Pickleball Therapy

I was reminded of an important concept speaking to one of our team members who is a volleyball player converted to pickleball.
The conversation went something like this (group setting):
Me:      “Hard to lob Emily as she can get up in the air.”
Emily:  “Yeah and I even like to jump when I do not have to.”
Me:      “I’ve seen it. Ball can be at Emily’s head height and she is full in the air smashing that ball.”
Emily:  “It makes me happy to jump like that.”
Me:      “Good point. Happiness is paramount (or words to this effect).”
As coaches, CJ and I are spend a lot of time devising and sharing actionable guidance about the framework, objectives, strategies, and shots that a player can use to play a really good pickleball game.
At the end of the day, we are playing a game. Or at least that is what it is supposed to be.
As you go through your growth process, it is important not to lose sight of this. A few examples:
1.     You want to learn that “killer” serve because every time you serve like that it puts a big smile on your face. Awesome. Then you should pursue that shot. Not because it is strategically significant, but because it makes you happy.
2.     You like hitting the ball hard. That is what makes you happiest in the world. Then, by all means, keep doing it. You may not be able to advance as far as a player as you would if you added a soft game component. But as long as you understand that and are still happier hitting hard, then continue doing what makes you happy. That is paramount.
3.     If you like jumping to hit the shots (it makes you smile), then continue doing it.
There is nothing wrong with playing pickleball in a way that makes you happy. And there is nothing inconsistent with understanding that X is better for you but choosing to do Y because you want to. It is no different than enjoying a doughnut or other sweet treat even though we know that is not what a dietitian would probably advise.
If you like this sort of conversation, join me inside Pickleball Therapy. It is a podcast. And it is available everywhere, even on YouTube.
I’ll see you there.

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What is Pickleball Therapy?

The podcast dedicated to your pickleball improvement. We are here to help you achieve your pickleball goals, with a focus on the mental part of your game. Our mission is to share with you a positive and more healthy way of engaging with pickleball. Together let’s forge a stronger relationship with the sport we all love. With the added benefit of playing better pickleball too. No matter what you are trying to accomplish in your pickleball journey, Pickleball Therapy is here to encourage and support you.

[00:00:00.700] - Speaker 1
Hello and welcome to Pickleball Therapy, the podcast dedicated to your pickleball improvement. I am your host, Tony Roig. Hope you're having a great week. As we dive into this podcast, if you happen to be watching this on YouTube, and if you don't know, we do have a YouTube channel called Pickleball Therapy, where you can see this podcast. Let me know in the comments below if you like this hat that I'm sporting. It's a killer hat. I'm planning on wearing it whenever I'm teaching. I think it covers half the universe. I'm going to take it off now because it's the best thing to wear indoor. But I love the hat, and Let me know in the comments. Do you like it? Don't like it? Whatever. I'm probably going to get one with a logo on it and everything, so pretty excited about it myself. This week's podcast, we're going to be covering three topics. It was going to be two, but then I had a conversation with one of our team members, and she said something that made me think, You know what? That's something we haven't talked about in a minute, so we're going to have a three-subject today.

[00:00:52.370] - Speaker 1
We're going to start off by talking about things that make you happy. You're going to like that. I think, should make you happy. Then we're going to talk about In the main section, we're going to talk about Self One, Self Two. It's from The Inner Game of Tennis by Tim Galway, one of the seminal books in the area of mental training, and something that we're adding another wrinkle to it inside our book coming out in the, hopefully, the next couple of months. But I'm giving you a sneak peek into the book by teeing you up with Self One, Self Two. Then in the RIFF, we're going to talk about too much mental training. Is there such a thing? As we dive into the podcast, you You probably already know by now that we have a pickleball Academy that has courses that are specifically designed to meet you where you're at. If you have a specific concern that's going on in your game, it has all sorts of courses in there. The one that I wanted to talk about this week a little bit is one called Partner Play. I played this morning, and it's interesting to see that it's one of those situations, it was four players, and we rotate different partners.

