A question I hear a lot is: “Prem, do you have any suggestions for what to do when I’m playing with a lefty? “What I don’t hear quite so often is: “Prem, how do I play against a right-left combination?” and the reason I don’t hear it much is because a surprising number of players never even NOTICE when one of their opponents is left-handed (not to mention if both of them happen to be).
This may be the first time I’ve dedicated an entire article to a single shot, and it’s not even about the dink or the drop shot. This month, we’re talking about The Sometimes-Boring-and-Annoying-But-Sometimes-OH-SO!-Gratifying Pickleball Lob Shot.
Learn how to master the lob shot
Okay, here’s a little bit of a rant… Ready?
Getting Better Takes Effort
You have to practice to get better. You have to play against different players to get better. You have to pay for your mistakes in order to get better.
You won’t get better if you keep doing the exact same things you’ve always done. You won’t win more games if you keep hitting the same number of unforced errors. And, you can wish all you want that the tooth-fairy will grant you better pickleball skills, but I’m sorry to say, it probably isn’t going to help next time you’re out on the court.
One of the best ways to improve your pickleball game is to play with better players. It forces you to play at the top of your ability, makes you pay for your mistakes, and puts you on the fast-track to a higher skill level.
All of that is GREAT for you, but how about for those “better players” who are playing with you?
It does almost the OPPOSITE for them…
Playing with you keeps them from having to play at the top of their ability, keeps them from paying for their mistakes, and keeps them from improving their skill level as quickly.
The culture of pickleball has always been very welcoming and inclusive of new players, but as you become more intent on improving your game, you DON’T always want to play with less-experienced players.
But everyone’s gotta start from somewhere, and even the best players in the world were beginners at one point…
So the question is: as a newer player, how can you graciously get to play with better players so as to improve your game? And as a better player, how do you “remember your roots” and play with lower-level players, and when is it fair to ask them to step aside so you can get a higher-level play?
If you’ve been playing pickleball for any length of time, you’ve probably asked yourself three questions:
- Should I buy a new pickleball paddle?
- What kind of paddle should I buy?
- With so many options, how do I know which one is right for me?