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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©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Video: Faster Way to Sharpen Your Pickleball Skills

A number of my pickleball blog posts have made a statement such as: “You can’t greatly improve your game just by playing. Focused practice is necessary.” I didn’t make this up. I have read this or heard this from many of the top pickleball coaches. It sounds logical and I believe it is true.

Now let me ask you. If you had a chance to hit twice as many balls as you normally would, do you think that would give you more practice? Do you think it might help you improve your game? I think it would.

Did you ever play a game with a weaker player and most of the balls are hit to them while you stand by wondering when the next ball will come your way?

Here is a unique idea. Play Sick Trx Singles (I have no idea how they came up with this name). It is playing singles almost like a doubles game. This way each player gets to hit all the balls on their side of the net; no partner. Don’t worry, you still cover just half of the court.

This will force players to learn to “guide” the ball in various directions and to be more precise!.

What makes this a different variation is that the service and return of serve is similar to that of doubles.

Watch the video below to see if this is something you can use to improve your pickleball skills.

 

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 – 2018 – JBRish.com



STATUS QUOtes — Picture Quote — 20180505


** NOTE **
JBRish.com and STATUS QUOtes will be on hiatus starting tomorrow. We will be gathering additional quotes, quips, etc. which will resume shortly.

 

Today’s Picture Quote


“Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” – Bobby Knight

Via

 
See previous STATUS QUOtes HERE


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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 – 2018 – JBRish.com


Pickleball: Reflex Drill – A Ball, A Paddle and a Wall

I am one of those people who want to become a better pickleball player, but I don’t like drills; my bad! Most coaches tend to agree that proper drills will do more to help pickleballers improve than will playing games.

Having said that, I often invoke the woe is me defense: “I don’t have a drill partner! Nobody I know wants to drill.” Well, there are some drills that don’t require a partner. What they do require is the will to do them.

Let’s add this question to the “I don’t like drills” equation: “Can pickleballers develop faster reflexes?” Most of the reading I have done from the websites of certified pickleball coaches uphold the idea that reflexes can be improved, i.e. it isn’t necessarily something built into your DNA! Of course we all have physical abilities and limits. Reflexes however can be improved.

Once again I turn to PrimeTime Pickleball and Jordan Briones to show us a drill to help us develop our pickleball reflexes. Good news, all you need is a paddle, a ball and a wall – – – no partner require.

Takeaways: Start by hitting the ball higher so it will take longer to return to you. This is how to sart; slower. Once you can do that well, lower the ball a bit and it will return to you a bit faster. Continue to lower the ball as you get better.

Remember – 1) Watch the ball until it hits the paddle. 2) Hit the ball in front of your body.

I guess I don’t have as many excuses now!

 

More Pickleball Videos and Information

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©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball: Video- Dink Destroyer

Jordan Briones of Prime Time Pickleball demonstrates what he considers a major mistake many people make in their dinking technique. After describing and explaining the issue, he offers tips and a practice exercise to help overcome a habit that may destroy the best approach to successful dinking.

When I watch novices/beginners play pickleball, I see this mistake many times. Another mistake that beginners often make is taking a step backward at the NVZ hoping to “catch a better bounce” of the ball. Learn to take it in the air if you can.

1 – It avoids the ball taking a funny bounce

2 – It keeps you in position

3 – It takes time away from your opponent.

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 – 2018 – JBRish.com



Pickleball Video: Hate Practice, BUT Love Doing Better


I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' Muhammad Ali
picture quote Via

I like to revisit Muhammad Ali’s quote above because I find it motivating. Whenever I am involved in a competitive endeavor, I like to do the best that I can and I am sure many pickleball players want to move their game forward even if they are just playing to get the exercise without consideration of winning or losing. Of course most people would prefer to win.

Winning can be hard because to maintain the winning edge, there needs to be PRACTICE. Professional athletes practice almost every day. Even on game day they have some practice. Pro players are people who are generally in excellent physical shape and some of the best in the world at their skill set and yet every day they practice. To maintain skill levels, there needs to be practice. To improve needs even more practice.

As Ali states above, training and practice may not be fun, but it helps to make a person better at the thing they are practicing. Sometimes you may be motivated to practice, but you can’t find someone else who wants to practice, i.e. “No partner, no practice?”

Well pickleballers, Joe Baker is here to show us how we can practice alone and do a good job with it. All you need is a wall. It can be a wall in a gym, a racquetball court, a handball court, etc. I have even seen videos of people practicing in their garage against a piece of plywood they set up for the purpose.