[00:01:56.380] - Speaker 1
When you have a partner that you jive, it doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be exactly like you or that they're all ra-ra for you, even though that's good, too. It really changes the energy. It reminds me of this last weekend, one of our team members, Kylene, played in the tournament in the APP tournament in New York with her friend Jess, and they were hugging all the time, and the energy was so positive, and they ended up with a bronze medal. So that positive energy goes a long way, and that partner play is really helpful to understand how to play with a partner, because remember, when you're playing doubles, it is a team sport. All right, let's dive into the makes me happy. So this is a quick little section I wanted to do to remind us of that despite all the things that... Not despite, but keep context. So what happens is As a coach, as coaches, CJ and I are going to share with you concepts that we know will help you play amazing pickleball. We know that these concepts, big picture, will get the job done. They're effective strategies. That said, you got to be happy.

[00:03:09.030] - Speaker 1
You should be happy when you play pickleball. What I was reminded of was one of our team members played a lot of volleyball back in the day. Still plays a little bit, but more volleyball player before pickleball. She just loves jumping for balls. We joke with her about it, like when she's hitting a volley that's maybe around her shoulder, around her head, she still jumps up to hit it. Now, mechanically, is that the best thing to do? The answer is no, but who cares? We were talking about it, and she said, You know what? It just makes me happy. I was like, great reminder. If it makes you happy, please, by all means, continue doing it. As long as you understand why you're doing what you're doing, continue doing what you want to do. The other things are like, if you want to have a hard serve, you want to learn a kickout serve, you want to learn how to spend the ball because it makes you happy, that's fine. Now, if you're doing those things because you think they're strategically sound or because they're going to improve your play, then you're on the wrong path.

[00:04:05.580] - Speaker 1
As long as you're clear on why you're doing it, don't lose sight of being happy and adding things to your game that simply make you happy and make you smile. All right, let's dive into the heavy subject today. Tim Galloway wrote this book, Inner Game of Tennis. I want to say it might have been in the '70s, '80s, I'm pretty sure, the latest, but it was a seminal book on the mental game, on on any sports psychology. If there was anything going on back then, it was super academic and all that stuff. Tim Galloway wrote this book, The Inner Game of Tennis. It became so popular that it became like the inner game, the inner game of everything, inner game of golf, the inner game of this. I think they have an institute called The Inner Game. Anyway, one of the concepts that Tim developed, and he articulates in the book, which I would suggest is probably the most powerful concept or a couple of most powerful concepts in the book, is this idea of self-one, self-two. Basically, it's explained like this, so you can understand it. You're playing a match and you get an easy volley to put away, and bam, slam it into the net or hit it 5 feet out whatever your tendency is when you miss those type of shots.

[00:05:18.000] - Speaker 1
What happens a lot of times is there's a voice that pipes up and says, Tony, man, I can't believe you screwed that up. How did you mess that shot? What Tim says is Tim says, Well, hold on a second here. What's going on? Who's talking to who? There's only Tony on the court. Tony is the one who missed the shot. He says, You know what? It's going to be helpful if we start thinking about these two selves He calls these two parts of our self as self-one and self-two. Self-one, he calls the talking self. That's the self that is the one that said to you, Tony, or said to me, Hey, Tony, How did you miss that volley? And then self-two is the doer. So self-two is a part of you that actually hit the volley. The part of you that hit the ball is self-two. The part of you that talked about it is self-one. And the basic premise, I'm going to give you a real rough sketch here. If you want to know more, I can't recommend the book highly enough to you. If you're on a serious mental journey, the book is really good.

[00:06:20.010] - Speaker 1
I'll tell you where to get it at the end of this section because I'm going to give you a place where you can get a lot of things that will help you with your game, including this book. But the The idea is this. So self-two is the part of you that actually does the things that gets you through the day. If you want to think about it, think about self-to this way. So this morning, you woke up at some point and you got out of bed and If you're my age, you probably went straight to the bathroom, or you went to get a cup of coffee or a glass of water, whatever you do the first thing in the morning. Self-two did that for you. Self1 didn't really need to get involved too much. It's not like you need to get up in a bed and go like, Gee, I need to go to the bathroom. Where's the bathroom in my house? Self2 just autopilots you from your bed to wherever you're going next. At some point, Self1 will activate, Well, what do I have on the calendar today? Or whatever. But Self2 is doing a lot of the work for you.

