Pickleball: Don’t Win the Point, Just Don’t Lose the Point!

“If you’re an amateur your focus should be on avoiding stupidity, not seeking brilliance.” – Charlie Munger

While Pickleball is NOT Tennis, there may be some lessons we can draw from Tennis and apply them to pickleball.

The quotes below discuss elements from the book Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Tennis Player by Simon Ramo, but are not necessarily directly from the book. The quotes were copied from the article linked below.

It has been my experience that the word pickleball can just as likely be replaced with pickleball!

“Although players in both games [ amateur and professional tennis ] use the same equipment, dress, rules and scoring, and conform to the same etiquette and customs, the basic natures of their two games are almost entirely different. After extensive scientific and statistical analysis, Dr. Ramo summed it up this way: Professionals win points, amateurs lose points. Professional tennis players stroke the ball with strong, well aimed shots, through long and often exciting rallies, until one player is able to drive the ball just beyond the reach of his opponent. Errors are seldom made by these splendid players.”**

“The amateur duffer seldom beats his opponent, but he beats himself all the time. The victor in this game of tennis gets a higher score than the opponent, but he gets that higher score because his opponent is losing even more points.”**

“In expert tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are lost. In other words, professional tennis is a Winner’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the winner – and amateur tennis is a Loser’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the loser.”**

**Avoiding Stupidity is easier than Seeking Brilliance


In Summary

According to the above, amateur pickleballers (and of course I include myself in that group) win their games not necessarily because they make the best shots and have the best skills. They simply make less errors than their opponents. If this is not new and it is “good enough” for you, no need to read further.

For some, this might be a different way of looking at things and an inspiration to “win” the points rather than have your opponent lose them.

When I introduce people to pickleball, I often encourage them to avoid trying for the “perfect” shots within inches of the lines or those that just clear the net. Instead, I advise them to make solid shots and force the opponent to return the ball.

There will be times when their amateur opponent will miss a simple overhead, easy dink or block-volley simply because they take their eye of the ball.

Remember, we aren’t relegated to this scenario for ever. As we gain experience and improve our skills, we can seek levels of pickleball brilliance!

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How to Improve so You Can Avoid “Pickleball Stupidity”


Joe Baker has provided excellent videos for aspiring pickleballers. Watching or re-watching them will help avoid many pickleball errors.

 

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips


 


Doubles Pickleball Strategy 102 – Smart Pickleball Vol. 2, Power


 

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 103: Don’t Hit Out Balls, Six Easy Rules


 

We can start with the videos above and hopefully play a “smarter” amateur’s game!

 

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More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Information and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Fix the hole in your paddle – watch the ball!

Perhaps you have heard the phrases…

“You can’t hit it, if you can’t see it.” or “Hit it? I can’t even see it!”

This highlights a major problem in pickleball (and many other sports). We are all told that we need to watch the ball until it makes contact with the paddle. Well, that seems pretty easy and in warm-ups it can easily be done.

Once a game begins however, many players lose concentration and become so interested in seeing the results of their “hit” that they look up at the last minute and thus often do not hit the ball in the paddle’s sweet spot where it is easy to direct the ball and control the speed.

How many times has this happened to you (and me)…You think you have an easy shot and you are ready for it and when the ball comes you swing for what you think is going to be a good shot or a winner and you whiff; miss the ball completely.

Some players then look at the paddle as though there is a hole in it which the ball just happened to pass through. Most of the time this is caused because, at the last moment, the player took their eye off of the ball.

The two pictures below show highly skilled pickleball players hitting the ball. Notice where their eyes are focusing:



picture courtesy of the USAPA


picture courtesy of YouTube video: Blocking with Sarah Ansboury
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQa0N5TtSW0&feature=youtu.be

These players are focused on watching the ball until the paddle makes contact!

Looking up just before hitting the ball can often cause the ball to hit the edge of the paddle, the handle or somewhere on the paddle face that does not enable the ball to be properly stroked to acquire the appropriate direction and/or speed.

Practicing watching the ball is important. Start with the serve because at that point, you are not anticipating a quick shot coming right back to you. Watch the ball hit the paddle. This will give you a sense and feel of what it is like. Develop this routine and go on to watching the ball on your ground stroke, backhand, lob and dink.

In the video below, pickleball coach Matty Klein discusses the importance of keeping your eyes on the ball and demonstrates how it is done to achieve the proper effect.

