Someone looking to improve at a sport will often seek training aids designed to help them learn and improve.
But simply acquiring the tools is just the start. You also need to know how to use them.
When learning foundational techniques in tennis and pickleball, kinesthetic training aids can accelerate learning by developing a mind-body connection that usually takes hundreds, if not thousands, of hours.
In part three of this Game Changers video, Billy, Joe, and Kalindi discuss how to get the most out of training aids so you can reach your potential in less time.
The following is a transcript of that video:
Let’s say someone goes online, finds a training aid they like, and it gets sent to them. What would be a drill or two they could do, either with someone or alone, that will help them actually get the most out of that training aid?
Interestingly enough, that is the topic of an article I wrote for Pickleball Magazine, which will be coming out in a few weeks, and it’s called “Three Ways to Practice: Blocked, Serial, and Random.”
Blocked means repetition. In Pickleball, for example, with the continental grip, you can hit against a wall or against an angle netting like our Rebounder Deluxe. Those are all repetition-based examples.
Now if it was serial practice, you would need a ball machine or a tosser or a feeder to you. And a serial example would be a drill where you do one forehand volley, one backhand, one forehand, one backhand.
It’s a sequence that’s repeated.
And random would be the most realistic, which would be in the middle of a point. It doesn’t have to be a tournament to be random.
Just a regular rally can be random. And then you see, when I come from the baseline up to the service line, I hit one volley, my first volley, I can freeze and check my grip, oh I did good, or no,
If I come in to hit an eastern forehand grip and then I try to hit backhands, I’ve got trouble, or I have to take the time to switch the grip, which time you just don’t have.
So, grips are very, very important as they relate to improvement.
Just to add to that, going off your question, Billy, about someone looking at a training aid or they get one, how can they train with it in a really effective way?
Because what you’re trying to do is you’re using the training aid as a shortcut to that mind-body connection with a kinesthetic or visual feeling.
Take the training aid like the Angle Doctor. You could do one of the methods Joe described. You could get out there with a ball machine; you could go out with a partner; you could go out with a coach.
However you do it, generally, you want to take about six to eight shots and really cement that feeling and then take it off and try without and see if you retained it. If you didn’t, put it back on, six to eight shots again.
And just keep repeating those cycles until you’re able to do it on your own.
And maybe you take a vacation and don’t play for a few weeks, you come back, and you start reverting back to those bad habits. Time to break out the training aid again and reinforce that.
For me, when I play recreationally, I’ll warm up for 20 minutes with someone. That’s a great opportunity to just slip something like that on, give it a few swings, and it makes it part of your warm-up to reinforce that body-mind connection.
Absolutely. Something like the Flex Trainer would be perfect for that, that would be a great one that can be used every time because it gives you that feeling of getting low and moving in a really springy way.
Plus, it adds resistance training, so once you take it off, you’ll feel like you’re flying around the court.
By alternating between using training aids and removing them, you can hyper-accelerate progress and form a mind-body connection that usually takes thousands of hours of practice.
Whether you want to learn new grips, a more compact swing, or add power to your serves, we have the training aids that makes improving incredibly fast and consistent. Check them out by clicking here.
Kalindi Dinoffer is trained in multiple aspects of mindfulness in life and in sports, sharing on her blog MindfulKalindi.com. She is also certified to teach yoga, fitness, reiki, and MFR. Kalindi also serves as VP marketing at OnCourtOffCourt.com, a leading supplier of tennis, pickleball, fitness and yoga training aids and equipment and has been published in Tennis industry Magazine and Pickleball Magazine, and has conducted workshops at conferences around the world. In her spare time, Kalindi plays tennis, pickleball and table tennis and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and biking and cross country skiing in the winter.