Reposted…. I apologize for the technical difficulties of the first posting!!
Lets face it, there are only two things that you really have total control over on the pickleball court.
The first one is your serve. The serve is the only shot you have total control over. YOU toss or drop the ball. YOU hit it. Granted, wind can have an affect, but there is no impact from another player to influence your serve. No one else can be held responsible for a bad serve.
Every other shot in the game is impacted by another person’s hit. Maybe they put back spin on the ball, or maybe top spin. Or maybe just as you adjust to their spin, they hit a shot without spin. Perhaps they hit a drive shot and you have to react quickly or maybe it hits the net and is redirected. A precise drop shot into the corner might force you to extend your reach, which could result in a return you’re lucky to even get to, let alone plan where to hit it. There are an unlimited number of possibilities of how others can affect the flight of the ball towards you, thus affecting how you hit your shot.
The second, even more important thing you, and only you can control is your attitude. Bring a bad attitude on the court and you set yourself up for failure. Not only will a bad attitude affect how you play, it will affect how your partner plays, and how opponents and spectators see and react to you. Keep positive thoughts in your game strategy. Tell yourself where you want to hit the shot, not where you don’t want to hit it. Mentally coach yourself by thinking things like, “hit the ball over the net,” not “don’t hit it in the net again.” Or, “return to player A,” not “don’t return the ball to player B again.” Sounds overly simple. It is. You simply have to train yourself to think this way, and until it becomes habit, remind yourself and change your thought every time you think differently.
Realize that you’re going to make mistakes. Some will be mistakes caused by a bad decision on your part, and others will be errors created by the shot of your opponent. Take control of your attitude and learn from the unforced errors, instead of beating yourself up in the middle of the game. The same goes for your attitude towards your partner. Stay positive, even when they make an unforced error, or several, and use your time out’s wisely to make an adjustment and reconnect with your partner.
So, start every game by bringing your best, positive attitude, and for heaven sakes, get your first serve in!
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