If your pickleball game is stagnating, read this...
At times, improvement feels like a giant rollercoaster.
I’m great on Thursday and then suck on Friday.
One day I’m excited and the next, discouraged.
Ever felt this?
Just recently, I played terrible in a rec game.
I missed easy dinks, hit simple volleys into the net, and fluffed multiple returns long and short.
It was one of those, “it’s just not my day” feelings.
After the game, I got in my car and just felt frustrated.
No music. Just the road and my thoughts.
“why did you miss all those easy shots?”
“you’re not as good as you think you are Kyle.”
“people won’t want to partner with you anymore.”
And the truth is, my confidence was shaken.
Cut to 2 pm the next afternoon where I played in a tournament final.
Everything was clicking. My dinks were solid, I was winning hands battles, and to cap it off — I was crushing putaways with emphasis.
I left the tournament feeling good about my game. Like, really good!
Now, in a span of 24 hours, I went from,
“wow I suck at pickleball,” to
“I’m actually pretty good at this sport.”
The big question is, what changed?
I have a few theories.
Tournament play beget deeper focus.
My partner played awesome and I’m taking too much credit for winning.
I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was in that Saturday game.
“Chill out Kyle, You had one bad day.”
And here’s the thing I have to remind myself of.
I’m only 6 months in to taking pickleball seriously. Of course I’m going to be inconsistent at times. To expect to show up and dominate each time playing is ridiculous. Of course, I want that. And it’s what I’m striving for.
But if I sit back, zoom out, and think about what my mentors would tell me in this moment.
They’d say, “Kyle, you’re doing just fine. Progress isn’t a straight line. If you show up with an intentional approach doing the best you can day after day, for a long period of time, you’ll improve. And you’ll keep inching closer to your desire to become a pro pickleball player.”
Gosh, don’t you just hate when you feel like you already know the answer but don’t want to accept it? Sometimes, it just feels easier to be mad and complain 😂
So I write this to encourage you, especially if you feel inconsistent and that your game has stagnated.
I write this to tell you feeling angry and playing bad is normal. It means you care.
I write this to tell you to zoom out. Improvement always happens faster when you first start something. Then it slows down and looks much different.
What’s most important here is keeping the perspective that, the days will be up and down, at times. But if you stay the course…
…in the weeks, months, years, and decades to come — you’ll look back and see you were you improving all along.
And I know you know this but it bears repeating. We’re usually not as bad as we think we are or as good as people tell us we played.
Keep moving forward, you got this!
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