Stress is success, according to Gabe “The Gladiator” Anderson, and I like what he has to say. I reached out to Gabe today after reading a piece he wrote on Facebook about being patient and creating stress for your opponent. Here is what he has to say, word for word.
I have been sharing this mantra with some of my fellow players. We’ve all seen it: a player gets impatient and speeds up a shot that should have been a dink and the ball dies into the net, or pops up for a winner. The player gets pushed back from the NVZ and they heave a non-strategic drive back to their opponent, giving them all the pace and room they need to end the rally.
If this happens to you, maybe a change in mindset can help. Don’t let that feeling creep in that you have to win the rally on THIS hit. That opportunity will surely come and believe me, you’ll recognize it. Instead, think about how you can create stress on the other side of the net. Pull a player wide. Test a player’s patience by moving them around with dinks. Put the ball where it’s not obvious which player should be the one to send it back.
You’ll eventually get that high ball, that open space on the other side, or an unforced error on the other side. Success. Don’t be the one to break mentally. Your job is to pick the right shots, rather than try to force something that isn’t there yet. Yes, your goal is to win the rally. Your investment in escalating stress and having patience will get you there.
Gabe is from Southern California and plays with the Laguna Niguel Pickleball Club.
You can reach out to him via his Facebook profile. https://www.facebook.com/gabe.anderson.3344
He is undoubtedly a passionate pickleball player, shown here with his daughter and Tyson McGuffin. Thanks for letting me share your helpful thoughts, Gabe!
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