Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A learning/ awakening game for a tennis player

Stand easily as if about to hit a right handed
forehand shot,
which is to say,
left foot forward and toward your direction of hitting,
right foot back, and more or less, facing to the right
of the direction you want to hit.

Pretend to have a tennis racket in your right hand
and come back for the swing
in this and all movements of this lesson,
go at about a third to a fifth of your normal speed.

Bring your right hand and arm back,
and feel the weight shifting into your right foot.

Do this several times, from arm in "neutral" to arm
and feel the shifting of weight in both the left and right feet.


Do this again,
and see if you can differentiate the various areas
of your foot
where this pressure is in each foot.

Both preparing to hit,
and coming back to neutral.

Now come back as if to hit,
all the while going so slowly
you can feel what's happening in your feet,
and add on
awareness of your pelvis and ribs and arms and eyes.

In other words, come back, aware of all of your body,
keeping special focus on the pattern of weight bearing in
each foot.

This time
aware of feet

take a practice forehand shot all the way through,
and go so slowly you can track
and be aware of
your feet, hips, pelvis
ribs neck back
arm hand
head and eyes.

Do this with your eyes open
and your eyes closed.

Once you get a deep and true
and hopefully pleasurable map in your brain
of how you do this,
begin to swing in pretend
at slow speed
and create variations:

sometimes your pelvis keeps moving and the arm lags back,
sometimes you take an entire swing and keep your weight back on your right foot,
sometimes you let your arm get ahead of your pelvis
sometimes you raise your head up "too high"
sometimes you let your head drop down so your chin in on your chest

and in these
and any other variations
feel your feet
and toes
and neck and back and pelvis
and hip joints
and knees
and arms and shoulders
(what about the "unused arm, and it's shoulder blade,
what about the lower and upper ribs on both sides)
and head and eyes

Is your mouth and jaw and neck
are your eyes

Can you keep feel exactly what's happening
in your feet
and pelvis?

Do this, rest, do this rest.

in the same stance,
play with a left handed back hand.
All the pieces and patterns as above.

Then switch around to face the other way
and play/ experience/ experiment/ discover
first a
right handed back hand
a left handed forehand.

This can take at least half an hour
and can be like a meditation.

Afterward walk
or nap

Stay away from cars and computers
and even the "real" tennis racket.

Just let your learning sink in.

Get excited about all you don't know
and how much you can learn the next time you
play this game.


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