Today I have made a good discovery. Talking to some juniors about Why I teach & Talk about tennis the way that I do. I made a discovery. Trial & Error vs. Repetition. The Old way and the current Formats of tennis academy's, teaching & instructional tennis is Repetition..... Feed easy balls, Hit Balls, Good Job. There is no real learning process involved.
What I mean is that.
in order to Coach/teach you need to Understanding someones' perception & learning cues & that is what you should be using when you teach them. Your Coaching should be active & not from a book also. Create new coaching/teaching ideas for your players. With these new ideas test them with your players and if it works then you do the repetition to master the idea.
This is a perfect example of how i teach tennis.
which one is it. an old lady or young. and depending on how i say it or which one goes first. can affect your perception. Tennis instructors & Coaches have this effect on their student much more than they know. It may also be the reason why so many juniors, Beginners, and those that have never reach their full potential never do.
So since I mention old lady first. lets describe it big nose, open mouth big hat covering her hair, type of hat you might see for rainy days and you can see her eye and a little eye mascara.
the way I am describing the old lady is to tennis is: a pro talking about tennis technique in the current and old system. " Punch the volley.... Turn Loop step Swing the ground strokes...You must use 2 hands for a backhand" This form of teaching never lets the students evolve their own games.
What I do is,I ask my students what do you see in this Picture? I dont just go out and describe it MY Way. After I get back feedback from my students it tells me what they know or better what they dont know or what they think they know. From there is my base for their learning curves. NOw in my teaching methods like the Picture I show them how I hit and ask them what they see me doing and to do what I do. after their trial & error phases Then I go into the parts of my shots " the technique parts " & I educate them on both the old & the new letting them develop their own styles of play with strong base skills.
I lead my student to discover the young lady. its hard if you strongly believe that its an old lady. but the fact is its both. once you see tennis technique as an athletic motion other than right & Wrong Way of doing things. It becomes simple and easier to understand & Practice.
Players that Learn through repetition however. Discovery & Learning is Bad. Because Players dont want to feel cheated. thats the First reason that I come across the most? Its Like Learning that Santa Clause isn't real for the First time ( Sorry Kids ). Its heart breaking. That How I feel when I teach tennis to Anybody that has Great Athletic Talent, but is stuck in one mindset. I want them to beat me, I want them to play on or beyond my level. But the Problem is not the Students its the Teachers/coaches.
Recently I have just finished my book Outliers by Malcolm gladwell ( the Best book ever if you want to teach tennis. ) and Im starting another one of Malcolm's books The Tipping point. Great for Business & Tennis.
Theses books teach me more about tennis than anything else. The reason is because I can relate everything to tennis. Tennis is not a singular thing to me its how I was able to escape fate of my environment, Home life, & sanity. Its how I survived highschool and Middle School. I love tennis and by being talented I was able to make a living at it. Not always but enough to survive if I had too.
What I am trying to say is that I am Educating myself to become a better coach & Teach my tennis students. But the education Im doing is different than what a Tennis instructor would do. I learning how to better communicate ideas, theories, simplify tennis technique to athletic motions, Which I am Probably a master at now since I have been doing and practicing it for the last ten years.
When was the last time you Tennis coach or professional did education to better his coaching outside of getting a license in tennis or taking a test? example: When was the last time you used algebra from that middle school test you aced as a kid? if your a kid...when at home you need to use algebra to eat dinner?
We need better educated teaching professional and also hold our coaches to higher standards.
Better Tennis Fast & Simple!