GAME BASED APPROACH THROUGH IMPLICIT LEARNING

Let's not forget tennis is a game. When players come to a coach for their help, it is generally because they want to be able to play the sport. The ultimate challenge is being able to play the game.


The methodology I use is Game-based Approach which emphasizes on the "game" rather than reproducing a technical model. Don't get me wrong, we can reproduce a technical model but always focusing to transfer it as soon as possible on developing motor and cognitive skills. Everything the coach teaches must be transferable to "real world" gameplay. If this doesn't occur, then what is the point of having coaching if your ultimate goal is to play the game?


I am not saying the basket feeding can't have a place in a Tennis session but always aiming to correct a very specific technical mistake, so you need to isolate the shot and the skill in order to concentrate on it but as soon as the player starts to develop the correct technique (or correct muscle memory) we will transfer the skill in rallies and ultimate in a match.


" Traditionally most Tennis coaches and coaching texts have advocated a technique approach to coaching players. This approach involves emphasizing the development of proficient motor skills (technique) before gameplay through a direct teaching method and has proven to be successful in improving skill acquisition. However, its utility in helping players "play" the game has been questioned (Jones, 1982), and the more holistic game-based teaching approach has gained increasing popularity among tennis coaches in recent years (ITF, 1999)"


This text shows how the traditional approach of coaching is very limited if non existent in terms of teaching the cognitive skills of the game which is 50% of it, sadly we still see 90% of the coaches across the world using this method even though has been questioned its efficiency since 1982, nearly 40 years ago!



What is implicit learning?

Implicit learning is the process whereby knowledge about complex stimulus domains is acquired largely without the involvement of top-down, conscious control (Reber 1993b).


Again Tennis is a Sport where the brain needs to adapt to new situations and new skills, so this process teaches the player to be independent regarding the decision making which is very important in Tennis, at the end of the day the player needs to make his/her own decisions and find the solutions for each situation, if a coach keeps telling the player what to do in every situation then that player never will be independent. Having in mind Tennis is an individual sport where the coach can have very little impact if none during matches this process teach the player to be independent and competent in all possible scenarios.

What should you expect from my coaching?

I teach any kind of student to learn to play the game adapting to every possible situation during a Tennis match, and not just to learn strokes. Although I believe that developing good technical foundations is important, I also believe that everyone should learn to play in an effective and efficient way. This means I aim to develop the tactical ability, physical qualities, and mental skills alongside technical basics.


 
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