You may have done this once or twice (or dozens, or hundreds!).
You get one of those dinks just high enough, wind up, and crush that poor little pickleball!
Whether you meant to or not, it hit your opponent right in the chest! You immediately put your arm in the air and apologize profusely!
But were you really sorry?
Or maybe the better question is: is it a good idea to apologize for providing your opponent (for free!) a temporary pickleball tattoo?
Like many questions about pickleball, the answer is…it depends!
In a competitive game, with you and three other similarly skilled players, it’s accepted (or at least you may want to be prepared for it!) that there may be a number of shots coming to the body / chest area.
Not only that, you and those three other players may be expecting a fair number of body shots. As your pickleball skills improve, and you play with more skilled players, you’ll see that shots to the body are a strategic component to the game.
Are these body shots rude?
Should you apologize?
It’s up to you – there’s a lot of pickleball etiquette that varies from court to court (different types of paddle taps, “Sorry!” after you get that lucky dribble off the net for a point), so a quick apology may be the nice thing to do.
And Here’s When Moderation Isn’t Just a Good Thing, It Can Be a GREAT Thing
Some teenagers started playing pickleball at their local high school.
“Grandma! Grandpa! You’ve got to try this! You’re SOOOO going to LOVE it!”
So they try it a few times and come out to your courts for some fun.
You are the local MAPP (Most Awesome Pickleball Player)! Young, athletic, quick – and a good deal of power!
And you play all out!
It’s you and another player against the Grandparents – remember, they haven’t played much, so there’s definitely a skill imbalance!
Of course, you win easily, with a lot of points coming off quite a few body shots at the expense of Grandma and Grandpa.
Because you apologized after these points, everything’s alright!
Not so much…
In situations like this, I absolutely recommend that you moderate your game based on who you are playing against.
Sure – you’ve got plenty of easy winners available to you, but they’re against lesser skilled players – this may be a good time to work on other parts of your game (dinking, moving opponents around on the court, maybe even blocking body shots from Grandma and Grandpa!).
The Grandkids ask Grandma and Grandpa about their recent play at your courts.
“We didn’t like it all! It wasn’t fun! We ran into MR. P! He kept hitting us with the ball!”
“Mr. P? We don’t know him…”
“Most Rude Player.”
So that’s when you may be thinking about going for the body shots, AND when you may want to consider trying something else!
Next month – where on the body you should be aiming for, and how to combat those body shots!
Webinar Special Ends on June 15!
Not only $500 off the bootcamp that focuses on your game, register by June 15 to receive a 1/2-hour FaceTime (or Skype) with me, and you can receive it before OR after bootcamp! And yes, one of the things we work on at bootcamp is blocking those body shots! Click here for more information and to register for the bootcamp of your choice, and use coupon code WEBINAR for the $500 off / FaceTime!
Body shots? there should be gimmes! For you non golfers, A gimme is a shot that the other players agree can count automatically without being played (hitting you in the face with the ball in pickleball)