I coach pickleball lessons but I still also coach a lot of tennis lessons.
And I’ve come to observe that improvement doesn’t happen the way most people think.
I work with a player that is a highly ranked junior national tennis player. She is very talented and will easily get a scholarship to a top Division I school if she wants to.
I started working with her about a year ago and she already came with a lot of positive attributes.
Good serve, pretty good forehand and volleys, all of which could be built up more and become reliable weapons.
Her one glaring weakness was her two-handed backhand groundstroke.
Now, to put it in perspective, a lot of adult rec players would kill to have a backhand like hers but to have success at the level she’s aspiring to, it needed to get A LOT better.
She could often win without it but not against the top girls that knew how to expose it. Her backhand would get picked apart.
She wanted to break through that barrier and this is one of the major tasks I was assigned with along with improving her game overall.
So, we went to work on everything, and for a few solid months, we worked on her backhand a majority of the time.
We worked on every aspect: shortening the backswing, contact point more out in front, more racket drop, aggressive/neutral/ offensive footwork patterns. etc…
We worked on every possible shot variation that she would have to face with her backhand. At her level, nuance matters and we covered it all, repeatedly.
That went on for months and months. I think about 6 months.
During those 6 months, she was still playing tournaments and having success but in the end, her backhand would still fall apart.
Despite that, I wasn’t worried at all.
You see, to the untrained eye, it seemed as though her backhand wasn’t improving all that much but I KNEW that it was.
I was starting to see flashes of excellence in it.
And though they were fleeting moments, shifting was happening, she just didn’t have full command of it yet and I fully expected that before we ever embarked on the backhand project.
Others would look at it (including her Dad) and say…”oh, it’s erratic”
It was, and I was THRILLED about it because although it was few and far between, she COULD hit a great backhand which she couldn’t do AT ALL before.
That’s progress and we kept working…
…the flashes kept coming, still infrequently but definitely more…
…and we kept working…
…some bad days
…this went on and on. (for about 6 months)
Then one day, we were having a lesson and the flashes weren’t flashes anymore, she was hitting good backhands most of the time.
In competition too!
And I asked her “you know, your backhand has looked rock solid these past couple of weeks, how does it feel to you?”
She said “it feels great!”
I said “oh yeah, and when did that happen?”
She said “I’m not sure but it just clicked in at some point recently and I feel like I have a good backhand now”
And that’s how it happens.
She literally can not go back to her old backhand now because it’s been totally re-programmed.
We successfully “upgraded her backhand software”.
And it took many months and A LOT of focused effort over those months to make that shift.
When you’re trying to improve a stroke, it’s important to remember that…
…at times, it seems like it’s not improving at all despite the fact that you may already have many hours, days, weeks or even months of training into it.
The problem is with the word “seems”. It may seem like it’s not improving but the truth is much more likely that it has improved, just not as much as desired.
Because we all want things to happen NOW.
And it just doesn’t work that way.
You have to be relentless.
Improvement is simple but it’s not easy.
You only need 2 things:
1) Knowledge of the right way to do it
2) Relentless belief, persistence and training until transformation is complete
Jordan and I can supply you with #1 and we do so every day on our Youtube channel.
And only you can bring #2 to the table.
Having the ability to place your groundstrokes anywhere you want on the court will have a dramatic positive effect on your pickleball game no matter if it’s in singles or doubles.
In this video we’ll show you how you can get more depth and directional control on both your forehand and backhand side no matter if you hit your bachand with one or two hands or if you are hitting slice or topspin.
Get our free 3rd shot course here! –> 3rd Shot Drop Course