If you want to practice your pickleball skills and don’t have a partner, perhaps these drills can provide the repetition you need to improve your play.

Backboard Wall Drills for Pickleball

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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 – 2017


Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy Video – Third Shot – Major Skill

In the last post taken from Jeff Shank’s tips, the role of the non-receiving partner during the serve was covered. You can watch that video tip at the following link:

The non-receiving partner’s role

After learning the basics of pickleball, i.e. double bounce rule, non-volley zone, keeping score, volley, lob, ground stroke, etc. one of the next essential skills that proves to be hard to learn, but very necessary, is the third shot drop shot.

Everyone, including Jeff Shank in this video, acknowledges that hitting a good third shot drop shot from the baseline is a skill that is hard to perfect for most people. Keep in mind, however, that hard does not mean impossible. The video below contains a good number of Jeff’s hints pertaining to the the serving team’s third shot.

Listed below are some of the key points presented in the video. See if you can find the answers as you watch! (stay with the video because it does have some very good ideas throughout.)

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  • As a member of the serving team, where should you be standing after the serve?
  • Who has the advantage according to each team’s relative position on the court?
  • What are the three possibilities when attempting the third shot into the kitchen and which of the three needs to be avoided.
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    NOTE – Jeff points out that one does not need to get to the non-volley zone on the first attempt after a drop shot.

  • What should you do when your partner is the one hitting the third shot? Where should your team be standing? What are the options? (I see the mistake Jeff points out all of the time especially with beginners. I sometimes make the mistake as well, but I have learned to try to avoid it.)
  • At the 16:25 mark, Jeff shows a technique for practicing the third shot drop shot. I have found this helpful and I think most players will also benefit from starting this type of practice to improve their third shot skill.
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    Key points when hitting the the successful third shot:

  • Where are the safest/best places to hit the ball?
  • When to avoid hitting the third shot into the kitchen or NVZ?

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

 

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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

Pickleball – How Do They Do That? – 3rd Shot Drop

According to some of the best players in the game, the third shot drop shot is one of the most difficult strokes to execute properly. Too high, and it comes flying back at you. Too low and it lands on your side of the court or too far on your opponent’s side of the playing area.

As the video below explains, there are two key things to remember about this third shot…

  1. A Third Shot Drop shot is not a soft forehand. It is a separate and different stroke altogether!
  2. The appropriate technique is to have the ball arc on your side of the net.

Watch Wes Gabrielsen explain it all in the video below. Oh, one other thing. This is one shot everyone, even the very best players, need to practice.

 

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Pickleball – Practice Need Not Be Dull

In Malcolm Gladwell’s Book, “Outliers”, he asserts that to gain complete mastery of a skill one would need 10,000 hours of practice. He did this by examining the work of generally acknowledged geniuses or noted masters. There are those who will dispute the number Gladwell uses, but few argue with the idea that to gain mastery, one needs to practice.

The problem arises with the fact that practice may not be as much fun as using the skill for its intended purpose. A basketball player, for example, probably prefers to play a game rather than practice free throws to assure a ninety scoring percentage from the free throw line.

What if there were a compromise between practice and play? Now understand that I am not suggesting that this is better than just practicing. What I do propose is that perhaps this would help some players achieve a greater success in pickleball by focusing on ball placement during revised play.

An essential pickleball skill is to be able to “aim” the ball and what I mean by that is getting the ball where you want it to go. If you can’t hit the ball to your opponent’s backhand or down the middle, you will have trouble beating average to above average players. Learning to place the ball is a key pickleball skill.

Here is one way to practice placing the ball where you want it to go. Play a game with one other person (Yikes, not singles), BUT… the ball can only be hit to the side of the court the serving player serves from and the diagonal opposite court of the receiver. The game must be restricted to just those two diagonal courts. Anything on the other side of the court is a fault. Play this game to a score of fifteen when starting this revised play because faults will be much more prevalent at the start.

[ Looking at the graphic above then, play can only continue while the ball is hit to the courts indicated with the black arrow during even numbered points and only to the courts indicated by the red arrow on odd numbered points! ]

Once players have become better at this and the points are getting longer, the game can transition to opening play to any side of the court starting with the third shot. In this variation of play the server hits the ball diagonally, the receiving player must return to the server’s court and after that normal pickleball play resumes, i.e. hit the ball anywhere in the playing area.

Both of these revisions of play will force players to concentrate on getting the ball where it needs to go and thus practice placement. It isn’t practice per se, but it is one way to get experience with putting the ball where it needs to go.