It’s winding down, people… and quickly! In just under four months – and a smidgen over 100 calendar days – 2018 will be but a memory. As we race past the holiday that unofficially separates summer from fall it’s good to take a look back – and, evaluate the year that is – and, perhaps, if necessary, make some tweaks so that 2018 will go down as the best year ever – personally, professionally and, of course, on the pickleball courts!
This past January, I, a bit begrudgingly, joined my wife and came up with a word that would appropriately describe our singularity of focus for the coming year. It’s a word that would drive sustained focus – and a vision for change – for the next twelve months. The word we picked for 2018 was “results.”
How Are You Doing on Your Goals? Let’s Review!
You, too, likely came up with a word for 2018. If you didn’t adopt a word for the year, my guess is you wrote down some goals for the coming year – many of which were undoubtedly pickleball-focused. So as we’re now over two-thirds of our way through the year, let me just ask, “How are you doing with these goals?” As this is a pickleball blog – and you’re probably a pickleball addict – let’s review the pickleball goals you made for 2018.
First, did you write down your goals – with corresponding action steps to accomplish these goals? If you did, indeed, take pen to paper, locate these written goals and review your progress.
Was “Improvement” One of your Pickleball Goals? Are you Taking Lessons? Drilling? Willing to Lose a Rec Game Here or There?
Many of you, no doubt, wanted to improve your game and increase your rating. To accomplish this goal, what action steps have you taken? Have you consistently practiced and drilled – perhaps to the tune of 50% practice and 50% playing? Have you attended local clinics or had private lessons? If you do take lessons and drill, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re in the minority. Practicing and drilling – as long as it is done correctly – will certainly yield big dividends down the road.
Now – and be honest, here – are you using rec games as the sandbox to actually apply what you have learned and drilled – without regard to winning or losing? Or, on the other hand, do you want to win so badly that you revert to what is familiar and comfortable so you can maximize your chances of winning these rec games? To reach the next level, you absolutely have to be willing to take your lumps in rec games while you are practicing new techniques and new strategies. Although it may seem like you’re taking a step back performance-wise in the short run, it will benefit you in the long run and you will become a much better player.
Have you incorporated video (remember, video doesn’t lie) into your training regimen to determine if the technique on your various shots is fundamentally sound? Have you entered tournaments and tracked your results? Have you incorporated the drop into your arsenal of shots?
Improvement is Likely Not the Only Goal… What About Health? Increased Knowledge of the Sport? Giving Back to Others?
Many of you — as did I — listed “health” as one of your goals for 2018. Do you wear court shoes when playing pickleball that allow you to maximize your lateral movements without risk of injury? Do you wear goggles to protect your eyes? What about sunscreen? Are you tracking your steps on the court? Are you drinking plenty of fluids (including electrolytes) before, during and after pickleball? Do you have a paddle that doesn’t put undue stress on your arm?
For those of you who wanted to increase your knowledge of pickleball, have you printed off the rulebook and review it regularly? Are you watching YouTube videos? Have you joined the Pickleball Forum Facebook Group?
And finally, if one of your goals is to give back to others, are you sharing the sport with others? Are you offering helpful tips and advice to newbies? Are you playing with them occasionally?
Let’s be honest. Making goals and tracking results takes time. It also requires brutal honesty. You will be most effective in accomplishing your goals if you write them down with corresponding action steps – perhaps in a pickleball planner designed specifically for the pickleball addict… you know, one that fits conveniently in your pickleball bag for easy reference and review — complete with monthly & weekly calendars, trackers, goal sheets, rules interpretations and so much more!
We’re nearing the end of 2018. You can do it! See you on the courts!