Pickler Pickleball

9 reasons why you're popping up the pickleball ๐Ÿ™ƒ

published8 months ago
10 min read

Whoa... 2022 is flying โœˆ๏ธ, and we are already into the month of February. Time flies when you are having fun, right?

Don't forget... Valentine's Day โค๏ธ is next week and nothing says love like a new pickleball paddle. Grab a gift for your pickleball-loving valentine now! Plus, get 10% off with the code โ€œ10PICKLERโ€ (some exclusions apply). ๐Ÿ’

Fromuth Pickleball | Pickler Pickleball


9 Common Reasons Why Youโ€™re Popping Up the Pickleball | Pickler Pickleball

Are you losing points because you are popping up the pickleball? ๐Ÿ‘Ž On the pickleball court, we are all trying to avoid popping up the pickleball. Pop ups lead to easy put away shots for your opponents.

โ€‹Click here to learn 9 common reasons why you may be popping up the pickleball and losing points on the pickleball court. Plus, learn how to fix it!


Pickleball Every Day | Pickler Pickleball

A lot has changed since January 2019 - including our entire world with the onset of the COVID pandemic. However, there is one thing that has not changed... Paul Connifey still plays pickleball every day. A lot of people say they play pickleball โ€œevery day.โ€ But Connifey actually does it.

โ€‹Click here to learn why and how Connifey has managed to keep his pickleball-playing streak alive - for over 1,100 straight days! - despite rain, hurricanes, injuries, and other forces in his way. ๐Ÿ”ฅ


7 Tips to Use the Elements to Your Advantage on the Pickleball Court | Pickler Pickleball

When playing pickleball, it is important to use every aspect of your game and your surroundings to your advantageโ€”which includes the elements. Elements can include the sun, lights, wind, among others. ๐ŸŒฆ Whether you are playing outdoors or indoors, use the elements to your advantage.

โ€‹Click here to learn 7 quick tips on how to do just thatโ€”use the elements to your advantage on the pickleball court!


Pickler Pickleball Newsletter | Sponsored by Vista Travel & Royal Caribbean

This is not a cruise. This is your favorite sport on the ultimate ships at sea. Embark on a Royal Caribbeanยฎ adventure and get your pickleball fix right onboard โ€” and between island hopping to the best and brightest tropical shores. And when you book now, you can save up to $150 instantly and 30% off every guest! Contact our friends at Vista Travel (by phone at 800-227-1300 or by email at to book your next adventure today!

Adventure, the ocean, piรฑa coladas ๐Ÿน, and pickleball games await...


Pickler The Podcast co-hosts, Stacie Townsend and John "The People's Champ" Davison, are joined by APP and USA Pickleball broadcaster, Dominic Catalano, to review John's APP pickleball broadcast debut, learn how Dominic got into the booth, and hit on personalities in the sport of pickleball. Plus, a few questions from John's "fans" are sprinkled in... Tune in and catch up before the next episode drops! ๐ŸŽง

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.


It is important that you find a routine that you are comfortable with before you serve the pickleball on the pickleball court. This pre-serve routine could be bouncing the pickleball with your hand, hitting the pickleball a few times with your paddle, or fixing your hat โ€“ whatever works best for you and whatever you feel comfortable with.

This pre-serve routine is a trigger to make sure you are both mentally and physically ready for the point. Pre-serve routines can also help you improve your timing. Find your own pre-serve routine, so you are ready to play and win the point! ๐Ÿ‘


Murmurs from the Losersโ€™ Bracket: The PPA, the APP and Monty Python | Pickler Pickleball

We here at Murmurs from the Losersโ€™ Bracket have been observing with detached amusement the turf war going on between the Profession Pickleball Association and the Association of Pickleball Professionals. For those Monty Python fans out there, this may remind you of the "Judean People's Front"... or was it the "People's Front of Judea"?

โ€‹Click here to have a laugh as Pickler writer, Frank Cerabino, makes light of some friction-filled relationships in the pickleball world. ๐Ÿคฃ


During a rally in a pro womenโ€™s doubles match at the first PPA pickleball tournament of 2022, the well-known iPhone default ring tone ๐Ÿ“ฑ played over the loud speaker. Pro player, Jessie Irvine, immediately grabbed the pickleball, stopped play, and walked back to the baseline. Why?

