Playing Tip: Silent Partners are for Business
Silent partners may be good in business, and sometimes in marriage, but they do not make good pickleball partners.
Communication between partners helps avoid unforced errors that come when you expect something from your partner, and he doesn’t do it. The best partners move as a single force, together at the baseline, together at the net, together in strategy.
Yours and mine are the most important words you can exchange. Get used to it by trying to call every shot. Even if you agree in advance that the partner on the left will take the shots in the middle, you should still call them.
Bounce it should also be used frequently. This means you think the ball may be out and you are alerting your partner not to hit it until you see where it lands. If they are going for a shot close to the lines and you think it may fall in let them know that too!
When you are not side by side with your partner, give directional clues. Tell him or her to move up, or to go back when necessary. Shout switch when you are behind your partner and want her to cross to the other side.
Complimenting good shots and shaking off errors also helps pump up a partner and makes a stronger team. Watch the top doubles teams and most of them touch paddles after every point. I make it a point to look at my partner after every single shot.
So work at being a “Chatty Cathy” on the court.
Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question post it in the comments below.
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