Pickleball: Is it SAFE to Play?

As our nation works its way through this national emergency I am sure there a number of pickleball players are wondering whether there is a safe way to play pickleball. Of course the word “safe” may be a relative term.

To help JBRish readers decide for themselves whether or not it is safe, I would like to offer the following resources.

NOTE the interview below is by a licensed and well-respected medical professional.



********************

Can We Play Pickleball Please?
********** The quick answer is NO! **********

Below is an excerpt from the above article written by the Pickleball Rocks Team. Pickleball Rocks is a long-time business that has supported our sport for many years. I am sure the information they are providing is with your best interest in mind.

To play almost 100% safely….

1) You must wash the balls before you begin your game.
2) Every person on the court would have been through 14 days of isolation directly prior to coming out to play. This would assure they have not unknowingly picked up the virus anywhere. If they’ve been anywhere around people after completing the 14 days of isolation and prior to coming to play, they could potentially be carriers again, so invite someone else.
3) Any benches or chairs at the court would need to be sanitized.
4) The courts you are about to play on haven’t had anyone carrying the virus playing on the courts in the last 9 days (supposedly that is the maximum about a time the virus can live on a hard surface). So there is no danger of the ball picking up the virus while you are playing.

Read the complete article for more information and details by clicking HERE

 


EP 35: Pickleball and Covid-19 – What You Need to Know
********** How Safe is it to be Playing Pickleball? **********

Please understand that the opinions expressed in this interview are not my opinions. The views are those of the interviewer, Mark Renneson and Dr. Anne Matlow (Professor of Medicine, Paediatrics, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto and retired infectious disease physician who was on Ontario’s provincial advisory committee during the SARS outbreak of 2003.)

The interview is via telephone and some of the audio is low-volume. To go to the page with the interview, CLICK HERE and click the green arrow! I recommend listening to the entire interview to get all of the information presented.

 
NOTE Mark Renneson has been a good friend to pickleballers around the world especially in the US and Canada. I have featured a number of his videos on my website and in newsletters I send to you.

In his latest newsletter Mark asks for help keeping his small business functioning. Click HERE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO READ HIS PERSONAL MESSAGE !

Thank you for your consideration in this regard.

**********

 

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)


**********

 

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 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball News – 20200305 – Archived Version


Pickleball News – 20200305 – Archived Version

Archived Version of a Previous Newsletter

 

This is an archived version of a previously issued pickleball newsletter. The most current N. Phoenix Newsletter is available by clicking HERE!

Latest N. Phoenix Pickleball News – March 5, 2020

 
Hello North Phoenix Pickleball Players:

Here is some timely N. Phoenix news and other items related to pickleball.



******************** School Recess Community Center ********************
Schedule Changes

UPDATE – All City of Phoenix Community Centers are closed to Group Activities including Pickleball UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!

Deer Valley Community Center – – 602-495-3735 – – Pickleball is cancelled from 3/16-3/20

Paradise Valley Community Center – – 602-495-3777 – – Pickleball is cancelled for two weeks, 3/9 – 3/20 (Pickleball will resume on 3/23/2020)

Washington Activity Center – – 602-262-6971 – – Pickleball is cancelled from 3/16-3/20

**It is my understanding that all other City of Phoenix Community Centers will be maintaining their regular pickleball schedules.

 


******************** Getting A Grip ********************


To paraphrase Cyndi Lauper, it has been my experience that most recreational pickleball players just want to have fun. Having said that, however, I know from my conversations that there is a core of those players who long to improve their game. Most of us have not had formal training and we have just “picked up” how to play. In my opinion, pickleball is addictive because it is simple in concept, but challenging in execution.

Let’s talk about one aspect of the sport that is sometimes taken for granted… Every time we step on to the court, we grip the paddle in a way that we were taught or one with which, over time, we have become comfortable. I am willing to conjecture that most of us don’t often think about how we are gripping the paddle. The grip is the grip and we have used it for a long time and we just continue to “do it that way!”

How often do you check your grip? Most advanced players check it quite often and perhaps between every point. Has your hand slipped a bit? Has your Continental Grip now become something else? Are you gripping your paddle as though it is a life preserver and you are holding it tight so it doesn’t slip away? Maybe it is time to reexamine the way in which we are holding our paddles.

Truth be told, I am working on revising my grip because I find that I am not “relaxed” enough at the NVZ and my grip is more tense than it needs to be. Sometimes this results in a shot going too long; “Out!”!

Professional pickleballer and coach Sarah Ansboury has two interesting articles about the pickleball grip. If you haven’t thought about how your are holding your paddle in a while, perhaps these will be helpful

Get a Pickleball Grip

Get a Grip: My Three Keys

 


******************** High Visibility Red Pickleballs ********************

The life of a pickleball is a difficult one. After all, how would you like to be whacked on a serve, pounded with an overhead and dinked over and over again before being smashed? In an effort to find other USAPA approved pickleball options for use on our indoor pickleball courts, I contacted Head/Penn and they sent sample pickleballs to try at a couple of our venues.

