Guinea pigs used for experiments usually don’t last too long – many of them die. Do you feel like the guinea pig at the club? Is your game dying from too many experiments?
Throughout my playing career many people have personally given me advice about my game – I hear it from friends, strangers, relatives, practice partners, coaches, club members, and opponents in tournaments. Maybe you are in the same situation. Maybe you receive a lot of advice from others and sometimes feel like the guinea pig. Maybe you feel like people are experimenting with new ideas by telling you to do this and that when they themselves have never understood or used that particular skill.
The next time someone gives you advice, here is the thought process that you need to have:
1. First, be polite and thank the player for the tip
2. Consider, is it appropriate to think about this change right now? If you are in the middle of a tournament, then you shouldn’t be making major changes. If it is appropriate to think about making the change, then follow the next steps.
3. Ask the player if he can demonstrate his recommendation or if he knows of a player that you can watch who can demonstrate it.
4. Ask the player why he recommends the change and if the change would be something that would change your entire game (for possibly big results) or would it be a subtle change that would enhance your game (for somewhat subtle results).
5. Once you have been convinced of the change and have spent a significant amount of time visualizing the change, now it is time to put in the work for make the change through shadow strokes, robot training, simple drills, game-like drills, practice matches, and tournaments.
Maybe you feel like guinea pig because people are always recommending new things for your game. It can be a bit depressing. However, once you are able to process the information correctly, then you can decide for yourself if this change would be helpful or not. But remember, always be kind and curious so that others will be more willing to help you!
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