Ah, the beginning of a brand new decade. I say bring it on!
Here are 6 New Year’s Resolutions for your pickleball life and YES, they will improve your game in 2020.
1. Try New Things
Practice shots you don’t usually make time for. How about a few around the post shots? Maybe some dink lobs? If you don’t try it in practice, odds are you won’t pull it off when the shot presents itself in a match. During a 2-3 hour play session I have one or two shots in mind that I want to practice so I work those shots into my play. For example a dink lob, I need to make sure I have the right opportunity to try it and then give it 100% effort. I bet you’ll be pleased with the results when you practice new shots.
2. Don’t Hit Out Balls
An out ball is a ball that would travel out of bounds if allowed to do so. When you are on the kitchen line (non-volley line) and the ball is traveling toward you “Above chest high, let it fly” or “Shoulder high, let it fly.” This is big and stay tuned for an upcoming how-to on this topic. I am including this one because, I too, have hit my share of out balls.
3. Travel and Explore New Pickleball Courts
Everywhere we go we experience how inviting and awesome pickleball people are. It’s easy to get into your own routine, but who knows what remarkable individuals you may meet at a different venue; you will for sure find new friends and you may even find a new partner. Cross town, hop to a different state or even venture to another country. Feed your pickleball addiction! Here are a few places I will be enjoying in 2020 – JOIN ME 🙂
4. Stay Healthy, Fit, Eat Well and Do Your Physical Therapy
You’ve probably heard the saying “Getting old isn’t for sissies.” Those aches and pains just take longer to go away; yes I know this well. That is why I added the physical therapy part. If physical therapy is the road to get back to injury free you HAVE TO MAKE THE TIME and do those exercises. If you are injury free, take time to stretch and warm up before jumping on the court cold. No excuses in 2020, do what it takes to make you feel great. For some it’s eating better, others may need to improve mobility while others could improve with better endurance. Endurance is a big part of being fit and, in the pickleball tournament world, endurance is a must if you are going for gold. Do yourself a favor and work on your fitness/endurance and health and you’ll be able to enjoy even more pickleball.
5. Socialize Before and After Games
Make a point to join your pickleball pals for off-court fun. It’s awesome to learn what everyone does (or did) in their professional lives. Actually I find this so interesting; you may only know “George” as a player in your group, but when you find out what he actually has accomplished in life, it can lead to some amazing stories.
6. Have Fun
Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. I know you’ve heard that before, but many of us still sweat the small things. Sure, it’s great to win, but not at the cost of getting upset with yourself, your partner or even your opponents. There’s enough turmoil in our daily lives, let’s keep the pickleball court our “fun” haven.
Remember, it’s never too late to make improvements to your pickleball game. Even resolution procrastinators can get started with these 6 points. It’s so much more fun being healthy, happy and seeing improvement in your game!
Cheers to YOU and all the fun 2020 will bring!