Opening possibilities (beyond the knowledge area, beyond the perfectionism paradigm)
One day when I was coaching and trying to get more spin in the 2º serve and after many trials exercises without any result, suddenly I thought that we were looking just for the perfect shot. When I ask to the player, “do it wrong” then, the shot started to work.
I try many times again the same strategy and the most of the times I got good results. What is happening? Why asking for the mistakes is possible to get the perfect shot?
From all the psychological tendencies, the perfectionism means paralysis, this mean, is that the perfection is just one point, movement, or whatever I m looking for, but just one. Around this perfection point you have infinites possibilities. The most of the coaches that I knew in my live were quite obsessed to get the perfect shot and didn’t permit the player go beyond his instructions. Then the player is losing all the possibilities around the “perfect” instruction or movement.
First of all is necessary to understand the difference in between option and possibility. Option is the way that I already know, possibility is the unknown way, the possibility become in option once we know and try.
We don’t have to give instructions, we have to give possibilities, then, maybe, the player will become this possibilities in new options to be able to solve more problems. The coach have to stop to think that he have to give solutions. Is the opposite, the coach has to give problems, show to the player where he is weak, and formulate the right question or create the good environment where the player feel able to get his own answer.
When I said formulate the right question, I mean, that to get a different answer I have to change the question. The perfectionism is always looking for the reasons: why did you lose? Why your forehand is going out? Now try for yourself, and answer a “WHY”, what you answered? Be honest……. you answered excuses, reasons, and always the answer is talking about the past: how you should have done it.
Now change the question, instead of “why” ask to yourself “how could I do…?” which kind of answer did you get it? I m quite sure that you got a new answers, and you create new possibilities to find a new solution. This kind of questions will project yourself toward a possible solution, but just possible.
If we are able to encourage our players to try new things, to go beyond the knowledge area, then, he/she will be able to learn forever. We have to be coaches, and be coaches mean, take a player and show him/her possibilities never close them into instructions.
Aldous Huxley Wrote: “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which mean never losing your enthusiasm.”
Every kid is a genius till start to be educated, once we start to teach, we are neutralizing the natural capacity to learn, through the coaching we are recovering
Up to you!!!
Example: typical instruction, “bend your knees”, “move your hand” etc. what does mean for the player this instructions? How is He perceiving the actions? Is it possible that he perceive that he is doing what we are asking?
In my experience, the most of the times, the player is thinking that he is following the instruction perfectly. Is what he perceive. When, in fact, he is quite far from the “perfection”.
That’s the moment when the conflict start, the coach saying that is bad and the player trying to do it well but having, at the same time, other perception
Even if the perfect shot is the main goal, maybe the motor skills that the player has in the moment are not enough to get the perfect shot. Then is the moment to think in new possibilities:
Which possibility I have around the perfect shot can help the player to get closer to the goal?
mean that the coach doesn’t have ask just for the perfect shot, this is the last goal,