In my last two columns titled “Know Your Capabilities & Limitations” and “Look for A Pattern,” I discussed knowing our own capabilities and limitations and how to properly apply them during certain strategical patterns that develop during points. Along with all of that, we need to know our opponents’ capabilities and limitations and how they apply them as certain strategical patterns develop during points. As we participate in social rotational play at our local club, we usually find ourselves playing with the same people day in and day out.
Since we compete against these players on a daily basis, we should be very familiar with their capabilities and limitations. However, as we rotate from court to court, we still need to scout out our opponents on each rotation.
Personally, I find it easier to analyze an opponent whom I play on a regular basis than I do an opponent whom I have never played before, because I am familiar with their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their habits and style of play. I know what to expect from them and I know what buttons to push when I have them on the ropes and under pressure.
So, respect your opponents’ capabilities and take advantage of their limitations.
Most importantly, remember it’s called “social rotational play” for a reason. We are all there to spend time with our friends, make new friends, compete against one another, and just have fun!
Wayne Clark is a professional tennis instructor with over 25 years’ experience coaching players on all levels of the game. Wayne is also qualified in pickleball instruction and is on staff as an instructor with The Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida at East Naples Community Park. Contact Coach Wayne by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by or by phone or text at 239-450-6161.