Friday, January 28, 2022

Empty or Full

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Photo by Wayne Clark

We have all heard the expression, “Your glass is either half empty or half full.” This phrase relates to a person either having a positive or negative attitude. 

In one form or another, this mentality exists in all of us. It impacts how we deal with and handle issues on all levels of our lives.

As for me, I am a very positive attitude person and my attitude is, “The more empty my glass is, the more I have already experienced, and the more that it needs to be refilled with new experiences!”

So, if you are like me, how do we deal with playing against negative attitude individuals?

There are actually two types of negative personalities. I refer to them as either negative/negative or negative/positive.

If I find myself playing against a negative attitude opponent, the first thing I do is analyze their body language to determine which type they are.

Someone who is negative/negative will generally have body language which is somewhat self-contained. They generally pace back and forth or around in circles and are constantly bickering with someone (mostly themselves) and always seem to be talking to themselves.

The best strategy against this type of opponent is to just allow them to self-implode.

Someone who is negative/positive will generally have body language that is not so much self-contained, but much more in your face! They are way above bickering and talking to themselves; they find the need to comment on everything to everybody. They will usually attempt to engage you and include you in their argumentative attitude.

Do not engage with this opponent!

The more you begin to interact with this person, the less attention you are paying to yourself.

With that said, while you don’t want to engage with them verbally, don’t be afraid to “give them the look!”

As we all know, the worst feeling in the world is when we get “the look and the silent treatment” after a tiff with a spouse or a loved one.

Also, don’t allow them the privilege of running the show. 

For instance, if you are the serving team, begin the next point as soon as possible. Don’t give this person time to rant and rave.

Most importantly, stay focused on yourself, your game, and your strategy.

My last advice on this subject is that unfortunately, in recreational rotational play, we are sometimes faced with having a negative attitude partner. Let’s all remember that recreational pickleball play is a social activity and players should save their game face for tournament competition.

(Refer to my previous column “To Be or Not to Be”).

One of the best things about the sport of pickleball is that it is the only sport which I have ever participated in, win or lose, whoever I have played with and competed against, at the end of the day, I always have a smile on my face!

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, or by phone or text at 239-450-61.

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