Consistency Should be Your #1 Objective

What do we remember most when we watch the pros on TV or at a tournament?  The spectacular shots that were made.  We wonder at the skill and athletic abilities of these players.  But what really makes a winner?  Something that is often overlooked – consistency.

I’m not talking about how a top pro player consistently seems to make a couple great shot every game.  No, what I mean is the key to playing winning pickleball is keeping the ball in play and letting the other guy try to make difficult low-percentage shots.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little inspiration from a player making a spectacular shot.  But you’ll win more games with perspiration from drills and hitting balls from a ball machine.  Repetition creates consistency and consistency leads to more wins.

You should probably be hitting many more third-shot drops than third-shot drives.  You should hit more reset shots in those occasions when your opponent is first to direct an offensive drive at you.  Too many times, you hit a weak volley return or pop-up when you’re targeted with a powerful drive.  Make the safe shot and simply block that drive and reset the point, unless you’re sure you can smash it for a winner.

Your mind should be focused on keeping the ball in play and “earning” the opportunity to hit a kill shot with careful targeting and hitting targets like at your opponent’s feet, right at their right shoulder or into open areas on the court.  Choose your targets carefully, hit them consistently with smooth swings, and opportunities for kill shots will come your way.

You need practice sessions to get better, not just more games.  You need focus on setting your feet properly, the contact point of the ball on your paddle, your weight transfer when hitting the ball, and lastly your court position – know where you are on the court so you can properly execute a put away shot.

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