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On-Court Pickleball Rituals: How Do Yours Stack Up to the Pros?

by Guest Author on

One thing I always have to be on the pickleball court is…matching in a sporty outfit from headband to socks. Also, can’t forget warm-up stretches followed by a nice potent layer of cold spot muscle cream.

Court arrival banter and greetings commence, with a formation of hitting some balls.

Then it’s time to settle into games. In a world of distractions, we humans need some added rituals to ensure we’re present moment to moment.

It seems to serve the pros well:

ALW – Hypes herself up with a pep talk and shouts of “right now!”

Ben Johns – Eventually, the hat goes backwards. His razor sharp dominant eyebrows must help him stay hyper-focused on tracking the ball while subconsciously planning his next sandwich.

Lea Jansen – Frequently taps her trigger points with that determined look in her eye...

Papa Jimmy – CONSTANTLY bouncing. You can almost see the ripples of energy he’s creating! His shirt is like a jellyfish out of water and I can’t unsee it.

Tyson McGuffin – Loud outfits to match his colorful court presence.

Here’s what some of you had to say about your own on-court rituals:

  • Before I serve, I talk to the ball. I tell her to behave and always side with me.
  • Visualize my serve because you only get one shot.
  • I slap my thigh with my paddle to get going!
  • I always tap myself on the butt before serving the ball. It helps remind me to stay low and throw my weight forward as I serve.
  • After each point, I reset my mind by walking to the baseline. If we're the serving team, I stay at baseline. If receiving, I walk to the baseline then walk forwards to the kitchen.
  • I usually walk in a semicircle by the baseline just before I serve. Bounce, Breathe, and Believe

Read Next: The Lifecycle of a Pickleball Player: Defining Your Progression

It's important for everyone to have a ritual to clear the mind in that 20 x 44 box. Do what you gotta do to get in the right head space point by point.

Brittany McMullen was introduced to pickleball in February of 2023, which has impacted her life positively ever since. She currently resides in Ohio and when not in a game can be found weight training, practicing yoga, reading, and cooking up whole food, plant-based meals.

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