strokes in over a year, he tried his best and could execute in practice but he inevitably reverted to his old strokes when playing points. I think it has to be a parallel work between feel and mechanics.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
while i usually skim TD's posts, i do like this one...
it's kinda along the vein of "a coach doesn't teach you to do something, they can only help you find it for yourself."
kinda like a weight loss coach can ttell you what you should eat, how much, why, strategies & tactics that have helped others, etc... but in the middle of the night when the hunger demons are active, i have to figure out for myself how i'm going to conquer them.
I guarantee you will feel those hunger pangs and you will feel them quickly! :-D
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
In my own philosophy of learning tennis. Mechanics IS feel. And feel IS mechanics. Gotta have a balance between the two.

It's like when a student is trying to change his FH: he currently uses a neutral stance and all power comes from his arm and he's got a death grip on the racquet. The coach is trying to get him to rotate his trunk and let the arm follow along and to loosen his grip.

It feels foreign and wrong. If he sticks with the mechanical execution, he will start to gain feel for the shot. As he gains feel, it will feed back into his understanding of the mechanics.

I think it's a feedback loop that involve both mechanics and feel [and other things as well]. I do think that mechanics is the logical starting point but very quickly engages that feedback loop.
 
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