by Sarah Ansboury
Tennis to Pickleball: Play Pickleball!
The reason I have grown so quickly in pickleball is because of the adjustments I have made to differentiate the two games. When I’m playing tennis I am playing tennis. When I am playing pickleball I am playing pickleball. My mindset and my strategies are very different. When I get to make that big swing to put the ball away on the pickleball court I LOVE IT! But I need to put the work in on my dinks and patience to be able to get that reward.
Tennis to Pickleball: Slow it DownI see a lot of bang-bang, back and forth with tennis converts. And though this may initially be disarming to some pickleball players, bang-bang doesn’t win as you advance to the higher levels. Learning how to slow down the ball and force your opponents to make mistakes is critical to pickleball success. Most tennis players realize that errors, rather than winners, determine the outcome of most tennis matches. This is even more true in pickleball. Patience and strategy is absolutely required when you are transitioning from tennis to pickleball.
I have so many tennis players turned pickleball students saying, “I don’t want to learn to dink.” When this happens, if I can’t dissuade them, we will play a few points and I will dink against them. Suddenly they can’t get the ball back and they realize that this is a new shot that they need to master. If you need to improve your dinking, watch this video.
Tennis to Pickleball: Paddle Position & Footwork While tennis experience with ground strokes and volleys is extremely valuable, there are still adjustments to be made.
About Sarah -A 5.5 tennis player, Sarah exemplifies the new generation of cross-over players that are changing the face of pickleball. Sarah’s prowess as a pickleball player became recognized nationally during 2015, her break out year. After winning Gold and Silver at the September 2015 Tournament of Champions, Sarah became the one to watch. She followed these impressive wins with four medals at the USAPA National Tournament later that fall: Gold, Women’s Doubles Open with Gigi LeMaster Gold, Women’s Doubles Age (19+) with Gigi LeMaster Silver, Women’s Singles Age (19+) Bronze, Women’s Singles
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