Traditional or CLA


Comparing the traditional and constraints-led approaches to skill acquisition in tennis. By Luke Regan, The Sports Think Thank, United Kingdom. August 2021

Regan comes to the conclusion:
„Manipulating constraints is not new to coaching per se, coaches have always utilised tasks and environments in ostensibly similar ways. But in order to maximise their effectiveness, the CLA and its theoretical foundations provide a basis for using constraints in a way that assumes a model of behaviour profoundly different from the traditional, cognitive approach of transforming ‘one size fits all’ technical information into procedural knowledge will not be optimal if deployed as part of a prescriptive coaching style. The CLA is the use of interacting constraints to facilitate the emergence of functional behaviour through self-organisation, not to simply provide opportunities for a player to execute a pre-established technique dictated by a coach. Ongoing developments in psychological theory are continuously informing best practice in skill acquisition and, far from being locked into the assumption that skills can only be coached through the prescriptive transmission of expert information, coaches are encouraged to explore more ecological and implicit approaches to developing skill in tennis players.“

Der Mythos der korrekten Technik

Zwei Kinder, welche Fußball spielen.

Ein Beitrag von outoftheb-ox über die Theorie der Entwicklung motorischer Fähigkeiten, den Mythos der korrekten Technik, Variabilität im Körper und Variabilität in der Bewegung.

Fazit: „Bewegungsvariabilität sollte im Training gefördert werden, um die Anpassungsfähigkeit von Bewegungslösungen zu verbessern und folglich nicht nur die sportliche Leistung der Sportlerin zu steigern, sondern auch das Verletzungsrisiko zu verringern. Das Üben einzelner Bewegungen zum Erlernen der “korrekten Technik” sollte vermieden werden. Stattdessen empfiehlt es sich das Training in einer realitätsnahen Situation durchzuführen, die es der Sportlerin erlaubt Umweltfaktoren wahrzunehmen und auf diese agil und variabel zu reagieren.“

„Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful“

George Box


Street Racket is a new street game. You find many informations about it here. You can play it on each flat surface. Meanwhile they have developed nearly 1000 ways to play the game in different court sices, for every age and every ability.
It is called „The mother of all racket games“. Variation ist the base of the game concept and the base of motor learning.


In a previous blog post we talked about the importance of metaphors in sports coaching. In an extensive work, Nele Telemann pointed out the efficiency of analogies from other social contexts.

Kostenloser Vektor flamingo im cartoon-stil isoliert auf weiß

When you see tennis players jumping like a kangaroo, moving like a gazelle, waiting for the the ball like a tiger, standing at the forehand like a flamingo, holding the racquet like it’s a little bird she’s grabbing.

When you watch children hit balls over the net and describe the distance to the net as „mouse“, „cheetah“ or „giraffe“. When kids want to play the dinosaur game again and again at the end of the training session.


Then you might see players who learn and have learned tennis with our training philosophy.

But metaphors and analogies are not only about animals. May be players move and hit the ball like Bruce Lee recommended: „Be like water.“


„Flamingo tennis“

You can use any situation in practice to set differences, from the T in the beginning of a lesson or later from the baseline. Players have to stand like a flamingo, with one leg lifted up when hitting the ball.

Kostenloser Vektor flamingo im cartoon-stil isoliert auf weiß

-lift the other leg

-lift the leg in opposite to the stroke

-switch legs after each stroke

-and so on

The Base

This blog and the philosophy behind it is our base for coaching tennis ( But where do we come from?

The starting point was the book Inner Game in tennis by Timothy Gallwey, first published in 1974. In this book he describes a way of learning influenced by far eastern philosophies such as ZEN. Much of Gallwey’s approach and publications that linked Zen Buddhism to motor learning can now be found in scientific motor learning studies. Brain research also takes up many of these approaches and confirms their relevance for learning.

Time for a return. The reason for this is our annual coach meets coach. This time it is all about the mental area in the practical part: integrated mental training, training with girls‘ groups U18, training with „difficult groups“ and inner game.

a blog for coaches and players