Monday, August 12, 2013

Pickleball Tip of Week #14

This weeks tip will be on playing your opponent.
Having played against an opponent before is a great advantage to you if you will remember their strengths , weaknesses and playing style.
Some opponents are great at counter hitting. They can take your moderately strong hit to them and redirect it back for a winner. Those players you dont want to hit hard to unless you are hitting down at their feet. You must have much better patience against them.

Some players are great at lobs. You always want to be on your toes and move back quickly to cover this.
Some players never lob so you dont have to worry about the lob from them. Just concentrate on keeping the ball low.

Some players when you are pinned back at the baseline and they are smashing balls back to you there will occasionally do a soft drop just over the net. You have to remember those players that are good at this and be on guard. Other opponents always smash it back, never thinking to do a soft drop. Which player is taking your return, and are you anticipating it?

Some players have extremely accurate serves that can catch you off guard. Are you ready for them.
If you are at the nvz, do you know which of your opponents is the better dinker? That is the player that you DONT want to dink to. Why get into a dink war with the better dinker?

Some players are great at reaching in and taking your dink as a volley and hitting a killer angle against you for a winner. Are you already moving to that angle when you see this skill in your opponent.

Remember, pickleball is like a chess game. Mental assessment is 50% of the game. The good news is the longer you play, the better your brain gets. Your mind is able to slow the game down as it gets more experience.

jeff shank

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