Elevate is a really cool area on this forum that allows us to work with each other to help progress our game and uplift each other. Guys, this is one of my favorite points I have ever caught on camera, but it is far from perfect and I would love to have you dissect it and help me learn how to analyze my play and improve. I am in the red. Those of you who have experience @Jonny_Pickleball @tylerloong @suzeeanderson13 please help show us how to do this! Any advice would be appreciated!
Any advice would be great!
OK I will take a crack at it. I am by no means an expert on this, but got to start somewhere. I am mostly looking at you @PickleballPhil. Overall I think you and your partner played a very conservative game with only a few observations.
First thing I noticed was the drift into the court after the serve.
You executed the lob great. It was deep and in the corner. Your partner was not so fortunate.
I noticed that the other team took advantage of 3 different series to attack from a ball that was to high. The first two were from your partner hitting the cross court dink to high/deep and left it up for the other team to attack. Those were both defended well. Nice resets. The last one was the missed lob. Tricky shot to get right for sure. I can see why to use the lob in this case. It looked like things were going to stay the same unless someone changed things up a little. Not a bad choice to get them out of position and maybe make a mistake or give you a juicy ball.
It looked like you and your partner were on defense while the other team was always looking for that attackable ball. You could see some twitching from the guy on the left when balls were close and he was thinking about it. There were only two balls that looked kind of attackable from your partner that he could have done more with, but it was more of a yellow light situation so no harm. But maybe at that level those are the kinda of shots that need to be given the green light
I did like that most every time you had a controlled dink it was to the opponents backhand. I also noticed that you all but once hit it to the guy in front of you, sometimes hit partner would come over to get it but it was very consistent to hit it to the player in front of you. I don’t know if that was a strategy or not. Just an observation.
WOW I did not expect to write all that. Hope that helps some.
That was a very good level of play. Those yellow light balls in my group is attack city! Very seldom do they let a ball go back for another dink when they can smack it at your throat. I would say your play was solid except that last shot which I do all the time by not getting on top of it. Check out Ben Johns tip video on how to hit a back hand roll to get that ball down. Still working on it myself.
@tbryson thank you for that feedback. Could you post the link to that video here?!?
@smcshinsky I love the feedback!! I agree there were som attack able balls we could have turned the tables. Especially when they were on the back line. I think we hit to the wrong person who was further back. I hit to Eric Gubler because it’s my belief that I want to hit to the better player 90% of the time when doing rec play!
first of all, cool idea, and thanks for posting. getting feedback is one of the keys to getting better. i haven’t been playing that long, so no PB expert, still learning daily. my background is tennis and squash, played tennis through college and a year on satellites and then played squash for a long time so i notice movement and positioning more than paddle technique. first, you’ve developed nice touch and consistency, strokes looks smooth and effortless. you appear to be a tall guy but also seem to be standing and moving a bit straight with respect to your legs, would suggest slightly bending your knees more consistently, think about being slightly more on the balls of your feet during rallies, allows you to be more nimble, move more quickly both side-side and up-back. a few times during the rally the middle opens up as your partner has moved to his right and you haven’t drifted over to cover the middle more. lastly, at times during the dink rallies you drop your racket, it’s pointing down or below your waist, think about holding it up. my racket sports background has allowed me to pick up pb so have gotten a chance to compete at 5.0/pro level and i’ve found when i’ve played better players they are so good at flipping the ball at your body and you just can’t react as well without your paddle up. you had some nice resets, but you hesitate to move back to the kitchen quickly, which is what i’ve noticed i’m doing. i’ll reset and watch it, instead of hitting it and moving up so am working on that. also, the lob was well executed and disguised. course, that’s only one point so probably over-analyzing but there you go
Hey @PickleballPhil! So here is some feedback:
1- You were tracking the ball well and keeping your paddle up and in front. That is why you were blocking and playing defense well in this point.
2- Nice lob! it was well placed. Maybe put a bit more leg into it next time to give it just a touch more height.
1- On your drive. It was a decent time to drive. I prefer to drive when the ball is bouncing more mid court and not bouncing near the baseline. It allows you to move your weight through and forward generating more power. You are closer to opponent so they have less reaction time. And you are less susceptible to having them hurt you with it bc you have given them less court and less angles to place the ball in. That said- You need to allow your weight to go forward through the ball. This shot looked like your weight went more around and up. You can tell bc you didn’t move forward on the court toward the net at all as you stuck the ball and followed through. this forward movement gives more power and also will help keep the ball lower. As far as placement- I would have placed it more up the middle as you had a chance to burn them in that opening.
