Making progress in sports isn’t always as straightforward as we think.
When starting out, you’ll probably learn and make big strides quite often.
But the more you learn, the smaller these strides are and the more you need to learn to make them.
But it can be even worse – sometimes, you need to unlearn something if you’re going to make progress.
In tennis and pickleball, players at a young age learn a habit that may actually hurt their game as they get better and older.
Joe, Kalindi, and Billy discuss how the habit of making big backswings on every shot often makes players slower to react on the court.
The following is a transcript of part 4 of this Game Changers Webinar.
Joe, you mentioned earlier a couple of products that you developed that fit into what we were talking about earlier. I think you said you were going to talk about the “why” behind some of these, so I wonder if you wouldn’t mind demonstrating a couple of these products, talking a little bit about how their origin and how we can use them today.
Yeah, I think we’ll start with the simplest one. It has to do with keeping your racket back, which we were discussing earlier.
So many millions of tennis players and no doubt many pickleball players have told again and again, “racket back, paddle back,” over and over again. And then they learn to take that racket back as far as they can as fast as they can every single time, and they end up catching up to balls late because they spend so much time pulling the racket all the way back.
In truth, rarely do you pull all the way back on a backswing. Usually, you’re adapting on shots, taking as much of a backswing as you can, but that doesn’t mean automatically pulling your arm all the way back.
So, we have a product that one person came up with, and we happily paid him royalties for years. We do that with people if they came up with an idea that we can’t establish.
The product goes around the chest, and then you put your arm through the strap. What it does is keep your arm locked in so you can’t physically pull your arm back.
This can help train players that have learned to swing with their arms locked out straight. Because if you are going to pull your arm back, your elbow needs to bend, so this aid gives a kinesthetic guide or feel, whether it’s tennis or pickleball, for keeping a more compact swing.
Like all kinesthetic aids, this is called the arm pocket developer, and the process with any kinesthetic aid is to use it five to 10 times, and then take it off and repeat.
It’s been proven that just verbal instructions just don’t work. Or it can take years and years. But kinesthetic training aids can work literally in minutes compared to years, to help someone develop a feel.
Most habits we learn on the court serve us for our whole lives. However, some habits must be unlearned, either because they were erroneous in the first place or because they were temporary, helping us develop to a certain point but then no more.
Either way, kinesthetic tennis and pickleball training aids can make learning new, better habits multitudes faster than without.
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.