Although this kind of sounds like I’m doing my Dizzy Dean impression, it really is about paying attention to where you slud, I mean slid. Since you lay the ball down five-to-six boards outside of your sliding ankle, and since you don’t see this because you are looking at your target, it’s pretty important you know where you slid. That way, you can be very sure of where you laid the ball down, even if you didn’t see it.
You’ll often see the pros look down at their foot after a shot. They’re not looking to see if there’s a message on their toes. They are looking to discover several things:
a) If they slid where they intended, and the shot didn’t work, they need a new intention.
b) If they didn’t slide where they intended, and the shot worked, they still need a new intention.
c) If they didn’t slide where they intended, and the shot didn’t work, there’s a good chance that’s why.
d) If they slid where they intended, and shot worked, good planning. Do it again.
In order to know which it is, you’ve got to know if you slid where you intended to slide. This NMWcan get very interesting. For example, a student and I will be discussing this concept, and the goal of the next shot will be to get it done. On their way back to the settee, a little voice (me) asks, “where did you slide?” What a look I get!
“Oh man. I forgot to check.”
It’s just a lapse of concentration, but it’s common and unfortunate. That’s what I mean when I say this is an interesting NMW. Learning to do this is very important and takes some mental discipline. You can’t get mad that you didn’t do what you not more than two seconds ago told yourself you would do. Like anything else, you’re learning, and you need some reps. It will be worth whatever effort it takes. Knowing you did what you intended, and then adjusting ball reaction, beats guessing every time.
It is very common that people blame themselves when they miss. Sometimes, it’s appropriate, and sometimes, it’s not. “I must have a) juiced it up a bit; b) had late timing; c) forgotten to turn it; or d) it doesn’t count because I missed my mark.” Sometimes, you are the culprit, but having a litany of ills to choose from doesn’t make any of them right. If you know where you slid, you can either eliminate that as an issue, or you’ve found the likely error right away. Either way, you’re ahead.
That “missed my mark” comment is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Even if you did miss your target, you’ve identified a symptom, not a cause. Why did you miss it? I understand you might not know. That’s why you go to IAB Bootcamp. Anyway, my issue with it is this – don’t think the shot doesn’t count because you missed the target. You do not have to hit the target for the shot to give you usable information.
The important information is not that you missed your target. The important information is why. Missing your target is not an excuse. It’s a pain. That’s a great thing! Pain is a warning, a help, an alert that something might be going on – an early warning system for those who are paying attention.