JAK'S MONTHLY ESSAY SERIES: Achieving Your Personal Best
Advanced Visualization 301
I discovered, or better yet re-discovered, "advanced visualization" (my term) quite by accident a few years ago when I was presenting a seminar to the Northern California USPTA pros at Stanford University - although I'm confident that back in my playing days it was happening on auto pilot.
Whenever presenting on-court seminars I always made it a habit of warming-up with another pro as the attendees were entering. I thought my credibility and audience acceptance would be enhanced if I demonstrated that I was a solid player besides being a speaker.
That day I was not only striking the ball cleanly, but also sustaining high level rallies with an excellent player. I was, of course, well aware of the absolute necessity of tracking the ball really well, and also of clearly visualizing those intended warm-up rally ball placements in order to zone in and get everyone's positive attention.
I was also, crazily, spontaneously – had not planned on it - monitoring who was entering the court, albeit through my periphery, while being able to identify some key individuals making their way in while simultaneously still striking the ball well.
That experience led me to realizing, much like a point guard "seeing the floor" in basketball or a quarterback dropping back looking for an open receiver downfield, I could and should make it a habit of tapping into a greater court vision that could actually improve my own shot making accuracy, and those of others I was working with.
Yes, you can actually track the incoming ball, visualize your shot intentions in your mind's eye, and also "see" your intended target – that's the targeted "window" situated immediately above the net (reference point) along with the downrange actual court placement intended - through your periphery at the contact moment, with a bonus of automatically suppressing any undermining urge to look up prematurely. In fact, you will actually be less likely to look up, and trust your shots more, since you will have already "seen" where your shot is going creating a far more secure feeling at the moment of contact.
Good news: It's commonly known that the human brain is vastly underutilized. The brain and the visual cortex working in concert can do amazing things with understanding, commitment, and practice.
Expand your game horizons.
Copyright© by Jak Beardsworth Tennis. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
COMMENTS WELCOME: JB1tennis@comcast.net