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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From The Picklehood....

Our Paso Robles Pickleball Club Website:  www.pickleballpasorobles.shutterfly.com  Join us when you are in the neighborhood.

No Club play today, but that does not mean we can't Pickleteach....

Let's talk about communication between partners.  Most agree that this is very necessary, and yet, most also agree that not enough talking between partners really occurs during play.  This lack of communication could cost you critical points.. Ever lost that close game, and, in retrospect, realized that it came down to one or two lobs, dinks, shots down the middle (or a combination) that were misread because neither partner could decide whose ball it was?

Here is a suggestion to help communication.  Before you play your next game, tell your partner that you are going to work on communication.  You are going to call "mine," "yours" on every shot you have time to call (choose one word for each person).  You are going to do the best you can to call the ball as the ball leaves your opponent's paddle.  This will be difficult on volley rallies at the net....but you are still going to try.  You are going to call every ball!!!!  After the first game, have your partner do the same.  If he/she does not want to do this, you call every ball again.  This practice is very important, even though 90% of all shots are pretty obvious.  You will get your brain to recognize those important shots that really count and you may just avoid the indecision that leads to letting a ball go because you  thought your partner was going to take it.

Two major points of emphasis:  (1) Be sure to tell your partner that if you call "mine" that ball is yours.  You are responsible for the shot.  How many times have you called "mine" and still had your partner take the shot anyway resulting in a sword fight between your two paddles as you both went after the ball? (2) "Yours" is not an automatic to hit the ball.  Your partner must still be able to recognize the ball that is obviously "out."  One call may precede the other.  This is a decision that must be made by your partner as you call "yours."  If you say "out" (like you are used to doing), that is O.K....old, good habits  trump new things you are working on.

If you are fortunate enough to play with the same partner on a regular basis (and even in tournaments), this practice of recognizing who should hit the ball will prove invaluable over the course of your Pickleball playing days.  May they be long and prosperous....

If you were lucky enough to play today, "how did the ball come off your paddle?"

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