One of the worst things in pickleball is the feeling of getting stuck in your game.
For some reason, you’re not hitting shots, using the best pickleball technique the way you once did or maybe you’re not competing at the same level with the same people.
Today we’re going to cover one of the most important skills that can help with this. This skill is rarely talked about but if you use it, it can help you get unstuck and take your game to the next level.
Watch the full video here.
The Most Overlooked Pickleball Technique for Improvement
Learning certain shots and pickleball techniques is a good thing, but the first step to unlocking true growth and improvement is your awareness of what you need to improve.
For example, currently, you’re playing at a certain level and you’re aspiring to get better. In order to get from point a to point b, there are skills to learn and things to un-learn that will help you close the gap. It may sound simple, but self awareness of this skills gap and the steps to take can help in a huge way.
Self-awareness is an extensive topic, so to keep it brief and to make it immediately useful, we’ll look at how to uncover blind spots. Blind spots are things that other people know about you that you don’t know about yourself. The faster you can uncover blind spots in your game, the faster you can make a plan and improve.
Using the Johari Window for Your Improvement
The Johari window is a technique developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (hence: Joseph & Harry = Johari), which helps us understand how we are giving and receiving information. It can help to illustrate and improve the self-awareness between individuals and teams. The technique can also be used to change group dynamics within a business context.
The Johari window model was developed by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in the 1950s, while they were researching group dynamics. Today the Johari window model is especially relevant because of the modern emphasis on soft skills, behavior, empathy, cooperation, inter-group development and interpersonal development.
Interestingly, Luft and Ingham called their Johari window model Johari after combining their first names, Joseph and Harrington. In early publications the word actually appears as JoHari. The Johari window became a widely used model to understand and train self-awareness, for personal development, to improve communications, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, team development and inter-group relationships.
The Open Area
The Johari Window is a tool used by some organizations to help employees understand each other better. The Open Area represents the things that you know about yourself and that others know about you. This includes your behavior, knowledge, skills, attitudes and “public” history. The ideal Johari Window (see figure 2) has a large Open Area because it shows that you’re aware of your abilities and feelings, as well as those of others around you.
The Blind Area
The Blind Area represents things about yourself that you aren’t aware of, but that others know about you. For example, you might not realize that you’re using good or bad technique unless someone points it out to you.
It can also reveal deeper issues, such as feelings of incompetence or anger that you haven’t faced up to, but that others sense in you. A small Blind Area indicates that you’re aware of how your behavior affects other people, whereas a large Blind Area suggests that you may be naive or even in denial about it.
No one plays at their best when they’re “in the dark,” so it’s important to reduce the size of your Blind Area.
The Hidden Area
The Hidden Area represents things that you know about yourself, but that you keep hidden from other people.
You don’t need to share all of your private thoughts and feelings with people. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to reveal anything that would make you feel embarrassed or vulnerable. Withholding information is perfectly reasonable if it has no bearing on your work.
However, hiding information about yourself that is related to your performance could lead to others having less trust in you. So, if your Johari Window has a large Hidden Area, you could try to be more open with them.
The Unknown Area
Pickleball Technique #1: Record Yourself Playing
The most elite athletes in the world watch game film and have coaches for a reason.
As they pursue peak performance, they must have continual feedback on why plays go right or wrong, and how to remove any blind spots in their performance.
The same goes for you. One fast pickleball technique to get feedback on your game is to record yourself playing. It may feel awkward at first, but you will be surprised at how much you may learn just in a few seconds of watching. If you have a smartphone, use that. Record yourself in a game or two. You’ll want to look for themes throughout like unforced errors or your mechanics. If you’d like one of these phone tripods, you can get them below.
Pickleball Technique #2: Ask a Friend
Another easy pickleball technique for gaining awareness and removing blindspots is to ask a trusted friend to watch you play or to share what they see after a game. Give them a heads up before playing so they know to be watching. If you’re not exactly sure what to ask, my suggestion would be to ask two questions: What are you doing well? What is an area you can improve?
Pickleball Technique #3: Talk to a Certified Instructor
One pickleball technique to get more awareness of your game is to talk to a certified instructor. A good instructor can watch you play, give you detailed feedback on your pickleball technique, and even a plan on how to improve.
Pickleball Technique #4: Compete Against Better Players
Lastly, a great pickleball technique to improve your awareness is to go up against better players. Better players can be like spotlights for your game. They can quickly find your weak spots that you don’t know about and shine a light on them.
Which Third Shot Drop Tip was Helpful for You?
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