Because of a hinderโ€ฆ

A hinder is defined by the rules of pickleball (promulgated by USA Pickleball) to be โ€œany transient element or occurrence not caused by a player that adversely impacts play, not including permanent objects. Examples include, but are not limited to, balls, flying insects, foreign material, players or officials on another court that, in the opinion of the referee, impacted a playerโ€™s ability to make a play on the ball. A valid hinder will result in a replay of a point.โ€

Since the ringer was an element that was not caused by a player, and certainly could have impacted the intense play on court, the referee agreed. The iPhone call caused a hinder on court. And, the players quickly called the hinder and replayed the point.

However, beware of calling a hinder too late or improperly. Prompt calls are strongly encouraged by the rules of pickleball to avoid any โ€œsecond chances.โ€ As the USA Pickleball Rulebook puts it, โ€œa player cannot claim a hinder from a ball rolling on the court after they hit a ball โ€˜outโ€™; they gave up their ability to call the hinder by choosing instead to hit the ball.โ€ Also, if you call a hinder incorrectly (as determined by a referee in competitive play), you will commit a fault and will lose the rally.

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, so we can share with the rest of the pickleball community in a future newsletter.


Pickler Pickleball Newsletter | Sponsored by Life Line Screening

Playing better pickleball starts with your health. As they say, "your health is your wealth" or, in our case, what allows us to keep playing pickleball. Stay ahead of the game by going to those doctors' appointments and preventative screenings, which can help you detect and get ahead of any issues early. Our friends at Life Line Screening have already screened over 10 million people to help save countless moments on and off the pickleball court. Click here to schedule ๐Ÿ—“ your preventative screening today.


Headlines from the Pickleball Court | Pickler Pickleball

EXTRA! EXTRA! Catch up quick on the pickleball headlines... ๐Ÿ—ž

  • We have heard this story before, but it always gives us chills... pickleball players saved a man's life on the pickleball court by performing CPR and using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to restart his stopped heart. ๐Ÿฅต Way to spring into action, pickleball players! Click here to learn more.
  • Pickleball is the secret to a happier life. Just ask 90-year-old pickleball player, Leurena Hildenbrand, who recently stated, "If you want a more joyful life, if you want a happier life, a longer life, a better life, go for it and you'll see that you enjoy living." We will be heeding Leurena's advice and playing more pickleball... ๐Ÿ˜
  • It has been an up-and-down week for pickleball courts across North America. On the down side, the poor players in the District of West Vancouver had their only pickleball courts closed after an on-going battle with opponents (particularly, to the noise that pickleball makes), and one family in Park City, Utah is at risk of losing its pickleball court after a paperwork mix-up (the court was approved, then installed, and then discovered that the court should not have been approved). On the up side, pickleball is the newest sport to be added to the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Check out that court backdrop below! ๐Ÿคฏ
Pickleball on Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier
  • If you are having trouble with finding a "real life" pickleball court, try your hand at Super Pickleball Adventure. A video game ๐ŸŽฎ to play pickleball!
  • Have you heard of Hilary Marold, the "Queen of Rackets"? ๐Ÿ‘ธ She has 56 racket-sport national championships, including 22 in pickleball. Learn more about Marold, who is one of the members of the Pickleball Hall of Fame.
  • The sport of padel is coming for pickleball... ๐Ÿ˜ณ Padel, which is growing quickly in Latin America, is aiming to exceed the popularity of pickleball in the United States. The first step is a Miami Padel Open (which kicks off the World Padel Tour), and growing the number of courts (there are only 120 in the United States right now). This rise of padel could result in a race to be the first new Olympic sport, as there will likely only be room for one. We are rooting for pickleball.
  • The LPGA released a short-form, behind-the-scenes documentary, which will feature some of the players ๐ŸŒ๏ธโ€โ™€๏ธ playing... pickleball! Click here to watch.
  • The first PPA pickleball tournament of the year did not disappoint (other than maybe a few livestream troubles, like strange lighting, screaming sound from time to time, and a few DJ interruptions). However, the pro pickleball players came to play, and the PPA put on a celebrity event with Michael Phelps and Larry Fitzgerald (more on this below!). A few notable takeaways include: ๐Ÿค”
    • Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns started their first tournament a little shaky, as they looked like they may lose their first match together. However, after losing game 1, Anna Leigh and Ben rolled the rest of the tournament to take home a gold medal. ๐Ÿฅ‡
    • Both Anna Leigh and Ben took home another gold medal ๐Ÿฅ‡ and bronze medal ๐Ÿฅ‰ each, for a total of 3 medals and a decent payday. With so much airtime for Anna Leigh, we had to stop counting how many times her new age of 15 was stated (BTW - Happy Belated Birthday, AL! ๐ŸŽ‚).
    • Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova, another first-time partnership, rallied for gold ๐Ÿฅ‡ in the pro women's doubles bracket. They will be an interesting pairing to watch!
    • JW Johnson won a gold medal ๐Ÿฅ‡ in pro men's singles (and a bronze medal ๐Ÿฅ‰ in pro men's doubles). It is only February and JW has already won multiple gold medals in both the PPA and APP Tours. There were some upset JW fans after his PPA win, as they believed that JW, as one of the few non-PPA-contracted players, did not get as much publicity for his PPA gold medal as other contracted PPA players. ๐Ÿค”
    • Chuck Taylor deserves a huge shoutout ๐Ÿ“ฃ, too! Taylor had deep runs in both the pro mixed doubles and pro men's doubles brackets, taking home 4th place in both, just shy of the medals. Taylor will be one to watch and see if he can improve upon his 4th place finish.
  • Mark your calendars ๐Ÿ—“ for live pro pickleball at the PPA Arizona Grand Slam on Thursday, February 17th through Sunday, February 20th. Plus, look forward to more major pickleball tournaments and events this month!


