Tips to improve focus

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by DuckFeet, Jun 25, 2022.

  1. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    So I was going to go with a clickbait title "I told you partner to STFU! (And here's what happened).

    Anyway. I recently read the inner game of tennis and have for a long time been trying to figure out how to get in The Zone.

    One tip I found recently, after noticing that I play badly and apologise a lot in the same bad games, was not talking. It helps me focus more on the game and myself. Stemming from the Inner Game saying to have no opinion of a shot being good or bad. I've tested this a few times on a couple of partners. Literally said "Do you want to win this one? Then don't speak to me". And it's had a noticeable effect. One guy hit an absolute peach of a smash, I broke my own rules to congratulate him, next smash was off centre and in the net. He played much better and didnt apologise once.

    I should also add "stop swapping rackets" here again, as it's one less thing for my forebrain to think about.

    If there are any other useful tips I'd love to hear them.

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  2. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Yes but often times even though we want to win, we're just playing social games, so some banter happens.

    One thing I find useful is to make my opponents work for their points. This I find helps me cut down on unforced errors.



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  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I found this strategy worked quite well for singles. No cheap points.

    Doubles I never really used it.
     
  4. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello

    Pardon me but i don't think I have ever gone through a book cover-to-cover.
    If nobody speaks then it feels like I'm playing Chess (which I hate).
    Usually I'm pretty vocal on good/bad shots made by my partner or the opponents or somebody else on the side court.:D

    We have a few opponents who indulge in sledging.. that really gets me almost everytime, i reply by smashing hard at them while they are standing at the net :p if we win that game that's an added bonus for me.

    There might be some merit to changing racquets midgame so i make that decision within first 5-6 points, power or control.


    Making the opponent work for their points is definitely great, but i still lose focus/balance during a slow extended rally & would commit error (singles). In doubles, my steady partner gets out of breath :confused: there's no way he could finish 3rd set if it comes to that :)

    I'm working on being as calm as possible throughout the games, it really helps me win a lot of points & almost error free.

    Cheers.
     
  5. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Another tip I found to increase your rate of being in the zone is to practice drills often, instead of just playing games. And by that I mean mindful practice where every shot has a purpose, immediate feedback and immediate correction.

    Once your body can do what your mind what it wants it to do without thinking, then being in the zone becomes easier.

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  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Basically, train more. Lots of drills.

    Increase your speed and rhythm and the result is you get to the shuttle earlier and have more options.

    Practice the shots more and the result is you get better consistency.

    Having both together means you can execute your game plan more easily.

    Executing your game plan increases your self confidence. … now you’re in the zone.
     
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  7. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    thats a technique called ultra instinct (Dragon Balls fans will know this:p). Let your body move at their own based on your what your eye see, what your ear hear, what your brain think. Not your brain processing & order the body to move.

    But maybe i want to add, clear your mind & no burden. Usually what i do before every serve, i close my eye, take a deep breath, exhale & telling my self in my mind games start & GO. For me its like reset button. Releasing all memory dump & do fresh start:p. Forget what the score, what mistake you did last time, & focus on the next 1 point.
     
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  8. Signature

    Signature Regular Member

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    One thing I like to focus on when I dont necessarily get the results I want from my strokes is to do more work to be prepared to play a good shot. I can only affect the input of my shot and not the output, thus the focus should be on improving the input to see a wanted output in the next point.
     
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  9. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    I use the moment of serve to help me focus. If I am serving I take one deeper breath through my nose, let it out slowly through my mouth before I serve. If I am receiving a serve I get into position, then get just a little deeper down and just focus on the shuttle opposite me. If I am not involved in the serve I get into position and then just get a little deeper into it. All of this is done very quickly of course, as to not slow the game pace down, but getting in the right frame of mind and focusing just on the serve helps me stay focused throughout the rally.
     
  10. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    If you think of focus as a lack of distractions, then focus is not a singular positive mental activity, but a lack of negative mental activity.

    Thinking about technique is a distraction. Thinking about how the shuttle is too slow and the opponent doesn't want to change it, is a distraction. Thinking about past shots, whether good or bad, is a distraction. Thinking about whether you're playing with the right racket is a distraction. Thinking about what your partner thinks of you is a distraction. Thinking your partner is playing like an idiot is a distraction. Thinking about the award ceremony when you are up 18-13 in a final is a distraction. Thinking about how you will explain a coming loss is a distraction. Thinking about the 2 lucky netcords the opponent got to even the score is a distraction.

    Really everything is a distraction. The only things to think about is tactics and strategy, and even that happens more in between rallies rather than during.

    No one in the world will ever be permanently perfectly focused. Even the top players sometimes throw away games because their minds were on something else.

    Also the worst thing that can happen is when you disagree with your coach. If that ever happens, choose whether you want to follow your coaches advice or not, because if you're insecure about how to play, you won't be focused.
     
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  11. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    There should be no thinking, only doing.

    It's do, not think.
    Not do not think.

    The thinking should have been done during training or in between rallies.

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  12. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Re talking or not, it depends on the quality of what is said, and the ability for each partner to take or give an instruction mid rally or between rallies. If a partner is talking annoyingly / not usefully, then it could make you take it less seriously. If you can stop them doing that then good, but it doesn't mean that any talking is bad. Sometimes you or a partner could spot something or have a good idea and communicate it to your partner, and it works well.
     
  13. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    I think shot selection requires some active mental activity, even during the rally.
     
  14. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    True. But that should optimally be almost semi automatic as practiced during drills. At any one point, there should be at least 2 to 3 shot options available to execute depending on the opponents positioning, weakness etc.

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  15. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    Respectfully disagree. I try to leave that to instinct. The only 2 things I allow myself to think during serious play: during rally, focus on the shuttle and picture your shots; between points, focus on your breathing.

    I do feel I'm giving off a very arrogant vibe when I play a really good shot or rally and don't acknowledge it. Like "of COURSE I won that".

    It also feels less sociable for sure, which is why I don't do it every game.

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  16. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Theory is good, but remember everyone is different. Some are introverts, some extroverts. You telling your partner not to talk to you during a game could be taken in a bad way if they are a sociable person etc.

    Telling your partner they did a good shot is meant to encourage them to play better. In a lot of professional doubles games, you see them motivating eachother between the points, after they play a good shot, or even after a bad shot.
    I personally get very nervous when playing league matches with a particular member of my club as he is very competitive and I just know in his mind he gets very annoyed at easy mistakes I make in my play.

    Pain, tiredness and probably a bad diet are my biggest distractions currently.
     
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  17. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    May the Force be with you.
     
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  18. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    Just to clarify the not talking. I told a couple of guys who I'm perfectly friendly with that I wanted to try it in advance. I am certain there were no hurt feelings :) I DID congratulate the best smash a certain person has ever hit, and instantly broke the magic!

    I tell myself to shut up when mixing in with better players, who I am sure would rather I made less errors than comment each time I throw a point.

    My mixed partner barely talks, which us why I think I play better when paired with her.

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