Just above the white underline are the words USAPA Approved. They are lightly embossed, but not printed as they are on pickleballs from other manufacturers. The picture doesn’t exactly match the color red of the actual ball which tends a bit more to the vibrant, pinkish side.

After using these balls for two days, I can say that they provide a very good, consistent bounce and play very well. If you have ever “lost” a ball because it blended in with the surroundings or the lighting was poor or the ball was somewhat hidden when crossing close to the top of the net, don’t worry when using these. You won’t easily lose sight of them. After all, the are highly visible.

The Penn/Head balls are not as hard as some of the Onix balls we have purchased and seem to play as well as or better than those. My concern with the orange Onix balls is that they seem to crack quite readily. We generally start with five balls at PVCC and almost every day, at least one needs to be replaced.

The “trial” balls mentioned above are what I would call “high visiblility” red. The balls are easily seen on the darker floors at the FLC and the lighter floors at PVCC. I plan on putting them out for players to try at PVCC when pickleball resumes there in two weeks. I will also carry a couple with me so if you see me at the FLC and you would like to try one, let me know. I would appreciate your feedback if you do try the new balls! [ Did you like the color? Were they easy to see? Did you like the way they played? ]

 


Video
******************** For Those Who Have Read This Far ********************


There are some shots in pickleball that are just a little more important than others. The serve, for example, may stand supreme in its importance because if you don’t get it “in,” you can’t score a point.

The return of serve is noteworthy because you want to keep the other team far back in the court for the longest period of time.

The third shot is very important because a good one can enable the serving team to get to the NVZ.

What happens after that? Well, I’m glad you asked because Prime Time Pickleball gives us their take on another important shot in the video below.


#1 Most Overlooked Pickleball Shot That Is Killing Your Pickleball Game

 

NOTES:

Notice how Jordan Briones hits the ball when he is at the net. It is somewhat subtle, but he flicks his paddle in an upward motion giving topspin to the ball. This helps keep the ball low and in the court.

Another point to keep in mind is, that if you are approaching the net and the opposing player is getting ready to hit the ball, stop and prepare to return a shot if it comes your way. After your team returns the ball, continue to the net. It is very difficult to hit a good shot on the move.

Don’t worry about “no man’s land” at this juncture. If you are moving with the intent to get to the net, this is really just a transition zone

 

********** Archived Versions of Previous Newsletters **********

 

Previous newsletters that may have pickleball hints, videos, rules changes, etc. are now archived at the following link. You can check out previous newsletters there.
Archived N. Phoenix PB Previous Newsletters


********** Support your Sport – Join the USAPA $20 for 1 Year **********

 

 
Join the USAPA – Click HERE for More Information

 

Join the USAPA

Picture Courtesy of Pickleball Magazine and the USAPA

 


********** That’s All for Now **********

 
I hope to see you on the courts!


Regards,

Jeff Ross



********** Archived Versions of Previous Newsletters **********

 

Previous newsletters that may have pickleball hints, videos, rules changes, etc. are now archived at the following link. You can check out previous newsletters there.
Archived N. Phoenix PB Previous Newsletters


********** Support your Sport – Join the USAPA $20 for 1 Year **********

 

 
Join the USAPA – Click HERE for More Information

 

Join the USAPA

Picture Courtesy of Pickleball Magazine and the USAPA

 


********** That’s All for Now **********

 
I am sending my best wishes to all my pickleball friends and acquaintances for a Happy, Healthy and Fulfilling Holiday Season!

I hope to see you on the courts!


Regards,

Jeff Ross



********** Archived Versions of Previous Newsletters **********

 

Previous newsletters that may have pickleball hints, videos, rules changes, etc. are now archived at the following link. You can check out previous newsletters there.
Archived N. Phoenix PB Previous Newsletters


********** Support your Sport – Join the USAPA $20 for 1 Year **********

 

 
Join the USAPA – Click HERE for More Information

 

Join the USAPA

Picture Courtesy of Pickleball Magazine and the USAPA

 


********** That’s All for Now **********

 

I hope to see you on the courts!


Regards,

Jeff Ross



Pickleball: Calling the Lines – No Do-overs!

Almost weekly I will be watching a pickleball game and a ball is hit that is very close to the boundary line. That is to say, the ball is barely “in” or barely “out. The team receiving the shot does not seem to be able to make a definitive call and a meeting at the net of all players ensues.

Humorously, at this point someone might yell “open court,” thinking that the game is over. Waiting players scurry towards the court with the committee meeting taking place only to realize that the game is not over and they dissappointedly head back to their previous spots.