Pickler Pickleball

Question: I have recently come across players who serve just past Kitchen Line and to the far left or far right, very close to the Kitchen. How do I move on that? ๐Ÿค”

Pickler Pickleball

Answer: Good question. I would recommend trying a few things:

  • Typically, you want to be about 2 to 3 feet behind the baseline on your return of serve, as most players aim to hit big, deep serves. However, if you are faced with someone that serves a short serve a lot, then consider cheating a little toward the baseline, which will help with your reaction time in getting to the Kitchen Line. However, beware of cheating too much, as the server could catch on to what you are doing and try to jam you with a deep serve.
  • Look for โ€œtellsโ€ in the server's motion that indicates whether he/she will hit a short or deep serve (for instance, does he/she take a shorter backswing on the short serves, or does he/she do anything different with their body?).
  • Also, instead of anticipating a deep serve, anticipate the short serve in your mind and be on the balls of your feet. Being on the balls of your feet, rather than flat-footed, will help you move your feet quickly.
  • Lastly, be cautious of overhitting your return of serve if you are rapidly running in toward the Kitchen to hit the pickleball. You will have a lot of momentum coming into your shot, and less court space to work with since you will be so close to the Kitchen. So, be extra conscious with your control and power on the return.

Do you have a pickleball question? Ask Pickler. Reach out to Plus, your question may be featured in the next newsletter.


Not Exactly Bangin': How & Why You Should Shed Those Bad Pickleball Habits | Pickler Pickleball

Hear from one former "banger," Tim Wightman, on how he elevated his pickleball game by leaving the stereotypical banger style behind. Tim will explain why and how he shed his banging ways and why you, if you are one of those bangers, should, too.

โ€‹Click here to learn why Tim is not exactly "bangin'!" ๐Ÿ’ฅ


As noted in the headlines above, the PPA Tour put on a celebrity exhibition featuring Michael Phelps and Larry Fitzgerald. The celebrity exhibition looked to be a fun night of mixing match-ups, including men's doubles, mixed doubles, 2-on-1, and a singles showdown. Phelps and Fitzgerald were good sports throughout the night. Phelps was learning some pickleball essentials - like get to the Kitchen Line - from the pros on the court, while Fitzgerald looked as if he has been hitting the rec play. In fact, Fitzgerald noted that he has been playing pickleball with his family and making new friends for a while.

One of the highlights of the night was a singles showdown between Anna Leigh Waters and Fitzgerald, where Fitzgerald was given a 9-0 lead. While Fitzgerald held his own and argued that it was past Anna Leigh's curfew ๐Ÿ›Œ(remember, she is only 15), Anna Leigh was too much, and took home a quick 11-9 victory (which she promised her mother to be quick given she was past curfew). Watch the event unfold below!

We asked Anna Leigh why events like this are important for the sport... hear what she had to say:

Continue to follow Leigh's and Anna Leigh's journey here in Pickler's free pickleball newsletter, as well as on Instagram and Facebook. Also, mark your calendars ๐Ÿ—“ to watch Leigh and Anna Leigh compete at the upcoming PPA pickleball tournaments in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, February 17th through Sunday, February 20th, and in Lakeville, Minnesota on Thursday, February 24th through Sunday, February 27th! You can catch them in action on the PPA Tour's YouTube channel.


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