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Many times while playing pickleball at Greenwood this winter I’ve told numerous members about needing to use Triple Vision when playing pickleball.


Peripheral vision (side vision) is the ability to maintain and interpret what is happening on the entire pickleball court while attending to the ball (central vision). Think of a wide receiver in football. When a pass is thrown in his direction, he must focus on the ball, be aware of the corner back or safety trying to prevent him from making the catch, and his feet in relation to the sideline. If he does not account for all three things, he won’t be consistently successful. This same principle applies to pickleball. A player must concentrate on the incoming ball, account for their position on the court and where their opponent position is across the net. All three are crucial for a player’s Triple Vision.


When you’re playing you need to know WHERE THE BALL IS. It’s a prerequisite that you must keep your eyes on the ball at all times; calculating its direction, trajectory, spin, speed and having a general idea of where the ball is going. This will allow you to be in the best position possible to adjust and strike the ball effectively off the bounce or in the air.


You also need peripheral vision, so you know the parameters of the pickleball court and WHERE YOU ARE in relation to it if you want your shot to land anywhere near your intended target. Are you at the baseline, in the transition zone, on the NVZ line, pulled wide outside the court’s parameters or even inside the kitchen itself. Peripheral vision is a necessity at picking this up along with where the ball is.


Lastly, you must know WHERE THE OPPONENT IS. Strategy requires us to judge what is happening to our opponent on the court and plan our shots accordingly. Did your opponent fail to follow their return to the NVZ (a gift)? If so, why hit a third shot drop when you can drive the ball either deep or at their feet at mid-court and take the offense. Did they hit an overhead and then stay at mid court? If so, drive a topspin ball at their feet in mid-court. Did your opponents follow their lob to the NVZ? If they didn’t there is no need for you to re-lob or attempt a drop shot into the kitchen, just drive it back and then take the offensive. Did they slide wide in tandem with their partner or did they leave a gap between them? These few examples can only be detected if you use your peripheral vision and have opponent awareness.


In conclusion, just remember that success always starts with a vision!


                         I’ll triple c’ ya on the Greenwood Courts. President Lueck

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