Meanwhile, the players at the net decide that the call could not be conclusively made by any of the players and thus they declare a do-over!

I have seen this scenario numerous times. There are very few do-overs in pickleball and the above situation would definitely not be one of them.

Let’s quickly take a look at the rule:

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 who does not make a call may appeal to the referee to make the call if they did not clearly see the ball land. If the referee is unable to make the call, the ball is “in.” The moment the receiving player/team appeals to the referee, they lose their right to make any subsequent “in” or “out” call. pp. 28 – 29, USAPA & IFP Official Rulebook

As stated above, according to the official rulebook, any ball that cannot be called “out” will be considered “in” and thus if there is doubt that the ball was out, then it must be considered in. There should not be a do-over.

For certain nobody is going to call the police or escort the players off of the court, but if you are like me, I like to stick to the official rules. The rules provide a “fairness framework” and facilitate a smoother level of play.

Line calls are very important and if you are not sure of the nuances of calling balls in or out and which lines are valid or not, I suggest you read the article linked below courtesy of the Charlotte Dilly News, Feb 1 2020.

Line Calls by Dick Osman

 
NOTE: Pay close attention to Dick Osman’s last paragraph – the bottom line!

**********

 

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)


**********

 

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 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Foot Position When Serving

Recently two people approached me to ask about foot alignment when preparing to serve the ball. Let’s take a look at the pickleball court layout and make sure we understand the terms used.



When standing on the court, the right-hand side is often referred to as the “even” side and the left hand side is often called the “odd” side. We won’t go into the reason for this terminology now.

The line at the very bottom of the court is referred to as the Baseline and in the diagram above, it is being pointed to by the red arrows. Likewise, the corresponding lines on the other side of the court have the same names and distinctions. The line dividing the even and the odd courts is called the Centerline for obvious reasons.

The two double-headed purple arrows mark the right and left Sidelines.



Now let’s take a look at the pickleball court and let’s assume you are Server A in the diagram above. As you know the server has to hit the ball within the rectangle, diagonally cross court, which is represented by the point of the blue arrow.

Server A is standing in a legal position in the diagram above.

Let’s consider a slightly different position for Server A.



What if server A wants to get a better angle and he or she stands outside the sideline when they hit the ball?. Well, that would be an illegal position and thus an illegal serve.

Let’s take a look at the rule governing this situation.

At the beginning of the service motion, both feet must be behind the baseline and the imaginary extensions of the baseline. At the time the ball is struck, the server’s feet may not touch the court or outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or the centerline and at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline. Page 17 of the 2020 USAPA Official Rulebook, section 4.A.3

If you notice the rule says “At the time the ball is struck.” When player A hits the ball, his or her feet may not touch the court our outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or the centerline…

The sidelines and centerline theoretically are infinite and the server is obligated to stay within the appropriate boundaries created by these lines when the ball is struck.



Server A then must be standing within the blue shaded area at the time the paddle hits the ball to deliver the serve (see the diagram below).


This applies to both the even and the odd courts on both sides although only the A court is addressed in the diagram.

One last requirement is that “at least one foot must be on the playing surface or ground behind the baseline.”

Summary:

When the ball is struck to deliver the serve, the server must stay with in the corridor formed by imaginary boundary lines that define the appropriate court side (even or odd) as indicated above

**********

 

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)


**********

 

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 – 2020 – JBRish.com



Pickleball News – 20191223 – Archived Version


Pickleball News – 20191223– Archived Version

 

This is an archived version of a previously issued pickleball newsletter. The most current N. Phoenix Newsletter is available by clicking HERE!

December 23, 2019

Hello N. Phoenix Area Pickleball Players:

We are nearing the heart of the winter holiday season and I hope you have plans to share time with family and friends and perhaps some pickleball!



Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department
********** 2020 Winter/Spring Pickleball Schedule **********

The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has published the winter/spring pickleball schedule for the Community Center and Parks.

To download a color PDF copy of the Winter/Spring 2020, Phoenix Community Center Pickleball Schedule, click HERE!

NOTE – The gymnasium floor at the Goelet A. C. Beuf Community Center is still being repaired and thus it is not open for pickleball at this time. The target completion date is sometime in January and at that time, a revised schedule will probably be issued.

 


********** USAPA 2020 Rulebook & Revisions **********

USPA Pickleball Rulebook Revisions – Thanks to Mark Renneson and Third Shot Sports, a digital copy of the 2020 USAPA Pickleball 2020 Official Rulebook can be downloaded.

Perhaps more valuable to many players, Third Shot Sports has also published a list of revisions to the old rules. You can download a copy HERE -> Major USAPA Pickleball rule Changes for 2020.

