July 24, 2023 - Subconscious Adjustment as a Habit

Everyone plays a little differently, and it's important to play as many different players as possible. Some might think this is so you can learn to play every style, and there's some truth to that. But that's only for learning to play general styles - two-winged loopers, one-winged loopers, hitters, blockers, choppers, lobbers, and so on. But there's something even more important, and that's developing the subconscious habit of adjusting.

Suppose the players at your club have varied styles, and you play them regularly. Then you get used to playing each of them. The problem is that instead of adjusting to each of them, you are now playing the way you are used to playing them. Instead, you need to develop the habit of adjusting to new players. Otherwise, when you play new players in a tournament, you become robotic, unable to fully adjust to new players since you are only used to playing those specific players you are used to playing. If, instead, you regularly play different players, then it becomes a subconscious habit, and adjustment comes naturally. When this happens, you no longer have to worry about playing "weird" styles or shots, since you are used to adjusting - and that means you can adjust to anything.

Playing lots of different players can be difficult if the number of players at your club near your level is limited. Here are three ways to make up for that. First, play players who might not be near your level but play different styles. If they agree, perhaps have the stronger player spot points to make it competitive - with the spot going up or down a point based on who won each game. Second, play at other clubs. And third, play lots of tournaments!