I played back-to-back days again this week, and my Friday game was a higher-level matchup that was a ton of fun as Warkittens and I matched up with a pair that have won tournaments together, so it was encouraging and enlightening to see how we stacked up. However, about an hour into play, I tweaked my back pretty bad and had to limp (literally) through the next hour.
I thought I’d have to cancel my Saturday morning game upon finishing, but over the course of the day, my back felt a little better and aided by some quality company and quality Old Fashioneds Friday evening, I decided to power through and play Saturday morning.
I wasn’t full speed- far from it- but it wasn’t as bad as expected. Normally, I’m quick on my feet, but I knew I couldn’t be on this day without injuring my back more severely. Because of that, I was forced to slow down and try to be more precise (and less powerful) with each shot I did hit.
The result? It was the sharpest I’ve ever been in my shotmaking. Despite not hitting any 2 hand backhands (a go-to power shot for me from the baseline) due to my back, hitting fewer drives, and going after fewer “athletic” shots than normal, I had a really successful day.
There’s obviously a lesson in all this, and while it might have been a surprise to my familiar opponents to see me hit nothing hard, there’s probably a right balance in this for me in trying to weigh hitting the ball with power vs precision shot-making. I’ll be glad to take the pickleball court next time with a healthy back, but I’ll go into it with a more measured approach about the sorts of shots I want to hit to keep my opponents honest.