"My racquet head is too closed during contact, my wrist isn't snapping enough, I keep decelerating, and my follow-through isn't big enough."
First of all... WAY TOO MUCH INFO! Unfortunately, though, all that information he gave was exactly right. He was missing his shots because, mechanically, those parts of his forehand weren't working properly. I say unfortunately because knowing these reasons for the errors are why he can't fix them under pressure. He continuously falls into the trap of trying to fix his mistakes by looking at his mechanics first, rather than viewing them as a direct result of something else. I call this the "band aid treatment." It's often only a temporary fix, quenching his thirst for a short time, but making him miss the bigger picture... the true fix, and the real question he should be asking:
"Why do I consistently make those same errors under pressure?"
When he learns to ask that question... and only then, will he truly conquer those specific mistakes. The answer will always come~ but after we ask the question. In this case... why! Mike's mechanics were breaking down because he viewed those pressure situations as moments "not to fail." In other words, he was afraid to stay aggressive during the most pressure filled parts of his matches, which naturally made him passive and hesitant, resulting in missed opportunities. In his mind, though, he instinctively wanted to remedy the physical mistakes he knew were happening, instead of examining the mental and emotional aspects of his play that triggered the physical errors.
We don't have to be athletes for this concept to take shape in our lives. What is it that we need to ask why about more often? Is there a solution in our relationships, business and other personal aspects of our lives that could be remedied simply by seeing the why?
Do we hide from the why in order to ignore the real challenges... knowing that if we asked why, we'd find the true answers~ maybe answers we don't want to find? Or is it simply that we didn't even know to ask why, as in Mike's case?
I believe we've been trained to look for the easiest answer~ the answer that's right in front of our face. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the correct solutions... but very often, we need to look deeper~ work backwards from the why, trusting those scary backwards steps will lead us to our truest, most sincere answers.