[00:07:15.680] - Speaker 1
Another way that we like to explain it is when you get somewhere in your car, usually you open your car door, you put out your left leg first, probably, if you're the driver, and then your right leg, and then you stand up, and then you start walking. Left, right, left, right, left, right. But you don't really have to say anything to yourself. It seems silly, right? To go left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. So that's self-two. Self-two can do a lot of stuff. If you think about it in the pickleball context, think of someone who you know who's never played a racket sport before, never held any ping-pong paddle, tennis racquet, racquet ball, nothing. You take that friend of yours out to the pickleball court with you, and you hand them a pickleball paddle and a ball, and you say, I'd like for you to hit the ball in that direction. You point to the other side of the court. As you say, I want you to make the ball bounce over there. It may take them a few tries, but without any additional instruction action, your friend is probably going to be able to hit a ball over the net into the other court with no training, no hold the paddle like this, no nothing.

[00:08:23.630] - Speaker 1
That is self-two. The key takeaway here is self-two is extremely capable. Self-two is extremely and capable and can do a lot for you. Now, what happens when we play is self-one gets involved. Self-one is not a bad thing. Self-one can be a bad thing. We'll talk about that. But self-one is not by itself, just by its nature, a bad thing. In this situation, let me go back to the missed volley. There is a positive role for self-one to play. I went over, I missed the volley. So that's self-two missing the volley. It's fine for self-one to tell self-two, Hey, your paddle angle when you hit the ball might not have been correct, or maybe you didn't take a full step over. We have a video coming out on the IntuPickle channel on YouTube, probably the next few weeks, but it's already canned. We're just waiting for it to be published. That has to do with that. It has to do with not taking a step over missing bolleys. That's a frame of self-one can help provide to self-two. Because then what happens is then you can correct the error that you're making in your shots.

[00:09:29.760] - Speaker 1
The danger with self-one is when it keeps going and going in an unproductive way. The example, going back to the Bali, is starts off by, Tony, I can't believe you missed that bolleys. Fine. Then it says, Tony, you're an awful big wall player, or, Tony, you suck, or, Tony, you always missed that shot, something like that. Not helpful, just negative and damaging. Then it keeps going. Tony, all of your friends laughing at you for missing that shot. Your partner can't believe you missed that shot. I can't believe you missed that shot. How can you show your face around here and play like that? You don't deserve to play on this court. I know I'm going extreme, but I'm going to tell you something, this is not unheard of for pick-a-ball players out there to have a self-one that just keeps going and going and going. Cj talks about it being like a three-year-old with a knife running through the house. That's the danger of self-one. Just being aware that you have this self-one, self-two is very empowering because what happens is you'll find yourself having this conversation, and then you can use your conscious mind to say, Well, self-one, what's happening here?

[00:10:43.280] - Speaker 1
What's going on? Is this really necessary? You can recognize why the negativity is happening because it's a self-one that's criticizing self-two. Now, I'm going to give you one way to strengthen self-one. There's a lot of different techniques, and the Inter game of Tennis will give you some techniques on how to quiet self-one down while you're playing. But one way that you can get self-one under control more is to work on self-two. And what I mean by that is if you practice, right? So let's say that you've hit that same volley a million times. Same exact volley, right? A million times. Self-two knows what to do. Self-one is probably going to shut the heck up, right? Because self-one goes, self-two has got this under control. Now, if you've only hit two of these before and you're nervous about it and you're unsure about the shot and whatever, that gives Self-1 a lot more power, right? Self-1 says, I don't know about Self-2. If Self-2 is ready for this for prime time yet. So Self-1 is going to be a lot more willing to opine about what's going on out there. That's an overall technique that you can use to manage your self-one, self-two.

[00:11:57.920] - Speaker 1
But I'll tell you that just knowing that these things are happening with you. You can play around with it. Just next time you have something said to yourself by yourself, at least now you know who's talking. Hey, self, one, what's going on? Why are you not talking to me? Hopefully, that'll help you with that framing yourself a little better. That's something that we really dive into into the book, is understanding yourself as a pickleball player, because you're at the center of your own story, right? We need to understand the principal actor, the principal protagonist in the story. I told you that I would I'll tell you where to get the book. If you go to betterpickleball. Com, we have a resources page. I'll put a link in the show notes as well. But if you just go to our website, betterpickleball. Com, there's a resources page. You'll find a bunch of resources on there, including the mental The mental books, right? The mental training books that we recommend, including The Inner Game of Tennis, Coach Pete's great book, Compete, Learn, Honor, a really good book by Josh Watz, Whiteskin, I think, winning other reason on there.

