Why simple works
“Ok Jimmy, lets do this……………….Oh no now that one you went way past 180 degree rotation with your trunk, I would estimate even close to 200 degrees!…..Jimmy if you do that you are going to find that as you drive forward your kinetic chain will be out of order, you will likely use unneccessary wrist flexion and do not even get me started on how this will affect your internal rotation of your hitting arm!……we need to work on this Jimmy……”
So when I first started learning about technique and wanted to be validated as a coach who actually understands what I am talking about, I felt obliged to offer technical diagnosis that proves I know what I am talking about.
But then as I asked for feedback from my clients (kids or adults) I would hear things like ‘I need to watch the ball’ or ‘low to high’. Yes of course you have to watch the ball and go low to high but is that all I have passed on to you?
Slowly I found other ways to explain fairly complex technique and even tactics that could be passed on in an easy, bite sized piece of content that has some chance of being remembered and used.
I started using ‘Rainbow’ and ‘Laserbeam’ to describe the ball shapes. Suddenly this helped the whole swing and then technique improved based on the shape of the shot they are trying to hit.
I started using cue words like ‘Shine the Torch’ when talking about the technique of the follow through or ‘Pull backs’ or ‘Push Through’ for the stances.
I started teaching people how to ‘skim rocks’ on volleys which helped the punch of the stroke. Standing on ‘Ski’s while in your ready position and other simple cue words or metaphors to make the instruction as visual and as simple as possible.
There will be a temptation to go further and deeper with your adult clients. In my opinion unless they are asking for more technical detail, keep it simple. Give them 1 or 2 things to keep on their mind to work on. Then help motivate and guide them to best achieve the outcome.
When I first learned about persuasive writing (copywriting) they talked about how you should get your message across in a way that a 6 year old would understand. Coaching and teaching is all about persuading through communicating. We need to sell our message to our clients
I say less now than I did 15 years ago when I first became a full time tennis coach. Sometimes I still feel the pressure to say more and prove my worth but the thing is, the outcomes are so much better when it is kept in simple language.
Plus your clients/pupils will not have to pretend they know what the heck you are on about……
Director and Head Coach