Hello, any tips on how to organize one's mind when trying to develop to a better tt player. I read a lot about teqnique and tactics, but every time I go to practice I just play the way I always done. For example, I use to think, "this practice, I must remember to reset my stance quicker after my serve" or "my footwork must be more active" or "I need to use my hookserve more even it's not perfect yet". I often end doing nothing of it because I get so focused on getting the ball on the other side of the net. Any advice on how to organize your mind in implementing or adjusting your technique during practice?
If you want to go with what the current scientific research suggests, then you want to focus on just one particular facet of whatever stroke or skill you're training during a given session. Here's a helpful Huberman Lab video where he talks about this concept:
The whole podcast is worth a listen actually since there are many other concepts we can implement for faster skill acquisition. The important points that I took out of it are the following:
- Skill acquisition is achieved through making errors and the brain using this error information to calibrate. The more reps you can get in, and the more errors you make *while attempting to achieve the correct movement pattern* the faster the skill is acquired.
- You can help the brain do its error correction thing more efficiently by taking random breaks during training and just do nothing (close your eyes for 10 seconds or something). The brain will replay the memory repeatedly, which is part of the correction process.
- Focusing on a certain aspect of a skill (e.g., footwork, weight transfer, bat angle, grip, etc.) while learning it will speed up the process of learning.
So if you are just safely getting the ball over the net, then you're not making any errors and may just be cementing that particular 'skill.' But if you want to add more spin or speed, or to place the ball better, then you're going to need to make errors. You will start missing the table a lot, but those misses will slowly show your brain the right way to do it.