CJ Johnson Headshot
CJ Johnson
Tony Roig
Tony Roig

#128- Give Yourself Permission to be Good

This episode discusses ideas on how to reframe feelings of guilt or shame after having success on the court.

Do you only have a one-way valve that only allows negative information to come in when you screw up or mess up?  We’re here to help you with that concept about allowing yourself the two-way street- on the good and the bad.

I guarantee that when you make that mistake, miss that shot, you let yourself know how you messed up, sometimes even being hard on yourself about it.

Why not allow the positive information into your system and work on your empathy muscles?

It can sometimes be difficult for players to accept success, but here’s the thing, be evenhanded about it.

Listen to this episode to get a better idea of how to take the same energy that you use when you mess up and apply it after you play a good game or hit that good shot.

It’s only fair, right?


00:00- Giving yourself permission to feel good in Pickleball

04:00 – The Importance of a Two Way Street

08:00 – Understanding the Framework of Pickleball-We All Play the Same Game-Pro’s Included

In the riff I talk to you about how we all play the same game as the pros (including me as a Senior Pro player).

I was reviewing some footage from a match that played a few months ago at Lake Nona in Orlando. It’s a PPA tournament and it was the finals match. I was specifically looking at returns of serve. As a senior pro player, you know what’s a super important shot in my game? My return of serve.

Pickleball players sometimes think that a return of serve is something that’s reserved for the new players or something like that.

The same shots that are important to your game are important to our game since we’re playing the exact same game.

March MiniSeries

If you really want to grow in this game it’s important to understand the framework of pickleball- it starts everything. If you understand the framework, everything flows from there. Join us at the March System Miniseries.

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Links Mentioned in the Podcast

→ THE Pickleball System

Miniseries Ticket

→ Sign up to get our weekly emails

→ Pickleball Mindset book recommendations

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Tony Roig

Hola. Hello. Konichiwa. After 40 years playing tennis, I am now a full-time pickleball player and professional. As a 5.0 rated Senior Pro Pickleball Player and an IPTPA-certified Master Teaching Professional, my focus is on helping players like you learn to play their best pickleball. In 2016, shortly after starting to play pickleball, my friend Tom and I jumped into the highest division at the first US Open in Naples, Florida. That morning it became clear just how much there is to learn in this seemingly simple sport – a lifetime of learning if you so choose. Since 2018, I have been on a mission to share my knowledge of pickleball so other players can enjoy the game at a higher level and attain their pickleball objectives. When not studying or playing pickleball, I like to travel with my other half, Jill.


  1. Avatar photo Gracie on March 4, 2023 at 4:21 pm

    After losing three round robin games in ladies ladders at my community, I was down and dejected . I felt I was the weak link in each pairing. still, I try to walk away from each game thinking about the good shots I made, but losing three games in a row was difficult. I just felt I wasn’t having a good day, I wasn’t on, I was tired. however today when I was in a rec game and ran back under the blaring sun to get a lob and executed it beautifully, my opponents complemented me. I said “if I say so myself, that was a really good shot!”. Hee hee

    • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on March 4, 2023 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Gracie, I’m glad you recognized your accomplishments because athletes don’t perform optimally every time they hit the court. One other thought that may help, winning is a metric over which we have no control. I can play the best I’ve ever played and still lose. Here’s a podcast you might enjoy. https://betterpickleball.com/winning-is-a-bowl-of-ice-cream/

      • Avatar photo Clean Dean Refakes on March 5, 2023 at 4:57 am

        Simply put……. Forget about your past shot(s).. good or bad…… you are only good on your next point

        • Avatar photo CJ Johnson on March 5, 2023 at 6:33 am

          Yes, staying in the moment is important.

  2. Avatar photo K on March 7, 2023 at 4:49 am

    The perfect episode how to transform to be positive.

  3. Avatar photo Ray Eargle on March 10, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    Hi, you two. I had a great playing event on March 8th the first real competition. I was nervous to start. I had not been playing much but I pushed in some more practice before the event. The first set did ok partner and I kept trying to get us to a 9 to 15 loss but not as bad as I thought we would be. Another partner and I 15 to 5 were able to read the players’ skill level better and I and my partner made more controlled returns. The next was a 15 to 9 was having concentration off and on. My partner was able to bring us together with the win. Another partner was well skilled we did a 14 to 9 a real battle of skills from both sides time was up we won. It was an eye-opening point for me and my partner and we were top players and had to play now the other clubs’ top players it was a lot of action and battles 14 to 15 close but lost it but was great! playing learned a lot. Never give up control of your shots and attention to game action. With any score, you always have a chance to change the tides. The distractions are always around the audience, music, the referee calls, partner calls, and cheers from friends. It can be overwelling at times. Just slow down your mind and focus on the play work with your partner too. It will come to you too. I also send to CJ and Tony thanks for the hinds and guidance Had the yeps and focus problems but you two have shown me I can be good at this game.

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