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  • Yann Auzoux

Yann: Making and breaking tennis habits

Yann's Series on Tennis Pre-Puberty Mastery

Episode 6: Habits

Even something as simple and fundamental as your grip is a helpful or harmful habit formed early in your playing career.

Old habits die hard. It's true for tennis players no matter their age. The key is to develop the right habits early on.

That early age is before 13 or 14, when players enter puberty and their bodies cement the techniques they've developed up to that point.

Good habits include more than just technique. Discipline, mental preparation, and work ethic are essential to learn early.

Children who are taught to arrive on time carry that with them throughout life. The same with being taught sportsmanship, problem solving skills, even cleaning up the court after themselves.

Ask any parent. These skills become habits, part of the framework of a child's character forever.

The neural connections at that stage are firing, faster and more efficiently than they ever will. Combined with the muscle memory solidified by repetition of the proper technique, it is a recipe for success.

But unfortunately, setting the wrong habits is tough to overcome. It's harder for a pop musician to learn Mozart than talented novice--overcoming limited technique is harder than learning fresh.

Plus we always get worse before we get better. That takes incredible determination and confidence to stick to it.

It is daunting to correct years of deleterious behaviors. Whether you're overcoming that or setting completely new habits as an older player, you need experts who specialize in both situations to guide you.

In my series on Pre-Puberty Mastery in tennis, we're covering some of the physical, social and psychological reasons why it's important to master the game before 13 or 14 years old.

And regardless of whether your child is still young enough, or has passed that point, we are here to help you set a ROADMAP TO SUCCESS.

That's also why at Tennis Central one of our main focuses is on adapting our pedagogy based on where along the PPM timeline a player is. All of our coaches are PPM certified.

If your child is younger, it's time to start roadmapping. Otherwise, it's not too late – if your child's coaches understand how to attack making up for the lost time.


PPM Reason 6: Habits

Setting and overcoming them

Technically, one of the most prevalent bad habits I see in older players is in their grip. Without being taught early the correct grips, they adapt their swings to compensate. Years later, the effects are staggering. 

They reach a ceiling. In order to improve, they have to endure a long period of mistiming balls and swinging uncomfortably---the proper way, which feels improper to them. 

No wonder they often revert to their old ways in pressure situations. But these are unreliable and more prone to unforced errors.

So, a PPM-certified coach uses not only extra patience but their knowledge of an older player's likely strategy and feelings, in addition to the correct technique, to combat the old habits. 

Until they're replaced by the right habits.

Older players also tend to lack the graceful footwork developed by the young.

Sometimes skill from another sport can translate to the new sport. Often enough, however, it can be just different enough to mount an impediment. 

They usually have to think more consciously about where their feet are going, resulting in more robotic movement and confusing the mind which should be focused on shotmaking.

So our PPM coaches will identify these signs and prescribe the antidotes. 

On top of teaching the right footwork, precision can always be mastered. An older player may not have the same tennis-specific flexibility or movement, but they can improve the accuracy of their shots. This helps to mask their court coverage.

It's never too late to master the game, as long as you have an expert in your corner who knows how to solve the specific problems facing child and older teen players. Because they are different entirely.

Schedule Your ROADMAP Call Now

with Yann Auzoux, CEO of Tennis Central

If you want to reach your goals in tennis, you need a roadmap to success. Schedule your ROADMAP Call with me, Yann Auzoux, CEO of Tennis Central.

It's about what YOU want in your tennis life.

More from Yann's Series on Pre-Puberty Mastery

Episode 1: Crafting the Muscles, a musculoskeletal system specialized for tennis

Episode 2: Racquet Unity, the racquet as extension of the arm

Episode 3: Self-Awareness, winning and losing and handling both

Episode 4: The Full Arsenal, every shot for every situation

Episode 5: Social Commitments, when independence and friends arrive

Episode 6: Habits, setting and overcoming them

Episode 7: Setting Goals, belief and reality

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