A few pickleball lessons from tennis’ French Open

Believe You Can – The top 3 women’s seeds were all knocked out in the first week of the French Open and the men’s Australian Open champ was upset in the first round in Paris! You know every one of these competitors believed in their heart they had a chance. Even Maria Sharapova, who lost the first set against Samantha Stosur, came back to take the 3rd set with fierce conviction depriving her Aussie rival of a single game. Remember:  “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.henry ford quote

Stick With What Works – Sloane Stephens was off to another slow start in her early round when she remembered to do what got her there: her forehand. In other words, time to give up on her backhand and focus on what was producing winners. If, for example, you keep trying a new segment and it’s not working, it might be time to stop doing what’s not working and focus on where you have had success. Remember your strengths! (But keep practicing your weakness outside of tournaments, so it too may become a strength one day!)

Stay “In The Moment” – Early round hoopla was all about another Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams 3rd round match-up. The problem? The sisters were so focused on the third round, they forgot to win in the second round! Are you focused on what you have to do TODAY?

Don’t Celebrate Too Soon – Even if it appears that you are en route to victory, don’t stop playing! Many victory celebrations have turned sour because of what I call “premature congratulations.” You’ve seen it at the Olympics and at this event; it’s not over until you are crowned the winner. Don’t believe me? Go see cyclist Eloy Tereuel celebrating his win, but in reality he still had one lap to go. BTW, he came in 56th! Over the years I have witnessed competitors of mine celebrating, even hugging their partner when only one point away from match…. And my partner and I came back to win! You never know until the Game is Over…

3 comments on “A few pickleball lessons from tennis’ French Open”

  1. Jennifer Lucore

    Great comment – I love it! Yes, it is a mind set… and you know it is the sweetest feeling when you come from behind to win.

  2. I can’t agree more — I’ve often been down by several points and have come back to win the whole darn thing! I’ve come across partners who were able to focus on those last few points, those that give up when they’ve fallen behind, and those that when they get behind, they play even harder. It all depends on the “mind set.” One of the most important things a coach said to me oh so long ago: it does not matter what you did on the last shot (whether it was a winner or you lost the point), the only shot that matters is the next one. I’ve developed this saying as my “creed” and it has helped me through 20 years of tennis and now going on two years of pickleball. Thanks for the advice.

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