"What should be going through your mind as you hit the tennis ball? It's a big question - possibly the biggest question."
For John Yandell, one of the sport's leading hi-speed
videographers of world-class pros and website creator of TennisPlayer.net, the answer appears to be
visualization of the successful shot you will hit. In other words, the "image of the shot" or a positive mental picture of the stroke - based on feel, imagery and imagination.
Yandell argues that this image of the shot actually "produces the precise technical motion", and that this "positive mental imagery leads to physical confidence."
Yandell explains, "John McEnroe told me this 30 years ago:
'Sometimes I will see a shot flash across my mind just before I hit it.' . . . Andre Agassi put it
this way: 'You have visions of what you are going to do before it happens.' . . . Billie Jean King
turned this experience into a conscious, disciplined process and ritualized virtually every shot she hit
through mental imagery. . .
"Pancho Gonzales, arguably one the toughest competitors in the history
of tennis, pre-visualized every match he played, including specific shot combinations. In his
mind, he had already won the match when he went on court."
Yandell, the vast majority of people in sports are visual and
kinesthetic learners. And the biggest fundamental challenge in improving tennis teaching, says
Yandell, is "to move the emphasis from the verbal world to the world of seeing and feeling."
For more on mental imagery and visualization in shot-making,
visit John Yandell's comprehensive and visually instructive site: TennisPlayer.net.
From - Mental Imagery: Synthesizing the Physical and Mental
Games, John Yandell, TennisPlayer.net, (June 2014 Issue) Web: TennisPlayer.net (Free 30 Day Subscription for New Visitors)