 


********** Pickleball Ornaments **********

Yes, you can make Christmas Ornaments with pickleballs and related materials.

picture Via

 


********** Holiday Pickleball Closings **********

Check previous newsletter HERE for information about indoor PB venues holiday hours and closings!

 



Weather have you down?
********** Watch a Pickleball Video **********

If you can’t get out and play, but want some entertaining pickleball, you can check out this match on Pickleball Central!

PRO Men’s Doubles Play-In Match from the 2019 Franklin Pickleball Masters!

From the video website:

Today we are bringing you one of those matches. On one side is the team of Jeff Warnick and Riley Newman, and across the net, their opponents Dave Weinbach and Steve Deakin. Both teams want their shot at the Gold, but only one can walk away the winner. Who will it be? Watch the match to find out.

http://www.pickleballchannel.com/2019/12/2019-fpm-mens-playin/

 



Start the New Year
********** as a USAPA Member **********
Support your Sport – Join the USAPA $20 for 1 Year


Join the USAPA – Click HERE for More Information

 

Join the USAPA

Picture Courtesy of Pickleball Magazine and the USAPA

 


********** That’s All for Now **********

 

I hope to see you on the courts!


Regards,

Jeff Ross



Pickleball: Is this serve “legal”? – VIDEO

I can’t tell you how many times I see people using illegal serves during recreational play. A serve has several key elements:

  • The serve has to be done with an upward path (underhand)
  • The head of the paddle needs to be below the wrist when the ball is struck
  • Contact with the ball must be made below waist level


This is what it looks like in pictures

pickleball serve in pictures
[ From p.17 of USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook ]

Of course the server’s feet have to be appropriately within bounds and behind the baseline until after the ball is struck.

There are those who have always used a serve that would not meet all of these requirements, but others may have “drifted” away from a legal serve through bad habits or poor practice.

My serve was questioned recently and I went back to the drawing board to make sure that I was complying with all elements. I wanted to be “obviously” correct. As you can see in the video below, it isn’t always easy to tell if a serve is completely legal.

Watch Mark Renneson of Third Shot Pickleball as he demonstrates a variety of serves and discusses the differences between them and whether or not they might be considered illegal, i.e. a fault!

**********

 

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)


**********

 

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 News – 20191010 – Archived Version


Pickleball News – 20191010 – Archived Version


October 10, 2019

 
Hello N. Phoenix Pickleball Players:


Phoenix City Community Centers Are Open on Columbus Day
********** Monday, October 14, 2019 **********

 

********** NEW-ish Outdoor Pickleball Courts **********
at Moon Valley Country Club

PB at Moon Valley CC

  • When: Every Monday-Saturday 8:00AM – 11:00AM
  • Where: Moon Valley Country Club Tennis Courts, 151 W. Moon Valley Drive, Phoenix
  • Fee: $5.00 per day

* No Reservations Required!
* Balls will be provided. Please bring your own paddle.
* (Limited paddles available to borrow)

NOTE – It is my understanding that currently there are four courts with more to be added in the future.


—————————–

Coordinated by Bill and Nedra Marshall.
Please email billmarshall1010@yahoo.com with any questions.

 

********** Family Life Center **********
New Fee and Schedule Change

The Family Life Center has recently upgraded their pickleball nets and now all courts have prime nets to assure regulation height for the games.

The new yearly fee for pickleball will be $60. Players can elect to pay $35 for a six-month membership.

ALSO … Friday play from 1:00-3:00PM is now included as part of the pickleball membership.

Thanks to all those who contributed toward the new nets, Stefano for helping to acquire them, and Jackie Switzer who has fostered an excellent pickleball program for N. Phoenix players!

 


********** A Myth Related to the 3rd Shot Drop **********
OR Stop trying to make the third shot drop “too good!”

Many players have been led to believe that a good drop shot is the premiere shot in pickleball and indeed it is a very effective play. A following thought is often that the drop should land as close to the opponent’s side of the net as possible. Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports (coincidental name vis-à-vis this video) demonstrates how this belief is not accurate and he provides empirical proof.

Perhaps trying to make that drop shot “too good” is causing you to hit the ball into the net more often.

Watch the video to see what makes a drop shot effective.

 

 

********** Archived Versions of Previous Newsletters **********

 

Previous newsletters that may have pickleball hints, videos, rules changes, etc. are now archived at the following link. You can check out previous newsletters there.
Archived N. Phoenix PB Previous Newsletters


********** Support your Sport – Join the USAPA $20 for 1 Year **********

 

 
Join the USAPA – Click HERE for More Information

 

Join the USAPA

Picture Courtesy of Pickleball Magazine and the USAPA

 


********** That’s All for Now **********

 
I hope to see you on the courts!


Regards,

Jeff Ross



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!

**********

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!

 

**********

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)


**********

 

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!”

**********

 

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)


**********

 

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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