If you ever studied Philosophy, you may recognize the headline coming from French philosopher Rene Descartes. Let’s change that classic quote to: “I think, therefore I am a better tennis player.”
My overhead had been real inconsistent… missing as many as making. Then I realized what I was thinking while going back to hit the ball: “Don’t miss this one.” Or, if I was a little better: “Get this one in.”
Both are not really good. In the first case, the last thing your subconscious visualizes before you strike the ball (like when you tell yourself “don’t double fault”) is MISSING the shot. So your body goes ahead and executes what it just visualized.
In the second case, it is just too amorphous a command to “get it in.” It doesn’t provide your body with enough information to make a really good shot.
Better, is to tell yourself, “Hit it in the ad corner.” And to visualize that happening as you strike the ball. With that positive and specific visualization, your body is more likely to execute a good shot.
I bet that since starting this new technique, I have been making 90% of my overheads, and in decent locations on the court.
Thank you Rene Descartes.
P.S. Did you see Sam Querrey’s Houdini act three times last week to win the Farmers Classic tournament?