Do you practice (rec) like you play (tourney)?

I think most pickleball players do NOT play recreational games the same way they play in tournaments. Yes, you are out there playing rec. games with your friends on a social level. The only problem is you might be learning bad habits when you are only giving 50-75% during practice.

I observe players in the rec play. You will see players try shots they never would even think about doing during a tournament.

  • Huge serves.
  • Over-use of the ERNE.
  • Over-hitting high balls.
  • Over-hitting drives from the baseline.
  • Behind the back shots.
  • Thru the legs shots.
  • Low percentage shots from no-mans land.
  • Hitting “out balls”.

I have been playing for almost two years and I rarely come across a player that plays rec games at the same level they play tournaments. One player comes to mind, Riley Newman! Riley gives 100% every point, every game, every day he is on the court. It is a very “special” skill to have.

Tips to improve your practice play.

I am not saying to not have fun during rec play. I am saying to practice good habits. It is normal to work on “new shots” during rec play. It is NOT good to practice low percentage shots that you will never use once you get in the head of battle in a tournament.

  • Keep your concentration level at a very high level no matter who you are playing with or against.
  • Work on shots that you struggle with during tournaments.
  • Practice high percentage shots.
  • Remove “stupid” shots from your shot selection.
  • Don’t practice shots that you will never use in a tourney.
  • Let “out balls” go!
  • …….HAVE FUN!!!!!!

Ryan Trefry “Tref”

Team TSD


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