We are just over halfway through National Pickleball Month. What are you doing to celebrate the sport? 🎉
We are celebrating by not only playing as much as our legs will let us, but also giving you the best pickleball tips, strategies, news, stories, and more. Let's dive right in! 👏
#1. HOW TO WIN BY MAKING YOUR OPPONENTS MAKE FORCED ERRORS
At some point, pickleball players master their skills enough to be able to consistently get the pickleball back over the net and in between the lines of the court. In other words, pickleball players will consistently reduce or even eliminate their unforced errors. So, in order to win against these pickleball players, you need to turn to forced errors.
Click here to learn how to make your opponents make forced errors with good play yourself and win more pickleball games. 💪
#2. PICKLEBALL MEETS NASCAR
Pickleball has infiltrated NASCAR, as the Toyota Supra driven by Ryan Truex was emblazoned with a giant “Shop USAPickleball.com” paint job in Martinsville, Virginia, as part of NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. In honor of this historic paint job, Pickler writer, Frank Cerabino, draws a unique comparison between the two sports - pickleball and NASCAR.
Click here to learn how similar or different these two sports really are. 🏎
#3. 5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR PICKLEBALL PADDLE SPEED
When pickleball players think about increasing paddle speed, they have a tendency to take bigger backswings and wilder swings in an effort to swing faster and harder. This becomes counterproductive. Big swings actually slow you down, and wild swings lead to too many errors on the pickleball court. Rather, to increase your pickleball paddle speed, try these 5 tips! 👋
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Do you want to set sail (without leaving pickleball behind)? 🛳
#4. MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET: TENNIS THE MENACE 🎾👹
Have you read the recently published rant against pickleball, "Thanks, I Hate It: Pickleball"?
Well, we here at Murmurs from the Losers’ Bracket feel compelled to respond to this delicious rant (*for those new to Murmurs, this is a humorous tongue-in-cheek opinion piece - don't take us too seriously... we are trying to have fun, just like we do on the pickleball court).
Click here to have a laugh with Pickler writer, Frank Cerabino, as he responds to a devoted tennis player that hates pickleball. 🤣
#5. PICKLER THE PODCAST - MIT SENIOR LECTURER & SPORTS EXPERT, BEN SHIELDS, TALKS PICKLEBALL
Sports expert, Ben Shields, brings a new perspective to the sport of pickleball on Pickler The Podcast's latest episode with co-hosts, Stacie Townsend and John "The People's Champ" Davison. Shields, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, focusing on digital transformation and innovation in the sports, media, and entertainment industries, shares his expertise in the sports industry and sports business in order to help pickleball reach its highest potential. Tune in to this must-hear conversation with Shields! 🎧
Do you have any ideas for a guest? 💡 Let us know by emailing email@example.com!
And, don't forget to subscribe to Pickler's YouTube page, so you never miss another Pickler video - whether it be a podcast, pickleball tip video, or other can't-miss video.
#6. QUICK TIP - SLIDE WITH YOUR PARTNER
On the pickleball courts, it is imperative that you stay linked with your partner and work together as a team. 🤜🤛 If you move right a few steps, your partner should move right a few steps. If your partner moves left a few steps, you should move left a few steps. If you and your partner do not stay linked and do not move in tandem, you will find yourselves leaving large open spaces for your opponents to take advantage of, or may miss opportunities for easy put away shots (which does not happen to pickleball pro, Riley Newman, in the video below 👇, as he properly slides with his partner, Matt Wright).
To note, you may have to leave some open space on the sidelines of the pickleball court. However, any open space on the sidelines is a low percentage shot (in other words, a difficult shot) for your opponents, and your opponents will risk hitting the pickleball out of bounds. You will cover more room on the pickleball courts by staying linked and be much more successful as a team—like the pickleball pros in the video above.
#7. RULES REFRESH - YELL AT YOUR OWN RISK
Distractions… we get a lot of questions of whether something is a distraction or not on the pickleball court. These can be tough questions to answer because whether something rises to the level of a distraction is ultimately a “facts and circumstances” analysis. And, whether something is a distraction is important because a distraction results in a fault and a loss of the rally.
So, let’s give an example… do you see (or, better yet, hear) the distraction in the video below? 🗣
As a reminder, you may not distract an opponent when the opposing team is about to play the pickleball. One type of distraction would be yelling at your opponent as your opponent is about to go for a shot, as Anna Leigh Waters did in the video above. As shown in the video, Anna Leigh quickly ended the rally and agreed that, although unintended, she distracted her opponents with her premature yell of celebration. So, Anna Leigh (and her women’s doubles partner and mother, Leigh Waters) committed a fault and lost the rally.
To summarize... Distractions are prohibited. Yelling at your opponent that is about to hit the pickleball would likely constitute a distraction. However, be aware that this is a “facts and circumstances” analysis and there are some circumstances where this may not rise to the level of a distraction (for instance, with certain forms of team communication). So, exactly what is, and what is not, a distraction may be tough to concretely identify around the edges.
For a deeper breakdown on all of the rules of pickleball, check out Pickler's Ultimate Guide to the Rules of Pickleball.
Have you had an interesting rules issue on the pickleball court? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.
Check out this review of Pickler's My Pro Pickleball Coach pickleball video collection, which features Coach Steve Kennedy in over 140 video lessons (or over 7 hours of lessons!), as well as a corresponding e-book, that breaks down every aspect of the sport of pickleball, including pickleball mechanics, fundamentals, strategy, advanced concepts, and drills:
Click here to learn more about the best value in online video lessons and improve your pickleball game now! 🔝
#8. HEADLINES FROM THE COURT
Serving up your latest pickleball headlines... 🗞
- A woman is wanted in the Punta Gorda, Florida community for stealing about $200 of pickleball equipment from another's garage. Lock up your pickleball equipment, folks...
- The largest collegiate pickleball tournament took place in the last couple weeks, where colleges in the Southeast battled for the Atlantic Intercollegiate Major. The University of Florida Gators brought home the gold 🥇, while The University of North Carolina Tar Heels took silver 🥈.
- Some pickleball players are bringing the sport to the youth in the inner-city in St. Paul, Minnesota. The inclusivity of pickleball is on full display in this news report.
- Miami Beach is trying to shed its "spring break" image by enticing a different kind of crowd with mini golf and... you guessed it... pickleball. Who's headed to Miami Beach?
- Speaking of top pickleball getaways, Forbes wrote an article about the top pickleball destinations. And, don't forget, you can always go cruising with your favorite sport!
- We wish we had learned pickleball the way this article suggests... with "beer in hand"! 🍺
- One of the largest barriers to the growth of the sport of pickleball is noise. Although we may love the sound of a pickleball hitting a paddle, some anti-pickleballers have raised concerns with noise (including Tennis the Menace 🎾👹 described above). This concern over noise has prevented others from gaining new pickleball courts, which are certainly needed to meet the growing demand for the sport. Some pickleball players have even resorted to playing in front of city hall to stage a protest for how much the pickleball courts are needed by their respective communities (despite any noise concerns). Now that is some serious dedication!
- International pickleball hit some rocky waters 🌊, as many member countries (including USA Pickleball) of the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) withdrew their participation from the organization. TBD on where international pickleball goes next...
Two weeks go by... two more pro pickleball tournaments concluded. With a pro pickleball tournament every weekend, it is hard to keep up. Good thing we have your takeaways for you...
- The PPA Red Rock Open showcased some great play in front of what appeared to be pretty packed stands (which was nice to see!). The stars of Red Rock were none other than Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns, who each took home the triple crown 👑👑👑. Anna Leigh has been on fire 🔥, as she has medaled in every event that she has played this calendar year, including winning gold 🥇 in every mixed doubles event, every women's singles event, and the last three women's doubles events. Anna Leigh and her mother, Leigh Waters, were able to take down the women's doubles field, even with an interesting partnership shake-up (as Jessie Irvine and Catherine Parenteau parted ways for the remainder of 2022).
- The APP South Carolina Open showcased some runaway teams and new faces. JW Johnson was the triple crown 👑👑👑 showstopper in South Carolina, as he and Simone Jardim coasted to a mixed doubles gold medal, he and Zane Navratil did the same for the men's doubles gold medal, and then JW did it solo for the men's singles gold medal. In fact, JW only lost one game (but never a match) the entire weekend. On the women's side, Anna Bright and relatively new face, Bobbi Oshiro, took the women's doubles gold medal 🥇, showing that the South Florida area ☀️ (where they, JW, Simone, Jorja Johnson, and others are from) is a hotbed for pickleball talent. Lastly, a new face in Rachael James (a convert from tennis in the last couple months) jumped on the women's singles podium with a silver medal 🥈, showing that talent from young tennis players will continue to shake up pro pickleball.
- Speaking of these top pickleball pros, there were some great articles recently on Simone Jardim and Anna Leigh Waters, who are both GOATs in their own rights. 🐐
- Mark your calendars 🗓 for live pro pickleball at the US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida, and then all month long in May!
#9. ASK PICKLER - WHAT IS A "NASTY NELSON"?
Question: On a serve, if the server hits the player with the ball in the wrong side of the court, what is the call? 🤔
Answer: Good question. What you are describing is known as a "Nasty Nelson." If the serve hits the non-receiving player in the air (even if in the wrong side of the court), then the serving team wins a point.
For more information on a Nasty Nelson, check out the video below 👇, and beware of those Nasty Nelsons on the pickleball court!
Do you have a pickleball question? Ask Pickler. Reach out to email@example.com. Plus, your question may be featured in the next newsletter.
#10. HELP OTHERS LEARN HOW TO PLAY PICKLEBALL
As you may know, we recently launched a project with USA Pickleball to help teach players how to play pickleball and how to play better pickleball, for free. 🔥
In connection with this project (which features both videos and an e-book), we have received a ton of amazing feedback, including requests from pickleball clubs, groups, teachers, etc. for banners and cards to share the free video and written resources with their respective communities. The purpose of this project was to create resources for others to learn how to play pickleball easily and get great tips to take to the courts, so we love the idea of sharing the free resources with as many folks as possible through the use of banners and cards. 👏
If you are interested in a banner and/or cards to share these free resources on how to play pickleball and how to improve your pickleball game with your community, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with (1) your name, (2) club/city/organization name, and (3) request for a banner and/or number of cards.
#11. LESSONS FROM THE PICKLEBALL COURT: YOU NEED TO SERVE TO WIN
Over the past few weeks, Pickler founder, Stacie Townsend, has had the pleasure of attending two charitable fundraisers that had a common theme—they were run and attended by pickleball players and each raised over $10,000 for their respective causes. ❤️
Click here to learn Stacie's takeaways from these pickleball charitable events, which included The Pickle Ball and a glow pickleball party.
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BALL'S IN YOUR COURT...