The TRUST FACTOR when learning The Secret to Tennis.
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I tell all of my students to watch the slow-motion video of Roger Federer's forehand frequently, and I'll often say to them: "Tell me something new that you noticed about the video." (The video is posted on this website, see it in the About link above). If they don't mention it, I will ask the student: "What did you notice about his eyes?" Did you notice that even after the ball has left his racquet strings, his eyes are still focused on the contact point? That video proves my "tennis secret" and helps to illustrate the 100% concentration and focus on the millisecond contact event and the need to (mentally) visualize a "target" (above the net) that I present on this website. Most players have not been "seeing" the moment of contact quite that clearly and they frequently miss-hit (especially when rushed or under pressure from their opponent) because of taking their eyes off (or concentration off) the contact event. You see, there is an adjustment period and a TRUST element to get to the point where you are 100% focused like Roger is. You will need to learn to TRUST that if you do everything right leading up to, and at, the moment of contact, that the ball will indeed go where you are visualizing. When hitting from the baseline, the "target" is in your mind and you are visualizing and hitting to a fixed position well above the net, -NOT some place in your opponent's court. If you are hitting a deep neutral rally shot, then the target in your mind will be higher (4 feet or more) above the net... When you are having to hit a passing shot, the target in your mind will usually be lower. Even if it feels awkward at first, keep training your eyes to focus totally on the incoming ball and the moment of contact. Don't be tempted to watch your opponent, just commit to your shot and realize that you will have time to reply to their next shot. One thing that will really help you to do this is knowing ahead of time where you are going to hit the various incoming shots that you have to deal with. With the decision of where to hit removed from the equation, you will feel more comfortable TRUSTING your eyes on the moment of contact, knowing that if you do everything right, the ball will go where you are visualizing that you want it to go, -with fewer and fewer going into the net. For more information about shot selection and WHERE to hit, take a private lesson or get 4 people together for a very affordable group rate.
NOTE: I have sent out hundreds of emails to everyone that I know in tennis, including the USTA, USPTA, all my local club pros and instructors, offering a reward to anyone who can show me that someone else has discovered what I am calling "The Secret to Learning Tennis," but so far no one has claimed the reward. Some of my tennis "friends" and fellow instructors have stopped returning my calls and emails since launching this website for some unknown reason, but so far no one has told me: "I've heard that before," or, "We already knew that..." -If they knew it, then why weren't they teaching it? Learning to visualize a target and focus 100% on the moment of contact is so basic and fundamental, but it truly is the missing piece of the puzzle that makes learning tennis so much easier. I am now increasing the reward to $100.00 to anyone who can show me my "SECRET" published in any way, prior to this website, as I have presented it here...
There is a saying that new discoveries are: "First ridiculed, then violently opposed, then finally accepted as being obvious or self-evident,-fact." I have not had anyone ridicule or violently oppose me yet, but based on the ZERO feedback from the USTA, USPTA, the other teaching pros that I know and even TENNIS MAGAZINE, that tells me that I am really on to something big here... They are probably sorry (or embarrassed) that they did not figure it out themselves, and they see the huge value and global potential in what I am offering and they realize that once Target Tennis™ training becomes known as the new fundamental, their old, wooden-racquet methods of just feeding ball after ball will become obsolete. Tennis champions of the future will practice extensively with targets and backboards! -You can mark my words on that too. -Coach Brian