THE AWARENESS GAME
Tennis is awareness. The research of technical, strategical, tactical, physical, mental awareness and own personality is the common point of each chapter of this book and of every approach I have in coaching.
Tennis bares strengths and weaknesses. It makes you fell on the same level of any other, since there is nobody on the court whom you can ask for help to. There are you, your abilities and your experience in an unpredictable situation, always different where the only certainty is the awareness that is created by experience.
“Experience is not what happens to a man, but what a man realizes using what happens to him.” This sentence by A. Huxley recall my life motto “Homo faber fortunae suae” as Romans said or "Fortunae robur antecellit"; that is to say that man is creator of his own destiny, as the blacksmith try to shape iron.
I don’t mean that one can if he wants, since it would be pretentious and almighty but, resorting to experience and own autoefficacy, that in part comes from experience, he can control events flow and modify the path.
Own realization imply will. A. Schopenhauer said “… sacrifice intelligence to will appealing to irrational strengths”. In life, you need an absolute will of doing, a categorical imperative as Kant defined it to reach goals and to rise again when you fall down, with a full awareness of your own efficacy.
Autoefficacy represents a strong motivation to do, to take decisions, to change what doesn’t work; it is a strength which push you to realize yourself knowing that life often will make it sway, it is a power that gives sense to life and that everybody bring inside himself.
I took the cue from successful coaches to elaborate training programs that aim to recognize every part of yourself to develop its control or limit its involvement. From the research of a simple and clear method, the Spanish one of Luis Bruguera for who needs certainties and solid points, to the development of stances and podalic proprioceptivity of S. Sosa and A. Musulin, fundamental for a solid technique. Visual training analysis by postural and behavioral optometrist is the starting point to search motorial awareness. Chapters about psychomotor development analyze motor literacy building in which you can grasp that you can’t omit any letter. Criticalities in losses of balance accustom to adapt yourself to any situation E. Meyer affirms. American methodology by G. Jaramillo suggests the monothematic approach to automate learning.My elaborations based on studies in Sport Science, following detailed study and overall on direct trials on me and then on thousands of athletes bring “The awareness game” to life.
About me …
2 SPANISH METHOD
2.1 FROM BRUGUERA TO NADAL: TODOS DO LIKE THAT
Even a medium level player can reach top 50 ATP. Starting from this axiom and a specific methodology, Sergi’s father (Sergi won two times Roland Garros), created the method which is at the root of present Spanish superpower. An Italian tennis teacher has deeply studied it and he has tested it with science. And he explains us how and why it works.
3 STANCES, BALANCE AND DOMINANCES
3.1 FROM USA TO SPAIN. THEORIES ABOUT STANCES FROM EAN MEYER TO SALVADOR SOSA
3.2 IDEAL O CUSTOMIZED FOOTHOLD? THE POINT IS TO DO LITTLE EFFORT
3.3 FIND YOUR BALANCE STEP BY STEP
How many times we have asked ourselves why we hit a ball too much forward or backward, losing balance in a direction or another. With a series of exercises outside the court, using a footboard, we can improve coordination and stances.
3.4 IMPROVE YOUR BALANCE WITH FOOTBOARDS
3.5 STOP DOING EQUILIBRISTS
It often happens during a match to hit in unstable positions, unbalanced backward or laterally. For mere mortals, it’s a mistake, but among pros someone makes it a winning technique, training strength and endurance
3.6 WHICH “SIDE” ARE YOU?
It happens to observe that movements and executions on one side of our body are quick and fluid and instead everything is more cumbersome on the other side. This is due to lateral dominance, typical in sports with moving objects. But you can remedy to this situation and we explain how
4.1 PUT THAT BALL IN PLACE OF RACKET
To do exercises that imitate basic shots with a ballasted ball enables to get used to coordinate in the right way arms and legs movement, obtaining heavier, deeper, more precise shots. Also trying to hit the ball with a “big balloon”.
4.2 PUT A SPRING IN YOUR FEET
A correct execution doesn’t depend only on technique. Legs movement, stances and pushes are fundamental to improve any shot. You need few and simple exercises to give an extra gear to your shots.
