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 28, 2018

Pace or Place?

Good shots come to those who wait...

Last Saturday's post - You're Winning but Haven't Won - was yet another reminder of the patience needed to get an attackable ball...and to continue to hit unattackable balls. Today's post is a different version of that same theme. It is based on a short conversation I had with a player who is still learning the game.

I normally play indoors. But I try to get outdoors when I can in order to practice for the upcoming outdoor tournaments. I had an opportunity to play at my home-club courts on an unusually warm day recently. Many players there are new to the game in the last year so I use some of my play to get used to outdoor conditions while I work on specific shots. With other players still learning the intricacies of strategies and techniques, I get lots of questions.

On this day, I worked a lot on the soft game - dinks and drops. As the play was winding down, one player was on her way home when she said something like "You really hit a lot of slow-paced balls". My immediate response was "My game was all about pace. If I don't get the pace right, I will lose". Later that day, I thought about that response and wished I would have stated it differently.

I wish I would have answered this way:
Pace is not my goal. But I have to use pace to hit the target I have in mind.
In other words, I want to target a point in front of an opponent that I cannot hit with a hard stroke. In order to hit that target, I MUST hit soft. It fits the commonly-used saying "If you're hitting up, hit it soft. If you're hitting down, hit it hard." That can be overly-simplistic, but the general gist remains true. Pace must be slower when a ball is unattackable.

So, the answer to the post title question, place is the strategic goal. But the tactic of using pace allows me to successfully attain the strategic goal.

No comments:

Post a Comment