As with all sports the #1 way to improve your game is to practice. We all love to get on the court and play and we all want to improve, but practice is key to improving your game. Why then is it so hard to put time into practice if we know it will make us a better player?
Here are some thought on practice from some well known coaches:
Coach Mo "If you want to play your best, you must know the importance of practice, as well as playing the game."
Sarah Ansboury "The important thing to remember is you can work to improve your game, even if you don’t have a court or practice partner. You can work on your mind, your footwork and your conditioning. You can practice pickleball alone!"
Gale Leach "only with practice do elements of their game become automatic, allowing players to play better all around"
Practicing Alone-Most players believe that you need a partner and a court to practice. Below are links to 3 videos on how to practice alone. If you take the time to analyze your games and learn the areas that you are weak in then you can concentrate on working on those weaknesses.
Here is a great article on the USAPA Atlantic Region website about practice.
Click here to read the article.
So, you can get on the court and play, you can play against better players, but unless you put in the time to figure out what you need to improve and take the time to practice you will not improve. Ask someone sitting out to chart your unforced errors and work on the aspects of the game you are weak on. Take a video of your games and analyze what you are doing and look critically at your game. You will learn a lot. So get out there and get it done!
Week 1 of the summer ladder League was a smashing success! Twenty players from Eaton, Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley including 2 subs were cheered on by many spectators. Some spectators were familiar with the game and some who were enticed to the court by laughing and hoots of joy. A great time was had by all.
Volunteers showed up early to line the courts, set up nets and sweep. A brief shower delayed games for about 10 minutes which gave players a chance to chat and eat some dinner.
Come watch week 2 and join the fun by signing up for August, September or October leagues. Players play as individuals and move up or down the ladder based on their results of the previous week and were subs may be placed. Subs can be of any gender or skill level. Sign up for the sub list for any month. Click here for more information about the league format.
WEEK 1 RESULTS
Northern Colorado Pickleball Association Member Meeting-Join pickleball friends for some social time, play some pickleball and talk about the vision, structure, goals and workings of Northern Colorado Pickleball Association. Pot Luck- Bring an appetizer or other dish to share. Bring a chair to sit and of course, your paddle ready to play, or just watch and cheer others on.
Where: City Park Tennis Courts
West Oak Street, Fort Collins
When: Tuesday, July 19th
(cancelled in case of rain/no rain date set)
Please RSVP Here
Good explanation of when and how to poach by Sarah Ansboury. The article breaks down the issues and explains clearly the benefits of poaching and how to pull it off. Remembering that pickleball is a team sport you need to communicate with your partner about your intention to poach. "Anticipation is more than a love song sang by Carly Simon. It is key to your success in poaching."
To help you pull it all together the great article has links to videos that demo the techniques that Sarah talks about.
Ladder League is a great way to play at your level and to challenge others and be challenged. NoCo's Ladder League is also a great time for some good social interaction and supporting your fellow players. July's league is full, but don't dispare.... get on the sub list! Don't want to be on the court, come watch play and support your fellow players. Play will be at City Park Courts off of West Oak in Fort Collins. There is a lot of great shade to sit and watch. Bring a chair. See you there. Fridays, July 8, 15, 22, 29 6-8:30PM.
It has been no surprise that all lessons and clinics have been filled. Despite a small bit of rain on Saturday afternoon everything has gone off without a hitch. The lessons and clinics have been a success and comments from attendees are 100% positive. Sarah is helping players to go back to the basics and get a feeling for what their strengths and weaknesses are, why they should focus on minimal controlled movements, what their natural zone is and how to control the game.
Sarah and Linh are rock stars of pickleball and we hope to have them back next year!
Notice of NoCo Ladder Leagues 2016
What: Monthly Ladder Leagues in July, Aug, Sept, Oct. (we can hope). Each League will be 4 weeks long. If there are five Fridays in a month there will be a week ‘vacation’ for the league. We need a League Director for the month of Sept. but they can train during July and/or Aug. The League Dir. plays for free. Cost: League will cost $15 for NoCo Paid members ($5 NoCo Member discount may be used to bring cost to $10-use “MemberDiscount” code at Checkout) and $20 for all others. League will be limited to 20 participants and a sub list will be kept.
When: League will meet on Fridays from 6 to 8:30 or later (until we’re done). Leagues will begin on the first Friday of each month except for July, which will start on July 8th. If Friday is cancelled due to weather the following Tuesday will be the make-up date (same time and place). If Tuesday is cancelled due to weather no make-up will be made.
Organization: All participants and subs will be assigned a temporary rating when they sign up. Each week the 20 league players (regardless of gender) will be assigned to a pool of 5 players based on either the prior week’s results or their rating (if they are a sub or new to the league). After each week the bottom two players in the top three groups will move to the next lower group and the top two players in the bottom three groups will move up one skill group.
Each group will play two round robins with the other players in their group. Scores will be kept for all games (the player sitting out is the scorekeeper for the round being played and is responsible for recording the score). Players numbered (listed) 1-4 will take the court and play a game, they will then rotate clockwise with one player going off the court and #5 coming on the court to the open space. They will then play another game and rotate clockwise, etc. If four, of the five players are present and ready to play (the fifth MIA) the 4 ready players may being their round and move the MIA player to position #5.
Where: League will be played at City Park courts. It is possible we may move some nights to Lee Martinez Park. NoCo will reserve a tennis court and will chalk four pickleball courts for league play. Portable nets will be used and the official ball will be the Onix outdoor ball (subject to change due to availability). Games will be to 11pts win by 2. IFP/USAPA rules will be used. There is no skill level requirement for this league as the ladder will sort out players into skill groups.
Sign-up: League sign-ups will be on the NoCo website at nocopickleball.com and payment will be made by PayPal on that site. Sign-up will be open to Paid NoCo members for about a week before it is open to the public.
League play will begin on Friday, July 8 at 6PM at City Park Courts in Fort Collins. Sign up at nocopickleball.com
General Info: What to bring? Chair, food if you want to eat dinner at the courts, water, bug repellant. Last night of league play will be a pot luck.
Space on the court surface is tight so we will sit on the West side of the court (in the shade) on the grass. Please keep all gear that you do not actually need to play off the courts. You should bring water, towel, etc. with you to the court.
Substitutes: Players needing to miss a league session will be responsible for getting their own sub. The League Director reserves the right to put the sub in the skill level they believe is in the best interest of skill level play in each skill group. Players needing a sub should make every effort to find a sub in their skill level.
Questions: e-mail email@example.com or call Jay Readinger at 207-557-0456
by Mark Renneson Third Shot Sports
Are the drills effective? Good practice sessions are focussed practice sessions. They should identify a particular situation or skill and seek to work on it repeatedly. Are the drills effective? Do you have the right degree of challenge? Are the drills realistic?
Well it's official...Sarah Ansboury will be in Fort Collins June 25-28 for an Exhibition, Clinics and Private Lessons. Watch for the schedule and sign-up information on nocopickleball.com
Northern Colorado Pickleball Members get early sign-up through June 6th and a discount to the fundraiser-exhibition. After that date registration is open to non-members. Sarah is a great teacher and member of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association.