Seeing the Net as the Third Opponent

I was watching FIFA World Cup soccer with my wife, Paula, a few months ago. So many goal opportunities are lost when shooters sail balls over the goalposts. Great for field goals in American football. Not so much in European football.

When a shooter resolves to strike within the goalposts and force the goalie to make a save, good things happen. The same is true in pickleball when players resolve to keep the ball over the net and in play.

Pickleball nets

Nets can cause just as much trouble as opponents! (Credit: John Beagle)

When you and your partner resolve to hit every ball over the net and force your opponents to hit a winner, good things happen! Not every time, but more often than we think.

It may be helpful to think of the net as your third opponent. Do I subconsciously hit balls into the net rather than let my opponents hit a winner?  I play routinely with Nick Williams and notice that he can play entire games without hitting a ball into the net.

Pickleball is such a simple game. I decided yesterday to hit every ball over the net. It helped, but I sure failed a lot.

I would love to hear your thoughts on techniques to keep balls in play.

2 thoughts on “Seeing the Net as the Third Opponent

  1. It all gets down to fundamentals which would include proper paddle position, facing the ball, proper footwork, proper swing, knees bent and the biggie of all is watching the paddle strike the ball. The court still hasn’t moved, the ball is moving so watch the ball and don’t look up when hitting.; Court and net still hasn’t moved Too easy An old coach told us “If you never get away from the fundamentals then you never have to go back to them.”

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