Re: Sammy's 2012 Off-Season Conference Thread
It's a Mega Tsam-nami!!
@SilverPersian - re: doing the routine between points, a la Masha.... (I can speak from personal experience on the importance of this one.) The routine (no matter what it entails) is critical. It allows a player to feel/acknowledge whatever emotions the previous point causes, then there's a letting go phase (usually turning your back to the net and walking a bit), and then there is a re-focus, or 'centering' phase to quiet the brain and give the body something to do
(for me, it's moving the vibration dampener on my racquet slightly each time - playing with the strings engages the body and shuts the voices in my mind down). They are allowed 20 seconds between points - but it seems like Sam doesn't use her full 20 seconds. When she's serving, she gets 3 balls and looks them over and keeps 2. This is part of her 'ritual' and it is good, but she needs to do more. Who knows - maybe she goes through the 'reset process' every point, but I think you're right - for Sam, it usually seems to take a change of ends or break between sets to get refocused.
That's just my opinion on the reset process. I learned about it from a very experienced teaching pro, and it takes discipline to do it all the time (especially when there's a lot of momentum and/or pressure). But Masha is a perfect example of how simple movements and repetitive processes between points can be used successfully.
We can getting very spiritual now aren't we?
This is an interesting thought though. I am always really impressed with Maria's fighting spirit and competitiveness. Sammy could do well to take a page of Maria's play book re the resetting after each and every point but hopefully not take 28 secs to do this! Maria got a warning from Cicak during her match with Sammy for taking too long between points
From Sammy's pressers etc you get the impression her mind is very "busy" during matches. This is where I feel Sammy could do with some medication/yoga type sessions just to learn keep the mind simple and calm during her matches. I see that Casey is attending some Lululemon summit where she is doing yoga and medication. She should have roped Sammy in for this!