By: Tony Roig | February 11, 2020 |

Avoid Red Herrings in Your Pickleball Training

If you want to improve as a pickleball player, you cannot be distracted by the latest shiny object that comes across your path.  There are helpful pickleball videos out there (I like to think we have a few of these).  But some of the pickleball videos available are just not for you.

This is not necessarily that the pickleball video content is incorrect (even though there is some of that too).  More likely it is that the pickleball video is aimed for a pickleball player other than you.

Say, for example, you are new or relatively new to the pickleball game.  Or you are a 3.5 pickleball player verging on 4.0.  Or you are not as young as you once were.

Should you be doing drills designed for 4.5+ pickleball players?  Should you be bringing complex stroke mechanics into your pickleball game (before you have mastered the basics of the stroke)?  Are drills running all over the place right for a 65 year young pickleball player?

The answer to each of these is “NO.”

Let me give you a more concrete example: spinning dinks.  Pickleball players appear to be enamored with spins.  All pickleball players want to learn how to spin the ball (understanding spins is different, and I will address that subject below).  Spins become the shiny object that distract us from having real improvement in our games.

Unless you already know how to manage spins (you played tennis or table tennis for example) or are already a master dinker, there is absolutely no reason for you to start working on spins.  There are likely a thousand things you can work on before you need to even start thinking about spins.

Are you starting the point correctly (your position)?  Getting to the NVZ line every time?  Hitting your shots to the right spots?

Can you dink 100 times in a row without making an error?  How are your volleys – punch and block?  Are you missing serves or returns?  Are they deep?

A thousand things.

Instead of chasing spins or other shiny objects down the rabbit hole (mixing metaphors), keep your eye on the ball (pun intended) and work on skills (deep return of serve) and concepts (covering the middle) that will actually improve your game.  Do not waste time or energy on these side ventures.

Are you unsure about whether what you working on is a shiny object or a fundamental that will help?  Send us a question –  Once we get a few we will answer them all in a video on the subject.

You can watch our video on the spin red herring here: In2Pickle – Don’t Spin Your Pickleball Dinks – Focus to Improve in Pickleball

All that said, should you understand spins?  Absolutely.  Why?  Because your opponent may, advertently or inadvertently, send balls with spin your way.  You should understand what each type of spin will do to the ball and also learn how to read the spin coming your way.  Our video on understanding spins should help: Understanding pickleball spins – In2Pickle.

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.