IVGID tip of the week: Talk more to improve your pickleball score
May 20, 2017
Partners that communicate on the court play better pickleball and score more points.
The pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court, so it's easy to get in each other's way, plus the speed of the game makes it hard to keep your eye on the ball and also on the court lines. Good communication can help keep both players positioned properly, and allow partners to avoid hitting balls that would have been out.
Longtime partners will develop their own communication styles and lingo. However, it's helpful to have some common terms that will allow you to communicate on the court with different partners. With that in mind, the calls below will help you learn the common language of pickleball:
"Let it go" means: I think the ball will be out. A helpful partner will call this when she sees you reaching for a bad shot from your opponents.
"Switch" means: I'm behind you, move to the other side. This is useful when your opponents lob over your partner and you can cover behind him.
"Mine" means: Get back in position; I've got this one.
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"Yours" means: I'm not going for it because you are in a better position to take it, or it's your forehand.
"Bounce it" means: Don't hit the volley, be patient. This can be a good reminder when you see your partner near the kitchen line or you think a short ball may be going wide.
"Forward" or "Move up" means: Reminds a partner to get to the kitchen line where most of the action is after the serve and return of serve.
"Good try" means: You missed it; don't do that too often or I'll be looking for a new partner!
Looking to practice your communication? Drop-in pickleball games can be found at the Incline Village Tennis Center every Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., and Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 4 p.m.