Hitting with Feeling vs. Hitting with Thinking
I was watching ESPN this morning and they were covering Tiger Woods’ first win on the PGA Tour in over two years. They interviewed former PGA Tour Pro, Paul Azinger and he made a really interesting comment:
Tiger was hitting with feeling instead of hitting with thinking.
This was a perfect summation of what I’m trying to get to with my tennis game. After learning a lot of new shots and footwork patterns over the last few months, I know that playing tennis with a lot of thinking just doesn’t work. When I hit with Jeff a couple days ago, he was talking about creating pictures of the shots you want to hit in your mind. He used the word “snapshot” to describe the vision of each shot and it was more than just visualizing success or winning a match – it is literally a vision of what each shot is going to look like.
I started to do this when I went out and hit yesterday. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but when things started to click, I was hitting the ball a lot better. It’s hard to explain, but by creating a snapshot of what shot I wanted to hit, it relieved some of the pressure I was putting on myself. It was almost like, “I want to hit that shot, so I might as well try it.”. That probably sounds counter-intuitive, but it seemed to work for me.