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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Do the Unexpected

Body language gives away tendencies...

Being predictable is a good thing in certain activities - like driving a car. Predictability in pickleball is not a good opponents can better anticipate shots, position themselves early, and make more effective shots. We have learned some deceptive techniques but the strategy goes beyond those. Sarah Ansboury talks about that strategy in her article called Pickleball Choices, Sometimes Hit the Unexpected, from which an excerpt is shown below.

Pickleball Choices:  Problem or Benefit

Of course, too many pickleball options may be a major stressor in your game. Some studies suggest that the human mind is actually able to think of four things at once. If you have four targets in mind as you are striking the ball, it is likely your body won’t produce any of those as a result.

But you need to change it up every once and a while. You don’t always want to hit what is expected.  I may love to hit, and have confidence in my ability to hit, a cross-court dink…but sometimes I also want to surprise my opponent with a hard shot down the line. During a long rally, side to side, cross-court to cross-court…the “other player” may get a little “sleepy”….if you know what I mean.

Having Choices…Given Them Something to Think About

We have a lot of options to consider in a relatively short period of time. Rather than stressing over it, let’s start with something a bit more simple. Perhaps drive your third shot and then attempt to come in on a 5th shot drop. I am not suggesting you do this all the time. Rather, every so often, instead of hitting the expected third shot drop, drive the ball down the middle. You may not win the point, but you have given your opponent a different look. You have given him something to think about. Keep in mind, when he is trying to figure out what you are doing, he isn’t thinking about his own game.

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