Tennis has been closely compared to pickleball because of some of the similarities so let’s consider a study addressed in an article Watch The Ball? How Elite Tennis Players Focus On The Contact Point by By Damien Lafont, PhD and Certified Tennis Coach, France (First published in the ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, Dec. 2007)

“Additionally, what contrasts with previous studies is that Federer and Nadal (tennis champions of distinction [ed)] not only keep their eye on the ball up to the moment of impact, but after impact their head remains still and in the direction of the contact zone.

This ‘fixation’ of the contact zone is the trademark of elite players.

The most noteworthy finding was that elite players were able to maintain a fairly consistent control; a consistency also illustrated on the women’s tour by Steffi Graf who kept her eyes on the ball on every shot with significant fixation stage after impact.”

Source – https://www.tennismindgame.com/how-pros-watch-the-ball.html

To quote Tennis Professional Michael Emmett: “…none of these techniques are relevant – if you’re NOT watching the ball!”

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



The Mental Side of Pickleball

It is interesting that today I received two articles about the mental side of pickleball. Both are somewhat related and might be of interest to those who count themselves more competitive than the casual “lets go out and get some exercise” players. Of course there is nothing wrong with just wanting to play to have fun and get exercise. That is one of the wonders of pickleball…it can be enjoyed on many levels!

Sarah Ansboury’s post, Being Present addresses a situation that I have been in at one time or another, but thankfully not that often. What I am talking about is letting something that happened on a previous point affect future play. It doesn’t make a difference if it is in the same game, the last game, the game last week or several months ago.

As Sarah points out, successful athletes have the ability to compartmentalize situations and focus on the here and now. Here is a quote from her article:

That point is over. Whatever happened, happened. That moment in time cannot affect the future unless we choose to let it. If a player focuses on a bad shot, the fact that their last serve did not go in, or what they consider a bad line call they cannot focus on the task at hand, i.e. the current point. To focus all your energy on the current point you must learn to turn off the thoughts that don’t contribute to the moment at hand.

I have played in games when after the game a player focuses on some of his or her mistakes disregarding the very good plays they made. I think that is part of the human condition. At the end of her article Sarah Ansboury says: “There is always something you did well. Focus on that, and forget the rest.” It may be hard to do at first, but its a skill that needs to be developed.

Read the entire article Being Present

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On a related topic, In2Pickle.com talks about the Dreaded 9. If you have been playying pickleball for a significant amount of time, you may have been in this situation on one side or the other.

A team is winning by a fair amount, let’s say 9 to 5. Realizing that you only need two points to win, you begin to become more aggressive and end up losing. Tony, of In2Pickle.com, explains the strategy he would use to avoid losing in this situation. I have been on both sides of this scenario and I have noticed the momentum shift.

This too is part of the mental mindset behind winning pickleball. Read Tony’s article, The Dreaded 9!

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More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball – 2019 Minto US Open Videos

Pickleball is a very popular sport and it is growing and growing. Although pickleball has been evolving for more than fifty years, it hasn’t reached full maturity. It is still finding its way in the sports and entertainment arenas.

The recent 2019 Minto US Pickleball Open, for example, had some of the best competition and numerous people would have like to watch many of the medal matches including bronze and gold contests in a variety of categories. Sadly, many of these were not broadcast live. Certain categories have not been placed on YouTube or Facebook, even though the championship was months ago.

To their credit, CBS Sports did televise some of the exciting gold medal matches (Thank You CBS Sports!). The unfortunate aspect of this scenario, as far s I can discern, is that this was not widely communicated in the pickleball world.

For those who might have missed the action and would like to view it, here (below) are as many videos as I could find online. Please bear in mind that the quality of the videos varies. I also want to point out that I tried to find matches in all age groups, i.e. women, men, young, senior etc. What I found was a limited sample of players represented in the current available videos. You can search on your own periodically as some of the videos may be released at a later date.

NOTE – Some of the Facebook pages have more videos listed and linked on the sidebar (right-hand side). You can watch those as well!

When weather or other obligations keep you from playing pickleball, you can watch exciting matches to see what the Pros do!

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Doubles

MEN’S DOUBLES 19+ Gold Medal match from the 2019 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships NOTE – Action doesn’t start until the 8:28 (+/-) mark so feel free to move ahead to avoid the “advertisements” and intros.

Kyle Yates and Brian Ashworth vs. Marcin Rozpedski and Aspen Kern

CBS Sports Broadcast – PRO Men’s Doubles Gold – Minto US Open Pickleball Championships

Kyle Yates and Matt Wright go head-to-head with Dave Weinbach and Marcin Rozpedski

FULL VERSION! PRO Women’s Doubles GOLD – Minto US Open Pickleball Championships

Now you can enjoy the ENTIRE Pro Women’s Doubles GOLD match including the missing points that didn’t air on CBS Sports Network. This exciting match goes to 3 games and features the top women’s pickleball players in the world. Lucy Kovalova and Irina Tereschenko square up against Simone Jardim and Corrine Carr for an intense battle for the gold medal.

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships – Pro Senior Women’s Doubles GOLD

Jennifer Dawson and Cammy MacGregor take on Kris Anderson and Lisa Naumu

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships – Pro Men’s Senior Doubles GOLD

Dave Weinbach and Barry Waddell take on Scott Burr and Brian Staub

MIXED DOUBLES 25+ Gold Medal match from the 2019 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships powered by Margaritaville with Catherine Parenteauand Joey Farias vs. Christine McGrath – Morgan Evans

Singles

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships – Men’s Singles PRO Gold Match

Tyson McGuffin and Ben Johns

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships – Pro Senior Men’s Singles GOLD

Scott Moore and Paul Olin

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Here is a link to all of the winners in each of the categories of the 2019 US Open!

2019 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships Winners

 

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Review, Repeat, Reward – The Dink

The cast of a Broadway show involved in a long-run hit is called together on a routine basis, perhaps twice a month or more, to walk through the script repeating their lines and discussing issues that might have arisen since the last review. One might ask why, after performing so many shows over the course of weeks, would they need to go over the script in a rehearsal mode.

The answer is rather simple. Over time, words in a script get dropped or modified and over time, a sentence may take on a meaning that was not intended by the author. This type of review is not unusual, but standard operating procedure.

What does this have to do with pickleball?

I think the answer is relatively simple. From what I have read and witnessed, most pickleballers are not tournament players. They like recreational pickleball and enjoy the fun and benefits of social, competition and exercise.

When we learn to play pickleball, many of us are taught certain skills such as the proper dink technique and unless you are a serious competitive or tournament player, the odds are you don’t “practice” much and that’s OK. Many of us just enjoy playing and don’t enjoy (or desire to) practice.

Although I prefer to play more than practice, I am interested in improving and doing better and therein lies the rub. Every once in a while, I like to review how to execute certain skills such as dinking, the overhead smash, serving, etc. That doesn’t mean I am going to spend hours practicing. What it does mean is that I will pay more attention to how I execute certain shots and focus on proper technique when I do play. Hopefully I will pick up a tip or two (or just a reminder) that will help me improve my current skill set so that I can perform better.

With that in mind, I am including two videos for those who want a refresher on dinking skills. This is an important, yet often overlooked part of the game that tends to favor the more dramatic power shot.

 

Best Pickleball Dink Technique

When you are at the net and receive a low ball, you must be careful not to pop up something high and attackable. A dink (yes, that’s what it is called) is a great response to a low ball since it makes it hard for the other team to pounce. In this video from Third Shot Sports, coach Mark Renneson breaks down some key elements to a great dink.

Pay attention to the following:

* Point of contact
* Short stroke on the shot
* Stiff (stable) wrist (and arm)
* Maintain proper balance

 

Dinking Strategy – 3 Steps to Dominate with Dinks & the #1 dink you must avoid

Jordan Briones of Primetime Pickleball explains some of the more modern strategies behind the dinking game. Learn what a dead dink is and how to avoid them.

I hope you have found this review useful and that it helps you enjoy your play even more!

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Kitchen (NVZ) Help

After a pickleballer plays their first several games, they soon understand that the Non-Volley Zone (see diagram below) is often referred to as the Kitchen.


NVZ or Kitchen in Pickleball
Picture Courtesy of School Specialty – Modified for this post.

It is interesting to me that I will often be approached by a pickleballer who asks me: “Do I have to wait until the ball bounces to go into the kitchen?” or “When can I go into the kitchen?” At times, these are people who have been playing for years. Somehow a number of players are under the impression that it is a fault just to step into the kitchen; anytime.

As always, let’s check to see what the rulebook tells us about this situation. SECTION 9 of the 2019 USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook (pp. 36-37) goes into detail about the non-volley zone rules.

It seems to me there are four important subsections regarding this discussion.

9.A. All volleys must be initiated outside of the non-volley zone.

It is a fault if a person volleys the ball (hits it in the air. i.e without a bounce) while standing inside the NVZ. NOTE: It would also be a fault if a player volleys a ball and their foot is touching any part of the NVZ line even if the rest of their body is not in the kitchen.

9.E. A player may enter the non-volley zone at any time except when that player is volleying the ball.

It is not a fault to enter the NVZ at any time as long as that player does not volley the ball. A player can remain the NVZ the entire game if they wish. Of course this is not a good strategy and would be a rather absurd behavior, but there is no rule against it.

