Pickleball World: Time to make those New Year resolutions!

As we approach the New Year, what better time to talk about resolutions? How many of you made New Year Resolutions for 2018, and wish you had been able to keep them? As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and had you kept your 2018 resolutions, odds are you would have been better off than where you currently are, whether your resolutions were to eat better, exercise more, stop drinking soda, etc… That being said, let’s provide some foresight into 2019 and reflect on the 2018 USAPA Margaritaville National Championships in order to improve your Pickleball game for the coming year.

I held a 30-day Work Out Challenge throughout the month of October 2018, and had great participation from people on the Pickleball Forum. I had many people come up to me at Nationals telling me they had followed the program, which is great! While the 30-day challenge was a fun and interactive initiative, it also showed that most people who play Pickleball do not focus on preparing their bodies for the demands of the sport. As I walked around the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden throughout the week of competition, I watched various levels of play and identified barriers to people’s success on the pickleball courts other than skill and technique. Here are three of those barriers to work on for 2019:

-Footwork: often times, players are unable to hit a good shot (such as keeping a dink low, hitting a solid groundstroke, getting to an overhead, etc…) simply because they are not moving appropriately.

-Endurance: fitness and conditioning was definitely a hindrance, as I saw people be tired and out of shape during points, which led them to make errors and lose points/games/matches. Decision making is huge in Pickleball, and the more tired you are while playing, the worse your decision making will be on the court, ultimately giving the other team a huge advantage.

-Weight: In addition to the lack of footwork and endurance, being overweight was also a common occurrence I observed throughout the tournament. This is not meant to single out any individuals, but is a relevant factor when talking about the athletic demands of Pickleball and will affect your ability to fulfill your highest potential.

All these factors are so overlooked yet can make a huge difference in your level of play, before even addressing technique or skill.

If you have any questions, you can contact the Pickleball Doctor at: thepickleballdoctor@gmail.com

Noe Sariban is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Certified Pickleball Teaching Professional through the IPTPA, and a member of Team Engage Pickleball. Please visit www.thepickleballdoctor.com for more information on injury prevention and rehabilitation tips. Noe started his website to provide Pickleball players around the world with a reliable and free source of information. Please like his Facebook page www.facebook.com/pickleballdoctor for updates and new information.

Don’t miss the next issue of Pickleball Magazine for a complete article by The Pickleball Doctor!

USAPA Sponsors