Beginner Tennis - Technique And The Mental Game
Most beginners are overwhelmed with instruction and there are many great websites and videos about technique and strategy.
But how many times do you encounter mental aspects of the game so early in the process?
Too many coaches and players believe that they first need to build a good technical, tactical and physical foundation before they move on to the mental game.
But tennis is mentally very demanding for beginners. It starts from the minute they come to the court. Almost no one is relaxed and ready to go. Most know that they don't know anything and a couple of minutes into the lesson they realize that tennis is something "special", especially for beginners.
And the coaches who work very well and very happily with beginners are quite rare. Most prefer well trained players with which they can use their imagination and design different drills to improve their game. But the choices with tennis for beginners are much more limited.
They are not able to perform various drills, they need to familiarize themselves with racquets, balls and trajectories. So many beginners may even feel this unhappiness and impatience of their coach, which makes them even more nervous.
So the tennis beginner starts his lessons and his brain is working 100% and yet there are still many mistakes. Depending on his perception of mistakes, the player may get more or less nervous. In my personal experience players have no idea how many repetitions it takes to groove the stroke and actually feel the mastery of it.
Tennis looks very simple when you watch a good player. But the road to mastery is long and it doesn't matter which area you're working on.
In order to ease the tennis for beginners there are some important tips which will help them get more realistic, improve their learning rate and groove their strokes with a calm mindset.
Remember – the brain stores EVERYTHING, not just stroke mechanics. It stores emotions, thoughts and consequently beliefs TOGETHER with the mechanics! So let’s start with some realistic views on tennis for beginners:
Why so many balls?Beginners are not actually aware of the number of balls in the basket when they enter the court. If they would start their volleyball, soccer or basketball practice, they would see 10-20 balls. But here they might see from 40 to 200 balls or even more in one basket.
The reason is simple – the coach knows that repetition is the mother of skill and a tennis beginner will have to make many repetitions before he'll be able to master the stroke. And one more thing – the stroke is not only the arm movement, but consists of the movement to the ball, stopping, balancing and hitting the ball. It's a complex action which takes time to become our second nature.
So to answer the question – there are many balls because motor learning (learning how to hit and move) takes many repetitions and the coach is ready for that. He also knows that you will probably miss many times before you get the right feel. It's not a life or death question, it's just learning to move in a new way. Are you ready to start with tennis for beginners and do you have realistic expectations?
Tennis For Beginners & MistakesMistakes are a part of the learning process. A tennis beginner is not actually aware of how many and how BIG his mistakes will be. There are two types of mistakes when learning to play tennis:
a) Mistakes where you can influence the outcome
When a coach reminds you to play gently and you forget to or decide that it's boring to play gently, then you will very likely overhit. You can correct that mistake by hitting more gently. It is in your control. Unless of course you're late on the shot and you're hurrying the stroke which produces an overhit.
b) Mistakes which are out of your control (for now)
You cannot have a perfect technique after 45 repetitions. It's not possible to do the correct and fluid motion with so little repetitions. Your brain needs many more to store and coordinate your body fluidly. You also cannot have a good feel for the racquet face level or swing speed after 20 minutes of practice.
You will make mistakes and you cannot speed up the process. It takes time. So this is out of your control.
You don't have to get upset with yourself, because there is NOTHING you can do about this right now. Stay calm and give your brain and body many more information so that they can learn and adapt.
And here lies the biggest problem when beginners deal with tennis. For beginners are not actually aware how much time it takes and that many of the learning processes take place subconsciously. They may often be also tricked by various ads that promise to teach them tennis in one or two hours.
Yes, you may learn a quite good technique in 15 minutes but that is still light years away from playing consistent tennis on the whole court. Yes, mini tennis can be played with most beginners from the first minute.
But when distances are bigger, balls fly faster and the player needs very good judgment of the ball flight to be able to set up for the shot calmly and in a balanced way.
And judging the ball flight is THE most difficult thing in tennis for beginners.
Explore the rest of the articles in this section which all deal with this same topic – Tennis For Beginners and this will help you get much more realistic approach to tennis, yourself and it will enable you to learn this beautiful game as fast as possible.
And if you are interested in learning to play tennis, then don't miss 49 instructional step-by-step videos for tennis beginners.