9.F. A player may enter the non-volley zone before or after returning any ball that bounces.

A pickleballer is allowed to enter the NVZ to return a ball that bounces. They may enter either before or after the ball bounces to return a ball that has bounced in the NVZ.

9.G. A player may stay inside the non-volley zone to return a ball that has bounced. There is no violation if a player does not exit the non-volley zone after hitting a ball that bounces.

A player may remain inside the NVZ after a bounced ball is returned. They do not have to exit the NVZ at any specified time interval.


NVZ Best Practice in General

Most accomplished players remain very close to, but not in, the NVZ during much of the game. If a ball falls into the NVZ and bounces, they quickly go after the ball, return it and then step back out of the NVZ. This enables the player to volley a ball that comes their way because they have vacated the NVZ.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out another important, and often misunderstood nuance about the NVZ highlighted below in section 9C.

9. C. – It is a fault if the player’s momentum causes the player to contact anything that is touching the non-volley zone, including the player’s partner.

9.C.1. It is a fault even if the ball is declared dead before the player contacts the non-volley zone.

A player’s momentum cannot carry them into the NVZ after a volley or it is a fault. Even if the ball is dead at the time, their momentum cannot cause them to step into the NVZ after a volley. A player may not touch their paddle down in the NVZ or drop anything into the NVZ or that too is a fault if it is done in the act of volleying.

NOTE – These are not the ONLY rules regarding the NVZ. I only selected those sections that help to answer the underlying basic question of when a player can enter the NVZ without creating a fault.

I believe any serious pickleball player can learn quite a bit by reading the USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook. You can order your copy HERE! You can also download a free PDF HERE.

If you have questions, leave them in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them.

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More Pickleball Videos and Information

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Check out Additional Pickleball Information and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Six Rules for the Fast Game


Pickleball Strategy 301 – Six Rules of the Fast Game

NOTE – I have introduced Jim Baker’s excellent videos in a number of my blog posts and this one is especially for average plus players because you need a good level of at-the-net skills such as dinking and volleying. There are, however, some hints for players at every level.

The term “fast game” is used in this video to denote a rally at the net that involves a quick interchange of volleys at the net which shortly results in one team winning the point.

This is what Joe Baker states:

“…If you start the fast game and you fail to defeat your opponent’s reaction time with your first shot, your chance of winning the rally is only about one in three.”

The above statement is especially true if you “poach” a shot and step into your partner’s zone leaving a big gap. If your shot does not win outright, you are most likely to leave a wide gap in the area you left to attempt that poach and your team will most likely lose the point. If you are going to poach, be sure (or at least mostly sure) that you are going to hit a winner.

If you are a 3.0 or higher rated player, this video might be of interest to you.

Did you catch Jim Baker’s “Old Rule of Thumb?” Well, if you missed it, here it is:

“If you have to hit up on the ball, hit softly, aiming to keep the ball in or near the kitchen area. If you can hit down on the ball, you may hit hard. Unless you are an advanced player, I suggest sticking to this rule.”

Another thing Jim suggests in his video is that the best players are apt to lose these fast rallies about 30% of the time. To use a baseball analogy, you would still be batting .700 So don’t be discouraged to try to implement these strategies if you have the skills!

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Explained Q & D Video

As a USAPA Pickleball Ambassador and enthusiast, I am often asked to answer the question: What is pickleball? Luckily for me, most people asking the question have heard something about the sport and have a vague idea of how it is played.

It is a difficult answer to give in a quick and concise manner. It was originally developed as a family sport and because of that it has some interesting, others might suggest strange, rules! Let me just say that it is a lot of fun! Most people who try pickleball continue to play and many become “hooked.”


Pickleball-It's Like Tennis, only Better!
Picture Courtesy of Third Shot Sports

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports – Pickleball, who is a tournament player, coach and commentator, has created a relatively short and concise video that gives a quick explanation of the sport of pickleball. Keep in mind that this is just an introduction and viewers may have a number of questions. If you would like more information, leave a comment or question below and I will do my best to provide an answer.

If you want to get a good idea of what pickleball is, watch the video below:

NOTE – If you like the shirt pictured above and would like to purchase one, visit Mark’s website: Pickleball-It’s Like Tennis, only Better!

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball – Let’s Talk Etiquette

Line Calls

Over the last several weeks at our community center’s recreational pickleball program, I have heard some players make line calls by saying: “I think the ball was out!” We can probably all agree that on some courts the lines are difficult to read and calling balls correctly may be a bit tricky at times, but let’s examine the sentence above.

