Progression in Pickleball and Life

I was reminded last night about the process of a sculptor. They start with a piece of clay, or a large block. No one can see what the end result is going to be except the image the sculptor has in mind. The sculptor may even map it out, but when you look at the piece of clay it isn’t something yet. Just a blob of nothing. As the sculptor lays their hands on material he begins with small strokes and movements.After many strokes the block may look more like a shape than anything else. This is important. After so much work the blob still doesn’t represent what the sculptor is trying to make it look like. Finally after many small movements and strokes, the nose may become visible. The piece still doesn’t look right, but you can recognize the nose. Then more time passes and an ear, eyes, mouth, hair, chin, neck, veins, specifics start coming out. Each one takes time and small strokes that don’t seem to amount to anything for a long time.

This is important because so many times in my life I get so frustrated with the fact that my pickleball game, my life, my character, my weaknesses, my goals seem to be the same as they were a month ago and nothing has changed from the work I have put into them. I then have a decision. Stop, and be finished, or keep going and wait for enough small strokes to have been completed in order to live long enough to see another piece be put back into place. That has been my experience. When I keep pushing, keep trying, keep taking one more step, God always shows me the next result, but not until he has done enough strokes to what he is doing makes sense. I am usually too impatient to see it out before I start to worry and questions His judgement.

Keep pushing, keep working on the small footwork for a good backhand, keep working on your topspin serve, keep working on your dinks, keep working on your drive. It will ALWAYS come to fruition and become something better when you have a teacher who is showing you technique and then you practice, practice, practice. It is worth the fight.

What is your experience with small little progression steps and wanting to see the end result now and as you continued working on something you ended up seeing a small result that finally you could add to your game?


Sometimes, I feel like I am going backwards. I feel like I put in extra time by drilling or watching video and then I hit the courts and I forget everything.

The good thing is that I feel like I have more good days than bad. Little things that I learn start to get implemented and it makes a huge difference in rally or my serve.

One of the best feelings though is when someone comes to you and asks you to show them how you do a certain drop or ask what you would do in a certain situation because they are seeing that what you have been drilling on has been working.

I know that I have a long way to go and I may get really frustrated at times but the journey of where I want to be can be the most rewarding.