Seeing is Believing!


Do you really know why you lost the match?

Or, why you keep losing to that team even though you’re convinced that you’re better, much better?

What’s the reason for all those missed volleys? Why don’t they feel the same way they do in a lesson?

Do you wonder why you seem to be in the wrong spot on the court, bewildered, and repeatedly getting caught out of position?

These and many more puzzling questions go through the mind of a  tennis player.

Bias always affects our judgement.

Typically, a self diagnosis, arrives from a misunderstanding and a misperception of what actually happened on the court. And then, when you explain it to your friends or your tennis pro, the solutions to your problems are as blemished as the initial analysis of your experience on the court.

The perception of the competitor, who is in the arena, is going to be markedly different than the one from the more objective observer outside the arena. That is one of the main reasons you see coaches at tennis matches – to offer an objective analysis of the action. A misunderstanding of what you need to improve will lead you down the wrong path to a solution resulting in wasted time and money.


It is easy to think your strokes, court position, strategy…are picture perfect, when in reality, they are not what you think they are. Sure, your teammates, your friends, your pro are telling you what you are doing well or not doing so well – but, do you really grasp completely the information they are relaying to you? In most cases, nope.

The truth is that an analysis of your tennis performance, positive or negative, will not come close, no matter how articulate the messenger is.

Think of translating evocative Spanish poetry  into German, Hamlet into Chinese, Hemingway into Farsi, Whitman into Polish. Inevitably, something gets  lost in the transfer.

For example, when you hear, “take your racket back, punch your volley, move your feet, follow the ball, follow-through, do you understand what the tennis pro means by the instruction given to you? In most instances, no. There are so many pieces to the instructions given to you. When it is explained repeatedly, chances are you’ll have a clearer understanding – but it’s after lots of time and explanation.

Isn’t there an easier way to facilitate the learning process?

YES!  VIDEO – See Yourself In Action!

And, for tennis, it is an invaluable tool.

Tennis is a fine-motor skill sport. Every move has many parts that cannot be adequately described by words alone. To attempt such an approach is to burden the student with cognitive overload – too much to think about. VIDEO is nearly self-explanatory.


Why are fitness facilities and dance studios  surrounded by mirrors?

Why is it that we have mirrors in dressing rooms, hair salons, in our homes?

I don’t think it’s to satisfy any narcissistic inclinations.

No, it’s to make sure our form or steps are what they need to be.

We want to make sure the outfit we want to buy fits, that it’s the right color for our complexion…

How is the knot on the necktie?

Or maybe, you need to see if you have the right shade of makeup applied where you need it.

Your friend tells you how much sun you received at the beach. You have an idea but it isn’t until you look in a mirror that you get an accurate assessment of the sun’s effect on your skin.

By looking in a mirror, you get a true reflection. The truth.


According to a study conducted by the Social Science Research Network, 65% of the population are visual learners.

30% of the population are auditory – they learn it after hearing it, and 5% are kinesthetic – they learn through feel, touch.

What does this mean for the teaching tennis pros and their students? It’s likely we’re not maximizing the teaching and learning experience by just speaking, the auditory tactic.

It is an incontrovertible fact, supported by research, that the benefits of seeing yourself in action is an essential part of the learning process. Think of it as a tennis hack – a way to streamline and rapidly acquire mastery over a skill set. But, you can use this tool for any endeavor you’re pursuing – a life hack.


  • Research shows comprehension is markedly improved when instruction is delivered through a video than when it is presented through aural or text form.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text.
  • We can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of second.
  • Visuals make it easier to find patterns and relationships.
  • Video triggers emotions which cause stronger reactions than words. Emotions help with retention.
  • Video motivates – Seeing a video allows us to recreate the experience in our own minds.
  • Video simplifies complex or abstract ideas.
  • Visuals bridge already learned habits with the unfamiliar.

Tennis is coming out of the dark ages.

It is becoming more common practice to use video analysis in live, gut-wrenching competitive play, where the real tennis player shows up, clad with all the fears, self-doubts, habits, both good and not so good that competition exposes.

It is in these authentic settings that you get to see your real game, not the one in a clinic. It’s all there – the technical, the situational, the strategical, and the biggest one, the psychological. Your actions, your decisions come from your thoughts.


Take the step.

Have your next competitive match videotaped and analyzed by a tennis teaching professional.

AWARENESS IS PART OF IMPROVEMENT. Why video analysis of live play?

  • “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, a VIDEO is worth 10 thousand words. At least.
  • VIDEO analysis of a match is a fantastic way to review your matches with your doubles partners. WHAT A GREAT STARTING POINT FOR DISCUSSION!
  • VIDEO analysis minimizes explanation. Having something explained to you as you’re seeing it will make more sense to you.
  • There is no better way to isolate the strengths and weaknesses. With VIDEO, it’s all there – accurate, blunt, truthful.
  • Capturing matchplay on VIDEO, lets you discover your shot selection at pivotal points in a match. Huge.
  • Start a digital library of your tennis journey and progress. You’ll be able to see your tennis growth. Measurable.

 The advantages of matchplay VIDEO analysis are limitless.

Improve your technique, court awareness, strategy, and the way you respond to pressure in competitive situations. Are you following through? Did you see the lob coming? Did you see your opponent on defense? Do you know what happened in the tiebreaker? Are you moving with your partner? For the wonderers of the tennis universe, the answers to all your questions are in this marvelous technical tool we have at our disposal – VIDEO.

Has anyone ever videotaped your USTA, League or tournament tennis match or a portion of it?

And, has a tennis teaching professional ever analyzed your competitive tennis performance using video analysis?

It’s time for you to see what others see.


Always welcome your comments!

Let’s do this.


By | 2017-05-18T21:23:19+00:00 April 1st, 2016|Categories: Other|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jose Benjumea is a certified PTR Tennis Professional who has been teaching the game since 1974, mostly in Virginia Beach. Jose graduated from Old Dominion University, where he played on the tennis team.

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