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
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.