2- The very last shot of the video is a great talking point! So often in pickleball our reflexes are faster than they need to be. The reason this ball went out is bc you were too early to the ball. You had extended your paddle forward rather than waiting for it to come into your contact zone. Because you reached forward your paddle face was open and the ball went high and out. Now we are all victims of this- I certainly am! I often laugh and say “Suzee, you were 18 years too early to the ball!” There is beauty in being relaxed and letting that ball come to you. I promise it will come to you. Let it get to your strike zone so your timing, paddle face, ability to extend through the ball are all there and ready to go.
Hit me up if you need any clarification on what I had to say.
BAM! This is what I’ve been looking for! Thanks @suzeeanderson13
@tbryson thank you so much for the feedback! I have been working on that backhand!
@Brainsdoc I’ve been paying attention and I do drop my paddle when I don’t feel like I’m in danger, which is when I will be in danger! Thanks
Although I spend a fair amount of time in Utah, I don’t believe I have been on the court with you, and I don’t believe you know me as an instructor, but since Suzee knows me and we both have worked under Sarah Ansboury, I’m happy to give input of a few of my observations. Suzee mentioned some great points, and I will expand on a couple of others.
Starting with the serve- were you serving from that point on the baseline on purpose? or did you just step up subconsciously and serve the ball in play. Pickleball is strategy and chess from the very beginning of the point. You have the ball in your hand, make it count. By serving from a point closer to the center T with a serve that did not put your opponent on defense, you instantly put yourself out of position. If you watch the flight of the service return, you had to reposition yourself back closer to the corner before you attempted your third shot. Every single shot should have a purpose, anticipating what reactions and position on the court you will most likely need from the ball returned by your opponent. If I see someone serving to me from closer to the T, my first thought, forehand or backhand is to hit an aggressive return to the corner. If I am successful, my opponent will be hitting a third, while they are moving to the side or hitting off their back foot, creating an instant opportunity for my partner to cut a ball off and end the point much sooner, or at least keep that deep person back.
You have quick hands, but you are tracking in too far towards the middle and not in a line of your space, which could leave you vulnerable with too much space with the right opponent, who will expose you being out of position with your backhand. You were too comfortable in the middle. There is a point when you use the strategy of covering the middle is off balance from covering the open space on your backhand. They did not expose this.
You had a great lob that pushed your opponent in the corner, and your partner allowed them back in the point by allowing the ball to drop in the kitchen and not taking a volley, hitting the ball right back to the deep person. Thus, your great lob play was not executed to completion. He could have stayed balanced and reached the ball as a volley.
Lastly, around 36 seconds, you let a ball drop in the middle, and took as a forehand dink. You had a nice dink with your forehand in the middle, out in front nicely and pushed it to your opponents forehand in the corner. His returned ball you allowed to bounce back in the middle, instead of anticipating and cutting it off with a backhand volley. You actually made contact with the ball as a dink too far “behind” you, not in front, on your heels a little, and lifted the ball just a little too high, your opponent cut it off as a volley, pushed it crosscourt, they gained control, and the point ended soon after, with you not being close enough to the line, and re-engaging with a backhand volley moving forward. Your body mechanic lifted up on the last shot, not forward and down.
So, my observation was more about court positioning and taking opportunities with purpose.
Hope that helped. Feel free to reach out any time.
I drop my paddle a lot…I will notice how often and try to remind myself to pick it up. It sometimes almost feels heavy even though it is only 8 oz or my Epic 7.5
Wow I think I have watched this point more times then I can count and every time someone makes a comment and observation I see something new.
Just want to give Kudos to @PickleballPhil for taking criticism so well, even though it is all intended to be constructive it can be hard to have your flaws pointed out to you
BUT, that is how we get better!
You’re Not just a spectator anymore, good buddy!
yeah, at higher levels always expect the next ball to come to you even if it doesn’t appear that way, especially when at the kitchen, even if it looks low and unattackable. played a bunch with barry waddell and he is so good at disguising where he’s hitting the ball when at the kitchen, really made me improve my preparation.
@PickleballVoyager thank you for that assessment. This is exactly what I was hoping for with this type of a clip. From the surface the point looks amazing, but the reality is if you look deeper there are things I neglect, but just can’t see. Since your post I have been paying attention to those things. I have a really hard serve, but at a higher level it’s not as beneficial and I think I gotcha on where I’m serving from based on where I want my serve to go.
As for the tracking middle, that is a HUGE issue I have. I have been working on it. It ends up being a problem for sure at times. Usually it’s when I feel like I have to help because I don’t trust my partner. The level I’m at now you HAVE to trust. So I’m working on my positioning for sure!
Thank you for that and would love to meet you and play some games with you here. I live In St George and would love to connect!
I am friends with Rob Davidson, teach with him some, and i play at Little Valley. I have a cousin a mile from the courts. I’m normally there every Huntsman Senior Games event. Steve Cole and I have won that the last 2 years. I love going to St George, and I love climbing Angels Landing. Look forward to meeting you. Cheers