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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yours, Mine and Pickleball Communication

Yesterday, I posted an article from RV Picklers titled Becoming a Better Pickleball Partner. The article talked about the power of positive reinforcement vs the negative body language. The RV Picklers followed up that article with another from Sarah Ansboury in which partner communications during a rally was discussed. This article essentially conforms with my post Communicating with a Partner - During a Rally. The articles are so similar that I will not show any quotes from my post, but I encourage you to read it because it includes some additional points. Here is the article from Sarah and the RV Picklers:

Yours, Mine and Pickleball Communication

Last week we talked about Becoming a Better Pickleball Partner; specifically about the body language and words we use that either build up a successful team or doom it to failure. Another way to become a better partner is to learn to communicate during the pickleball point.

Pickleball Communication

I see a lot of “free points” where a ball passes through two people and they say “oh I thought you had it”. There is a VERY easy answer, CALL THE BALL. Lots of teams say ” I got it”  or “You got it”.  I find it simplest to just say “You” or “Me”.  I find it is less confusing to clearly state one word, then risk my partner misunderstanding a multi-word phrase. Plus it is much faster and more efficient to use one word.

And you can’t say it enough!  I’ve often been told, “we just don’t do that”. Well like anything else you want to improve, you need to practice and it is so simple. When you go out and play a practice game with your partner, force yourself to call every single ball regardless of how obvious it might be. You need to form a new habit, and to do so you might have to over-do-it for a bit.

Some players complain that they are distracted by noise if the “call” is made too close to or as they strike the ball. By using one word, “Yours” or “Mine”, and calling it immediately we alleviate this problem. But if the player is still having problems I will suggest that that player (i.e. the one”bothered by noise”) be responsible for calling all balls.

Practice Pickleball Communication

But again, you will need to practice regularly to develop this new skill.  So whether you are playing in open play with a stranger, or playing with your partner to get ready for your next big event…PRACTICE. It is often said there are four stages of learning. First we are unconsciously incompetent:  we don’t know what we don’t know. We then become consciously incompetent: we know what we don’t know. Next, consciously competent;  we know what we should do but have to think about it to make it happen. Finally, unconsciously competent: is the stage when it just happens. It is now second nature. Practice till communicating during the point is second nature and you will be sure to give away fewer points.

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