It seems to imply that there is some doubt as to whether the ball was “in” or “out!” In such an instance, we can look to the official rulebook to learn how to deal with this situation.

Here is what the rulebook states:

“6.D.3. The opponent gets the benefit of the doubt on line calls made. Any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in.” A player cannot claim a “let” because the ball was not seen or there is uncertainty. A player may appeal to the referee to make the call if he or she did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” [ USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook (2018), p. 31 – Emphasis added by me]

The remedy to “thinking” the ball was out, in my opinion, lies in the first sentence, i.e. the benefit of the doubt goes to the opponent. Secondly, “Any ball that cannot be called ‘out’ will be considered ‘in’.” Careful reading of that sentence suggests that if the ball cannot definitively be called “out” it is considered to be “in.”

When playing recreational pickleball, we should always be in a position to give the opponents the benefit of the doubt. After all, isn’t that what sportsmanship is?

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Balls Coming on to the Court

At the community centers or churches where I play pickleball there is an attempt to share the fun of pickleball with as many people as possible. To accommodate a large number of pickleballers, these facilities generally squeeze in as many courts as feasible; within reason. There are times, of course, when balls come rolling or flying onto a court of play from a nearby game.

At that point someone yells “ball” or “pickle” and then play stops. The reason for this procedure is to avoid someone stepping on the ball and getting hurt by twisting an ankle or falling.

At the time the words “stop” or “pickle” are shouted, all play should stop and the point should be replayed from the beginning with the same server initiating the point as before. I often call the score and use the word “over” (2-2-1, over) to review that this is a replay of the previous point.

Naturally there will be times when the stoppage of play is called and you may be just short of making a great shot and your opportunity is removed because of the stoppage. This can be frustrating, but over the long haul those kinds of breaks seem to even out and the other team may likewise lose opportunities for a winner. [On a side note here – there really is no thing as a sure winner. If you have ever hit an easy ball into the net, you know what I mean!]

There will be times when the call for the stoppage of play will be close to a swing at the ball or during a swing. It would seem to me that if a player indicates that hearing the call caused them to react in such a way that they did not play the ball effectively because of it, I offer to play the point over. Once again, I offer the opponent the benefit of the doubt. Even if the ball is not on the court on which I am playing, if the shout affects play, let’s start the point again.

If the play is just over when the call is made, then the play stands because it “was over.” If we are going to offer each other the benefit of the doubt in the cases above, then we need to be as consistent and honest as we can be. Few people will want to play with someone they cannot trust to reciprocate in giving the benefit of the doubt.

I have tried my best to lay out my thoughts about the scenarios above. I think they make sense!

What are your thoughts?

UPDATE – 1/17/19 – Frank asks a good questions which leads to some more thoughts for consideration. Read the comments below and chime in if you so choose!

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More Pickleball Videos and Information

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Check out Additional Pickleball Information and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com



Pickleball – When All Else Fails

There I was playing a game of doubles the other day. My partner and I were matched against a team that I thought was somewhat more skilled than we were. I knew we would have our work cut out for us if we were to win.

I am not that confident in my third shot drop shot or any drop shot for that matter. I can generally hit a successful drop shot about 70% of the time. I really need to work on this and get it up to 90% plus, but then again that would take practice; ugh!

So there we were playing against two people who were very good at the net. My usual attempt to use a third shot drive or other hard drives to get the ball by them was not working consistently. They were either whacking the ball back hard or dropping it short and making us really work hard to move forward and hit a shot.

We were behind, but not by that much so I decided to start using drop shots into the kitchen area. My dink game is pretty good and I don’t lose too many dink points. I thought, “After all, what have I got to lose if other shots aren’t working.?”

Much to my surprise, this became an effective strategy. I was aiming primarily for the backhands of the opponents and every once in a while, down the middle. Sprinkle in my partner’s effective lob every now and then and the game was very close.

Lucky for us we were able to win although barely.

Here’s the point:

This was recreation play and not a tournament. Winning or losing didn’t mean as much to me as did making a good show. The one strategy I generally like to use, i.e. hitting hard drives, was not working.

Changing strategies to the softer game via drop shots turned out to be a better choice. Let’s say that we continued to lose points and ended up losing. It still would have been a good chance for me to get experience with the softer part of the game.

Keeping the ball low in pickleball is the key to winning points. A low ball is hard to attack and often results in a weak return. Of course, we need to be good at the soft game as well to take advantage of this situation.

Don’t be afraid to change strategies if what you are doing is not working.

A FINAL NOTE – I often talk to my partner during the game to share ideas, strategies, etc. This keeps everyone on the same page.

What are your thoughts?

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Check out Additional Pickleball Information and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)


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