Tennis: Learning Made Easier | Don’t Tell | Ask them for Better Learning
United States Tennis Association sport science Department confirms and we all May have experienced that, too many verbal instructions given to the players from either inside or outside, interferes with shot making and optimal learning ability.
Being Tennis an open skill sport, player makes 800-1000 decisions per match, if player is spoon feeded all the time with constant and Immediate feedback, on what they should do and what they should not do, may slow down players essential and lifelong skills of self-learning and self-analysis.
I have noticed, many parents and coaches, in good faith, they give lots of immediate instruction to the player to get better on and off courts. These immediate instructions may not help in the development of players self analysis and self learning skills.
That doesn’t mean we as coach or parents should stay away from instructions, in fact young players may need more help at early stage of learning.
The rightway of teaching, according to me is, to help the players to understand what are we as a coach and parents, are trying to teach. The right development is when a player actually understands what we as a coach or parents are trying to teach them. what are the objectives? What we are trying to achieve ?
For example, if any player is constantly hitting balls long, in this case there is two possibilities, one is a coach can directly instruct / tell a player what to do, like to close the racquet face or add marginal topspin etc..or use a different approach and ask a player, a simple questions like, What you think, why your balls are going long ? and help the player to actually think analyze and learn through their own experience, a process of learning.
So, my recommendation to the parents and coaches is, we should avoid telling them what to do (lots of unwanted and unrealistic instructions) instead. from next time, let’s ask few question, let them think, let them come up with their own thought process, let them try, let them learn, and let them grow faster and better.