As you work to improve your game, perhaps you play in the Round Robin Challenges or tournaments... you will encounter players better than yourself, and players that are not at your skill level. What to do?


CJ Johnson, a pro player, gives tips for both types of players in this VIDEO.


How do higher skill players get better by playing with lower skill players?

Try this. Hit half the shots to each player. Give them a shot they can handle easily. You are working on your speed and placement skills here. They should hit a ball back with some authority. That is good for you as you need practice hitting good shots. Give them some easy shots up around their shoulders. Let them slam you. If you are so good, get them back. Don’t even try slams or put away shots. The idea is for them to return the ball so you can work on your skills. Or, tell them you are going to hit all your shots slow and into the NVZ. You need the practice from all over the court. They will be able to return most of those. The lower skill players become your training team. Fun and productive for all skill levels.


And you are being an Ambassador for Pickleball when you help others learn to play!

Aspen Kern, Pickleball Pro player, recently posted this story on Pickleball Forum. It's about being invitational to those who come to play Pickleball... it's about being compassionate. It's about being in a sport that welcomes everyone.


"Whenever the discussion about playing with other level players arises on the forum it usually heats up pretty fast, so I would like to mention something that happened to me years ago. I was drilling overheads with my coach (Dad) when 2 boys, probably 6 or 7 years old, came on the court and asked if they could join in. I knew my dad would say yes, he always does. One boy had glasses that kept falling off and if I remember right the other one had one shoe that was built up so he could walk better. They stayed for about 45 minutes and as usual my dad had us lose a game to them. When they walked over to their bikes one of them stopped and gave me a high five. On the drive home I mention to my dad that I thought I didn't get a good practice in and I felt cheated. He told me, today you practiced compassion, other days you practice hitting a yellow plastic ball, you tell me which is more important? He said he was more proud of me for giving that boy a high five than if I had hit 100 overhead winners. Now when I think I only have time to play with my "level" I remember the boy with the loose glasses and the boy with the thick shoe sole, and I find comfort in not taking the sport so serious that I lose touch with what is really important. Have some fun out there guys."