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A far-out analogy between skiing and tennis

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I doubt many of you will find this of interest but thought I'd post it for the one or two who might relate.

While rushing to pack my skis last weekend (took 1 too many runs and was late for a plane flight) I jammed my right index finger which resulted in a very slight fracture. This past week I have been playing tennis with it and discovered some new perceptions that for me have analogy to skiing. All of a sudden I have become very aware (for obvious reason) of the pressure distribution and torque between my hand and the racquet and I have learned more of how I can work to control this to some extent. It has also given me an additional way to think about and look for feedback about "quality of ball contact."

To me these feelings have an analogy with perceptions of pressure distribution between foot/boot/ski as well as the need for rotary movement. Just like in skiing I found I needed to be very well centered and had to work to minimize rotary components in order to perform most efficiently. Thinking about the similarities between hand and foot in this regard has been interesting.
post #2 of 6
Is this why safe crackers sand their finger tips raw in the movies, for increased sensitivity to their craft?

Yours is not the first case of "awareness thru injury" I expect.

After a blown up shoulder & surgery (25 yrs ago), it took nearly a full season for me to be able to toss a tennis ball anywhere I could reach it to hit a serve in the court. However, my service stroke progressivly became better at not only adjusting to zero in on whereever the toss wound up, but also at adapting it to be a slice, flat hammer, topspin kicker or even balk if needed. As a result, my game gained dimension from live-or-die-by-the-one-big-serve to my having a varied arsenal of serves to choose from (as my toss gained skill to go where I chose). Most signifantly my high rate of double faults decreased dramitically and my second serve became a formadible weapon in of itself. As my ground game felt less pressured, I relaxed and it became better as well.

But there has to be an easier way to apply the concept than thru self mutilation.

[ December 20, 2002, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #3 of 6
ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!

Arc, why didn't I read your last sentence sooner. I'm in agony here, and I won't be able to play guitar for ages! Suddenly the callouses on my left hand are gone, replaced with soft, sensitive skin...

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well Roger, If I went through my litany of injuries and lessons learned I am afraid it would be one of the longer posts on Epic. However, I've got to say that injuries have provided the basis for some of my best learning experiences both short term and long term. See one of my posts on the "straight to shaped" thread for my favorite skiing example relating to weighted inside turns. On the other hand, as you said, there's got to be an easier way!!!
post #5 of 6
like the analogy si,
I experienced almost the same thing last year. At the end of the season, I accidentally dove head first over a cliff at squaw and broke my tennis hand badly. After surgery and a few weeks I opened up my tennis facility and started teaching left handed, but moved into right handed tenderly and with tremendous awarness of pressure and how to make minute adustments in a variety of things to minimize impact. As you said, these heightened awareness are often educational. Tuning into pressure and pressure alivation in both skiing and tennis can help make movements more efficent and effective.

Cheers, wade
post #6 of 6
Congrats to Si for getting his article, "Address Perceptions to Help Students Reach Proficiency," in The Professional Skier that just arrived in my mailbox today.

Good on ya!

(Way to inject ESP into the magazine. Kudos!)
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