Have Fun Winning

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Have Fun Winning

A friend recently explained to me that she would not play in tournaments because she did not want to become "that kind of player".

Another friend asked what to expect in his first tournament, and I suggested that he might be quite surprised by the never-before-seen changes in his partner's behavior, and perhaps even in his own.

I watched an early-round pro game recently where a relative newcomer and a couple of seasoned veterans went head-to-head not only on the court, but vocally and personally.

So what happens to us when we step on the court for a tournament game, as opposed to suiting up for the hundreds of casual recreational games we play?

And where do we draw the line?

I am sure we all agree that tournaments demand a higher level of intensity. But does that mean we have to become jerks and lose all respect for the game and our opponents? I hope not.

If you want to chest-bump and yell "Come'on!", that's usually OK, but you might want to be sure that you've earned that right. If you're on a court with the best players in the world and you are still working your way up, then you might want to think twice about putting on a display after winning a rally. One good shot hasn't earned you the right to show off, and it will probably just inspire your opponents. And do NOT make it personal by staring down your opponents. Respect is key.

And if you hit one of the better players - for gawd's sake apologize.

Prove that you belong on the court with the better players by demonstrating your skills and sportsmanship, not your ability to be a jerk.

Work hard, play hard, respect the game, respect your opponents, don't be a jerk, and above all else - have fun.

See you on the courts.

Michael Gauthier
‚ÄčNDY (Not Done Yet)

Michael Gauthier

Michael Gauthier

Owner, Pickleball Strokes

These pickleball tips and insights have all been previously published on Facebook, but not everyone gets to see all of those. So this is the official and complete home for all of my pickleball writings.  

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