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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Are You Willing to Work?

Part 4 of our series on clinic views has another article from Sarah Ansboury in the RV Pickler blog called Getting the Most From Your Pickleball Lesson. Sarah explains that the benefits from a lesson are maximized only if they are practiced after the lesson. The commitment to improve extends well past the time spent with an instructor.

Getting the Most From Your Pickleball Lesson

This week I was teaching a pickleball lesson and I kept hearing over and over “I’ll never get that overhead smash because I don’t come from tennis”. I’m also told, “I don’t know how to hit groundstrokes because I never played tennis”. The list goes on and on. We all know a lot of the top players came from tennis. And yes it is an easier transition having experience with a racket in your hand. But if there is one thing I hate to hear is “I can’t”. The reality is anyone can! You just need a little instruction and the right kind of instruction. The great thing about pickleball is it’s such an easy sport to learn. And as we continue to play, our love for the game only grows.

I understand if you have never learned to transfer your weight into a ball it is very difficult to hit a hard and deep ball from the baseline. Or if you never learned to turn your body and move back correctly for an overhead you may have difficulty hitting that satisfying smash. But you can learn these things if you work with someone who knows the fundamentals, and knows how to communicate these in a way you can understand.

Given the explosive growth pickleball is enjoying, there is now even have a certification program for teaching pickleball and I am a charter member. This program is intended to insure that these professionals not only know the fundamentals and mechanics of proper execution, but they also know how to teach them. It is important to have a teacher who you can relate to. A teacher who will explain things in a way that you understand.

Between Pickleball Lessons

Anyone can be a better pickleball player. But the road to improvement, what I like to call mastery, requires the player to have the desire to get better and the willingness to put in the work. Sometimes it is difficult to form a new habit. And consciously thinking about what you have just been asked to change, may impact your play. But this is temporary! If you are willing to put the time in to ingrain the new skill, it will become your habit. At the end of the lesson, I review what has been covered and how to drill properly, in my absence. The time a student spends between lessons is as important as the investment made on a pickleball lesson.

Anyone can take these steps whether you are a 3.0 player wanting to get to 3.5 or a 5.0 wanting to compete at the top Open level.  But remember the road to mastery is your journey.

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