Hosted by: Tony Roig | June 7, 2024 |

#195- Are you happy playing pickleball? PLUS Self 1 and Self 2

I was reminded of an important concept speaking to one of our team members who is a volleyball player converted to pickleball.

The conversation went something like this (group setting):

Me: “Hard to lob Emily as she can get up in the air.”
Emily:  “Yeah and I even like to jump when I do not have to.”
Me: “I’ve seen it. Ball can be at Emily’s head height and she is full in the air smashing that ball.”
Emily:  “It makes me happy to jump like that.”
Me: “Good point. Happiness is paramount (or words to this effect).”

As coaches, CJ and I are spend a lot of time devising and sharing actionable guidance about the framework, objectives, strategies, and shots that a player can use to play a really good pickleball game.

BUT …

At the end of the day, we are playing a game. Or at least that is what it is supposed to be.

As you go through your growth process, it is important not to lose sight of this. A few examples:

1.  You want to learn that “killer” serve because every time you serve like that it puts a big smile on your face. Awesome. Then you should pursue that shot. Not because it is strategically significant, but because it makes you happy.

2. You like hitting the ball hard. That is what makes you happiest in the world. Then, by all means, keep doing it. You may not be able to advance as far as a player as you would if you added a soft game component. But as long as you understand that and are still happier hitting hard, then continue doing what makes you happy. That is paramount.

3. If you like jumping to hit the shots (it makes you smile), then continue doing it.

There is nothing wrong with playing pickleball in a way that makes you happy. And there is nothing inconsistent with understanding that X is better for you but choosing to do Y because you want to. It is no different than enjoying a doughnut or other sweet treat even though we know that is not what a dietitian would probably advise.

If you like this sort of conversation, join me inside Pickleball Therapy. It is a podcast. And it is available everywhere, even on YouTube.

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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.