Everyone has an opinion on bangers- you love them, you hate them, you are one.
I’m here to tell you that if you’re of that last group, you’ve got it wrong.
I’ll tell you why- because there’s a reason that the best players in the world that fill up our weekend mornings and afternoons are masters at dropping the ball in the kitchen and tend to do so more often than not.
But you think you know better than Ben and Anna Leigh and Callie and Dekel?
Well, here are 3 reasons why you’ve got it wrong thinking banging is the way to play pickleball:
Pickleball is not a game of winners
You may think it is, but it isn’t. Watch high level pickleball: how many actual winners are hit? Very few, and when they are, it’s usually someone that caught the opponent guessing and took advantage.
If you’re out there slugging the ball and hoping to beat your opponent down the sideline, well- I hope you’re playing against me because if that strategy doesn’t work for people that get paid to play pickleball, it’s sure not going to work for you.
Pickleball is not a game for overpowering opponents
Or, I should say- if you’re successfully overpowering the people you play against, you need to level up and find a better game to play in.
You’re hitting a whiffle ball with an oversized ping pong paddle, and your opponents are at least 7 feet behind the net; the physics of all that just make in impossible to really overpower a decent player consistently.
We ARE starting to see some more emerging young players hit more balls hard, but if you’re reading this, I suspect you’re not one of them. If you’re playing against appropriately skilled players for your game, overpowering the other team is just a flawed strategy.
Tipping your hand about what you’re good/bad at
We’ve mentioned before that part of the reason the best players ARE the best players is because their opponents often don’t know what they’re going to do until they play their shot.
By consistently driving every 3rd, your opponent starts to get pretty used to what you’re going to do and how to handle it.
And you know what else?
All of your banging also tells them what you’re bad at and what you DON’T want to do. Not dropping and not wanting to play the short game is a clean indicator that it’s not a strong part of your game, and it’s all the more likely that a good opponent is going to draw you into a net game when they see your insistence on the 3rd shot drive.
Is this you? Stop it! Learn to drop and join the elegant chess game we all love and enjoy.
Until next time…