Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We CAN Improve

There is no crying in pickleball...

The previous couple of posts might have shone a light on the reality of some players' situations. But that isn't the case for many of us. Sarah Ansboury has an article for those of who don't believe we have yet to achieve peaked performance.

As this post is appearing on July 4th, I thought it most appropriate to ask you to declare your pickleball independence. Let me suggest two ways you can do this.

Pickleball Independence Tip #1:
Focus on what you can control and forget the rest!
There are things you can control and things you can’t. Like in all every aspect of your life, you will  be happiest, less stressed and more productive when you focus on what you can control. Consider the following list of items:
  • How well your opponent plays.
  • The fourth member of your open-play game.
  • The wind.
  • The shot you hit two points ago.
  • The wait time between tournament matches.

Now be honest with yourself, can you control any of those items? No! Have you ever spent time focusing on any of the items above? I bet you have. Let me suggest, it would be more beneficial if you focused on:
  • What strategy you and/or your partner can implement to overcome an opponents’ strengths?
  • What can I do to help everyone enjoy the game?
  • What shots should I hit, and which should I avoid given the current wind conditions?
  • What can I do to focus all my energy on the current shot, the current point?
  • How can I use down time effectively to prepare myself physically and mentally?
People become anxious in, and may even avoid, competition because they focus on the things they can’t control rather than the very long list of things they can control.

Pickleball Independence Tip #2:
Never say “I can’t” again.
It is always frustrating to hear a student say “I can’t.” You may not have grown up playing a racket sport, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn those skills now. Find a teacher that can teach you the fundamentals. A teacher who explains things in a way you can understand. A teacher you “click” with…and then work to hone those new skills.

Another version of “I can’t” is the senior player that continually reminds me they are a bit older than me. I certainly understand, a senior player can’t magically become a 25-year-old, and I always ask a new student about physical limitations before beginning a lesson. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t. A good instructor will be able to assist you in finding a way to perform an effective stroke which accommodates your physical limitations.

There are also times when physical training can help you overcome these limitations. If you ever watch some of those competition shows on TV (Linh and I love “American Grit” and “American Ninja Warrior”) you see that transformation is possible. For example, who ever imagined someone could traverse a 30-foot span hanging from their fingertips? The truth is, you probably see this sort of transformation regularly where you play. There is probably an 80-year old playing 2 hours a day at your club? How about the folks practicing 2 months after they had their hip replaced? These folks clearly don’t say “I can’t.”

In summary, if you really want to improve…if you really want to overcome the “I can’t”, focus on what you can control.
  • You can learn now skills.
  • You can improve your fitness level.
  • You can improve your mental fitness.
  • You can learn new strategies.
  • You can practice….even alone, even at home.
  • You can improve your partnering skills.

 Declare your pickleball independence today….and every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment