Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 74

THE ‘PROBLEM’ BY DANNY ORTEGA E arlier this year, my mixed doubles partner and I blazed through a tournament and won silver. Our serves that day were consistent and without a care in the world. Three days later, at another venue and a different bracket, my same partner lost all control of her serve. It was so frustrating to her that she insisted we use all of our time-outs to practice her serve and discuss in detail what might be happening. At another recent tournament, a very similar thing occurred with my men’s doubles partner. In our first match, he couldn’t drop his serve in an ocean. Consequently, we lost our first match and wound up in the “opportunity bracket” where something rather miraculous happened. He began to serve with his opposite hand. Mind you, it wasn’t necessarily pretty, but we all know the first rule of pickleball: “Thou shalt not miss thy serve!” Together, we went on to win the gold in our bracket with his rather 72 unorthodox approach to the serve. He made a change and did what he had to do to win. Over the years I have noticed a syndrome associated with a lot of sports that require a ball to be struck. Whether it’s golf, tennis, baseball, football, even pickleball—you name the sport—there is an affliction that can haunt even some of the sport’s best. It is often called the “YIPS.” This will be the first and last time in this article that I will use this dreaded word. This malady seems to manifest itself at the most inopportune times. It’s something that happens to some muscles of the body as they begin to twitch ever so slightly, but whose effect begins with the large mass between the ears: the human brain. Many athletes who have played a sport well have mentioned being “in the zone,” that area of an endeavor where no mistakes happen and the flow of their game TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM