I am getting interested in Hypnotherapy (self induced and scripted). I have told myself to track the ball and hold my gaze after the ball has left the strings. This is all well and good in a no pressure situation, IE> the ball comes to me waist height and a few feet away.
NOW the trouble comes when things are exciting, I am dashing around to hit the ball, I stretch out and hit the ball and blow it. My buddy says : Hey man you were looking at where you wanted the ball to go before the ball even got to your racket.
This is simply a matter of : I can't rely on my subconscious to do the right thing and track the ball. I have told it until I am blue in the face but under pressure it has a belief that it has to take care of me, that it knows best and that it should make me look where I want the ball to go.
I don't know why this is the case but I think changing the subconscious is the key. If I am right I know that telling me to do that for the last 30 years hasn't worked. So in comes the self hypnosis to change my belief.
Anyone think this is crazy or crazy like a fox? any good tennis tapes out there?
Not crazy at all. I've done same thing until I read some advanced books and learned: Forget about watching your opponent except to see the moment he or she is about to strike the ball--then is when you do your split step..or some people call it your ready step (or hopscotch step).You should have previously placed yourself at a spot on the court that is the middle of the angle of possible returns your opponent can hit (and that depends on where your previous shot will be bouncing and therefore where you have forced your opponent to go). Going back to the sequence when you strike the ball: (1.)--you should be tracking the path of the ball from your opponent toward your ready position. (2.)--you should be watching the ball (ignore your opponent) and watch the ball bounce. (3.)--ignoring your opponent, focus in as long as possible on the ball and also at same time observe yourself and your racket (out of the corner of your vision and also in your 'mind's eye' !!) throughout the stroke. (4.)-- Keep your head still and down and focused at the spot in the air that you just struck the ball. (5.)--Keep your head down as you complete the stroke out & in front. (6.)-- Then it is OK to raise your head to track the direction of your ball as it crosses the net. (7.)--You should also be recovering to what you now know will be the spot that is the mid-point of your opponent's possible angle of return. So there IS a lot that is going on (and a lot to watch) when you are playing. Watch Roger Federer as he plays and you will see that he is the best at doing what I describe above. But---all the Professionals---men & women alike also do the above. So copy the Pros on TV. I tell my students to watch a lot of matches on TV. Make these sequences a habit and you can also be so good at it that you do play in a self-hypnotic---trance-like-- state--then you may be skilled enuf and fortunate enuf to ...Play in "the ZONE". Try it..You will like it! Mikee. (P.S. Get coach Nick Saviano's book: "Maximum Tennis"--His book deals with your issues.).