Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 89

Q | A Q: What is the biggest mistake you see amateurs make on the pickleball courts? A: Unforced errors, without a doubt. Keep the ball in play and let the other team make the error. I teach the following concept to my students: “Pickleball is a problem-solution game. The ball is the problem. Always try to give the problem back to your opponent.” The momentum in pickleball is much faster than tennis, so the points can get away from you quickly. When I am behind in a game, I try to stay focused on my footwork, getting the ball back and finding the opportunity to change the momentum of the game in my favor. I stay away from negative anger at all times, as it serves no purpose and reflects poor sportsmanship. Q: What is the biggest problem you see experienced players make on the pickleball courts? A: Overestimating your abilities and skills and letting your ego get in the way of honest evaluation of your current strategy and results. Q: What advice can you give to pickleball players who play with their spouse or significant other as a pickleball partner? A: Always communicate with each other, compliment all good shots, and be sensitive to your negative body language on the court. Your spouse knows you too well, so honest, open communication—both verbal and non- verbal—are very important. A positive attitude toward each other no matter what happens, and a feeling of equal-effort teamwork no matter what the difference in skill levels, will go a long way, both on and off the pickleball courts. Q: How do you prepare mentally for a match? A: The match is won or lost the day before the event. You must believe you will win, or you will lose. First, I play the entire game in my head, visualizing each shot, thinking of every possible outcome and how I can make the best possible return shot, given each possible scenario. Then, when I play the real game on the pickleball court, I feel comfortable knowing the possible outcomes and how to respond to each opponent’s return shot. While this technique takes considerable mental discipline, it has worked very well for me over the years. Q: How do you prepare nutritionally for a match? A: I began three weeks before a match with my diet, eating only pasta, rice, chicken, fruits and vegetables and avoiding red meat, sugar and alcohol. I drink a lot of water and I especially consume Pedialyte for superior hydration during the match. While at UCLA, the coach made us run laps if we did not have hydration at our side at all times. I am in bed at 8 p.m. Rest, hydration and healthy food are the key. Q: We all have foot pain from playing a lot of pickleball. How do you manage your foot health? A: I change new shoes every week. Since I am sponsored by Wilson, I have plenty of free shoes, but the key to good foot health is a good pair of well-fitting shoes. I also take regular Epsom salt foot baths, ice baths and stretch to manage my feet pain issues. I also wear two pair of socks when I play. Q: How do you effectively manage your emotional state while playing a game of pickleball, either when winning or losing a point? A: I use positive anger to energize me on the court when I fall short and lose a point. I reach deep and try to spark that fire inside me to excel, no matter what the score. Q: Why do you think pickleball is growing so fast? A: I believe the appeal of the game is that it is easy to learn, but hard to master. A pickleball player can move up in skill level quickly with lessons and practice. Also, the social aspect of the game is unlike any other sport. Men and women play as equals in p ݡ)Ѽɥɔ̰́ɥ́Ѽ)ѡɝյ̸)D$]ЁݽձԁɕѼѡUMAѡAA)Ѽɽٔѡ)$$ݽձɕѡЁѡ䁕х͕͠Ʌє)ɽͥѽȁѕȁ)ѽȸ$ݽձɽ܁ѡɕɕѥѥɽɅ)$ݽձɽѕЁѼѡ)ѕɹѥ䰁ݥѠѡɕձЁ)=ٕЁѡЀ啅́UM)=AQ)D$Q԰5ɍȁȁѥ͡ɥ)ݥ͑ԁٔ䁱Ёѡ՝)$ḛ$݅ЁѼѡUMAѡAA)ѡȁɕЁ́Ѽɽ܁ѡ%)́ݥѠѡ́ѡ͔ݼɽͥ)ɝѥ́ѡЁݔѥٕ䁝ɽ܁ѡа)ɅЁѡЁɅѥ́ɥєѼ)ѡѠݕ́ȁɝȁ́չ)$ͥȁ͕ՍѼٔչɽеɽ܁͕ЁѼ)ѡѕЁɽݥ́9Ѡɥ )9=Y5 H 5 H܁)5i%9(