I decided to do so after watching her get a private lesson from a very good coach.
As I watched her lesson, though, I made a few mental notes on what to work on. There was one mistake that she repeatedly made – so I devised a way to correct it for her, within 5 minutes, and do so without ever telling her she was doing anything wrong.
Now, that’s a pretty big idea, especially when I’m not a tennis coach and for all “practical” purposes, am not qualified to give instruction on the game.
Okay, if I’m “not qualified” – how’d the session go with my daughter?
Well, first let me tell you what I didn’t do – EVER, in the entire lesson.
First, I gave zero instruction on mechanics, how to hit the ball or anything remotely close.
Second, I never corrected her mechanics in any way.
Third, I believed I could have her hitting the ball correctly within a few minutes with this “mental game” method.
So what happened?
In less than five minutes, she was stroking the ball better than ever.
Now, how could that be? Am I joking?
Not at all.
Here’s the trick: People make mistakes all the time when they do something new. And they’re told by coaches that in order to create “muscle memory” they need to repeat their technique 2,000 times in a row in order to have a repeatable movement pattern that’s on auto-pilot.
This is totally false and misleading.
Far too many coaches and teachers still don’t realize that mistakes are NOT a bad thing – so long as you learn from them and use them as feedback to guide you to a BETTER – not a perfect – performance.
IF you continually point out mistakes – you cause the person to become a bit more tense and a bit more inhibited. More tension and more inhibition lead to reduced performance.
So the key is to reduce tension and reduce inhibition – to remove the fear and frustration of making mistakes. To actually VALUE your mistakes. To practice without pressure so that you can think and make adjustments.
As a coach, if you don’t condemn mistakes, neither will the player.
If you don’t have something to say after every shot – the silence will do more to help the athlete than your barking about technique and mechanics.
You’ve got to trust that the player isn’t an idiot, that if you know when to leave her alone – she’ll actually turn out better.
You’ve got to know what not to say.
You’ve got to know how to give the athlete the control so she can make the adjustments on her own and figure it out herself.
And the amazing thing is you don’t even have to know the game in order to do this.
Let me tell you, my daughter was smiling and having a blast. She was loving the game more than ever.
Her Dad was a genius. How’d he know all this stuff to help her get better so fast?
What I know is how to “Defeat the Failure Mechanism.”
That’s right. The Failure Mechanism.
If you don’t know how to shut the feelings of frustration, fear and inhibition OFF – no amount of positive thinking will help you.
Because the failure mechanism will undermine all the positive stuff you’re trying to do.
As parents, coaches and teachers, many of us unknowingly contribute to the inhibition, fear and frustration of those we love. It’s sad but true.
I did so myself.
Until I discovered the secrets of defeating the failure mechanism.
Once I had these keys in mind and began implementing them, I was no longer the same coach, teacher or parent.
I’d like to pass these keys on to you. If interested let me know.
P.S. Remember, you can save $40 off the price of Theatre of the Mind if you order NOW. It’s the best CD program out there – and was created without a bit of self-criticism on my part. It was all FLOW. Listen to this program and it’ll connect you to the Force of FLOW as well.