4.3 PUSH THE BUTTON AND TURN ON YOUR SHOT
To improve legs push is not so important to bend them, as you often hear during a lesson, but it’s enough to act with the foot on the ground as you have to push a button. These are a series of situations and specific exercises.
5.1 TRANSFERS ROSE
5.2 A ZIG ZAG GAME
One of the most difficult aspects to manage on the court concerns the multiplicity of transfers which can compromise a correct execution of the shot. The appropriate body weight transfer running is not so easy. That’s way this action should be trained, to not find yourself “out of place” during a match
5.3 CONTROL THE BODY WEIGHT ON BACKHAND
Playing this shot, the fundamental source of mistakes is losing balance during execution. Balance changes depending on the fact you play this shot with one or two hands, aggressive or safety. Here is a vademecum that will help us to limit mistakes, with exercises useful to train every situation
5.4 TO WALK OR TO RUN? HOW MUCH USELESS ENERGY DO YOU WASTE IN A MATCH?
6.1 MINITENNIS: WE START FROM TACTIC
Strategy should be part of basic education also for children. To educate them on the scope rather than on the means, what is commonly the technique, is the best way to train both the aspects. Different closing movements in shots and rotations are in fact only tools to reach an objective. In this way, it will be easier to transmit the message, without ignoring fun
6.2 A PREVENTION WAY FOR A HEALTHY PSICOMOTOR DEVELOPMENT
6.3 MINITENNIS … FOR ADULTS
Smaller court, orange balls and junior rackets can be really good tools to learn also for adults. Or to update a smart technique, but a bit outdated. In this way fathers can train with younger sons
6.4 PASSING SHOT, THE UNKNOWN
To pass the opponent who attacks coming close to the net is not so easy, also because there are many alternatives and game situation doesn’t facilitate foothold. You have little time, you have to decide quickly how to hit. It’s a situation which pros are used to deal with, not as much club players
6.5 HOW ARE YOU “PASSING”?
In a match, sooner or later, the moment comes: forced to defend, with the opponent who greedily comes close to the net. That’s why it can be very useful to know how to play a passing and to be able to analyze different attacks
7 MENTAL TRAINING
7.1 ZONES AND LEVELS THEORY
7.2 FIND YOUR SECURITY MARGIN
Also champions hold their shots in length and width to limit mistakes as much as possible. It’s useful to take control of the game, to build a point without risking. Here is how to measure your shots tolerance and to train yourself to attack winning percentages of success
7.3 WE LEARN SCORING GOALS
Training and entertainment can go hand in hand if the exercise logics mix up technical-tactical objectives and recreational dynamics which take the cue also from other sports. These systems also help to keep the concentration high as you are playing a match
7.4 MATCH ANALYSIS
7.5 VICTORY AND LOSS. HOW TO EXPLAIN THEM
8 CHECK UP AND VISUAL TRAINING
8.1 A COMPLETE CHECK UP BEFORE TRAINING
How to progress and which exams to do before starting sports activities
8.2 VISUAL TRAINING
Visual Training is a technique of visual education which improves functional problems. It has been verified that it’s possible to understand when and where we see the court wider, why we prefer a shot rather than another and factors in common with diseases and muscular-articular injuries. An innovative method which also Roger Federer has opted for
8.3 TIMING IS A SKILL, NOT A TALENT
The right timing, which enables us to hit the ball and make it move without too many efforts, is not an innate talent of the player, but a skill that has to be trained. View alterations can be therefore a great obstacle. Are you sure to see well? I propose some exercises which can help you
8.4 PLAY RETURN WITH BLINDFOLDED EYES
Serve and return are key shots in modern tennis, but return is often not trained so much. But you can improve it a lot using visual training which helps to see earlier and better the ball and, consequently, to not stiffen during execution.
8.5 VOLLEY GAME
9 SPORT AND SOCIAL RE-EDUCATION
In an overcrowded, multiethnic and multicultural context as our prisons are in this historical period, sport activity has an added value: it’s a language accessible to everyone and so it doesn’t keep anybody out
10 INTERVIEWS TO CHAMPIONS
Mubadala Tournament Abu Dhabi 2015
11 NUTRITION OF A TENNIS PLAYER AND MORE
12 TENNIS MIRROR OF SOULBibliography