[00:12:56.270] - Speaker 1
There's the Sports Psychology for Dummies by Dr. K They're all on there. There's a link to an Amazon page for most of them. There is an affiliate commission, affiliate relationship on that page, but it doesn't affect you at all. Like I know, you're paying the same exact price for the item, but you help support our podcast, our YouTube channels, everything that we're able to offer without cost to to pickleball players all over the world. In addition on there, there's also other things like training aids. There's a whole bunch of links on there. Anytime you use one of those links, there's a Total Pickleball link on there. If you need a paddle or something like that, you go to Total Pickleball. Again, nothing changes for you, but it helps the podcast and it helps all of the betterpickleball. Com resources that we try and provide to as many players as possible. If you can use that, that would be awesome possum. All right, we're going to talk in the RIF. But before I dive into the RIF, if you get a minute to rate and review the podcast, that would be fantastic. Every other podcast or so, we'll some shoutouts, so we'll read a few of the reviews.

[00:14:02.450] - Speaker 1
We did it in the last podcast. We'll do it in the next podcast. Let us know how we're doing, and we'll include it in the podcast for everybody to listen to. All right, in the RIF, I want to talk about mental training. I gave you four or five mental training books. I told you that we're writing one. I wrote a post on the Facebooks about the mental game, and about some pro players who had had some break Sounds. If you want to read that, if you go to... Actually, if you're not in there yet, go to our... We have a Facebook community group. It's called the Better Pickleball Community. Go into there on Facebook, join the community. It's very well run by our team, meaning no trolling. We are on top of that. We make sure that things don't get out of control because there are some folks out there who are almost like professional trolls, and they just go out there and Why? Life's short. We don't need that. But anyway, if you go in there, you can read the whole post about the pros and what happened and things like that. But one of the comments was by a gentleman who sometimes does these comments.

[00:15:13.430] - Speaker 1
I don't know what the point of him is, but he basically says, because I said at the end of the post, I said, There's no such thing as too much mental training. And the comment was, I do believe there can't be too much mental training. No idea. Larry's his name. It's public. It's on Facebook. No idea what Larry's talking about there. If it's not a trolling thing or some weird humor thing, it's just nonsense. But it got me thinking. I like this idea of there's too much mental training. I would suggest to you that most of us have way too little mental training. The power of the mental part of this game is just... I can't properly communicate it to you. In the few minutes I have left on on this episode. I may not have the words to communicate it, even on a 20-minute episode. But I can tell you, personally, it has changed how I view pickleball. It's changed my life in terms of how I interact with others. I would suggest you that it is the most valuable use of your time. If you had 10 minutes, and you could spend those 10 minutes on working on your third shot drop, or on your volley, or on your mental game, if that's all you have is 10 minutes, work on your mental game.

[00:16:27.080] - Speaker 1
Because not only will you get the benefits of playing better, however you're hitting the balls, you're going to play better because your mind will be clear and focused, and you're just going to feel better and you're going to live a better life. Look at some of the resources that I mentioned to you. Go to that page that I mentioned to that. It's in the show notes. Find a resource that calls out to you. Write something. You go, You know what? This is what I like the cover of this book. Any of the books that are on the list are going to help you. I like the cover of this book. Boom. Easy decision. Start reading that book, and then when you're done with that read the next book because I'm going to stand by what I said. There is no such thing as too much mental training. All right, that's it for this week's podcast. I hope, again, you're having a great week. I hope you're getting ready for a great weekend. Be on the look out for emails from us about our upcoming summit and some additional academy courses. As always, if there's anything we can do for you, you can always reach out to us, support at betterpickupall.

[00:17:26.370] - Speaker 1
Com. We're happy to be a part of your pickleball journey, and we look forward to doing more with you. As I forgot to mention at the beginning, this podcast is part of the betterpickupall. Com Network of Resources, and we are dedicated and serious about trying to help as many pickleball players as we can, have the strongest relationship they can along their pickleball journeys. As always, if you enjoyed the podcast, please share with your friends. Remember, if you enjoy the podcast, they probably will, too. I hope you have a great week, and I'll see you next time.