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Friday Night Fun

Posted on August 16, 2021 by under Community, Hobbies.    

I know my definition of fun is probably way different than most. Brian likes to play video games for fun. Some people like to drink for fun. As for me, I just want to play pickleball. And so that’s exactly what I do on Friday nights every weekend.


I keep a pretty predictable schedule. Every Friday I try to hit the open play at Nahola before our 7 PM private group reservation that way I can get almost four solid hours of play on the weekends.


This past Friday, my friend Ramon was in town. There were also several others who don’t normally come who played. It was a busy night for open play.


I didn’t mind it too much because I knew that I would have my two hours after open play when it’s just our group of ten. I like this format because, even though we have two players waiting, the wait is never too long. And when I’m winning, I never have to wait because winners always stay and split. I’ve been playing pretty well the last few months to where I rarely ever lose. Most times I win and only lose when certain match ups happen. I can even win with Eric sometimes, which a year ago would never have happened.

I haven’t had any pickleball lessons in months but I have been playing a lot and since I’ve been playing with various people I’ve often found myself just standing around and not getting hit the ball. This used to frustrate the heck out of me before I knew how to help my partner. Over time I started to figure out what to do to ensure that I also get the ball sometimes.

It used to be I would just give up and hope that the game would end as quickly as possible, which was never any fun. With my new approach, I actually get to play some and even win some games too despite being on the weaker team.

So what am I doing differently? I’m sure you’re wondering. Amazingly enough, all I’ve changed is where I position myself on the court. If my partner is getting 80-90% of the balls, then I start putting myself smack dab in the middle at T. Believe it or not, this makes a huge difference because then it considerably shrinks the other team’s target. Now, instead of having half of the court as their target, their target has diminished to a third or a quarter of the court. This helps me and my team because then I get more of the court so balls will actually come my way sometimes and I can get be part of the rally. And, if they do force the issue and continue to target my partner, since their target is much smaller they are more likely to hit the ball out which earns my team either a point or a sideout.

This new strategy has been super effective and I’m actually winning more on Friday nights. Whereas before, whenever I would get paired up with certain people then I would just rollover and take the loss and wait for the next game. Now, the games are way closer and sometimes my team even wins!

The only downside of getting used to playing this way is sometimes I forget to switch back to normal mode when I’m actually paired up with someone good and I’m taking up too much of the court when I should be. LOL. Now that I know what to do when playing with a weaker partner, I just need to learn to adjust when I’m with a strong partner. Rec is always hard because you’re constantly playing with different people. I like it when I get to play with the same people on a regular basis because then I can get used to how they play and they can get used to how I play and we begin to build that rapport and chemistry on the court. There are some people I just cannot play with, though. Like, that chemistry isn’t happening, no matter what. Thankfully, none of those people are in my regular play groups.


This past weekend was special because my friend Ramon came to visit. It’s kind of a bummer that he didn’t get to play in Rocky Mountain Championships but that was good news for me because then he got to spend time in Wichita. He played in the Nahola open play and then hung out and joined us for dinner after.

I don’t usually go out to dinner with the Friday night crew because I have to teach Aqua Zumba on Saturday mornings but I made an exception this time around. It’s okay to deviate from routines sometimes, specially when friends come to visit.

This is all for now but stay tuned for a few more posts from this weekend. GNG.

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